Day 7 Post-OP: How a week flies by when you’re having fun…NOT!

I can’t believe it’s a week today since urostomy surgery. I’ve spent more than a year suffering through chronic UTIs, septic hospitalization, three surgeries and finally a complete rerouting of my urinary track to avoid the tissue damaged 27 years by radiation treatments for colon cancer. Jeff asked me if I was as emotionally upset by the second ostomy as I was with the first one, 27 years ago. Honestly…no big deal. Once you’ve learned to live a full, active life with an ostomy, a second one is no big deal. I should have chosen this route a year ago.

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Day 0-1: Stoma marking by a wonderful WOCN, Diane. Dr. Breyer hit the mark perfectly! Important to get a stoma marking to guide the surgeon to the best location for ostomy appliance management.0-1 Day: Stoma marking by WOCN wonder nurse Diane

Day 1: Surgery at 7:30AM, got to the hospital at 6:40AM and rushed right through registration and pre-op. Good decision to have an epidural as part of the anesthesia. Tremendous help during and after surgery for fog-free pain management. Dr. Breyer confirmed the day before surgery that the standard urostomy is the best/safest way to go for due to potential tissue damage caused by radiation treatments for colon cancer. Peggy and Earl, Tiffany and Tricia were there for me. 4.5 hours to 5 hours of surgery. Recovery for a couple of hours, then to a semi-private room, on a waiting list for a private room (private is the WAY to go!)

Dr. Breyer coudn't keep a strait face when he discussed pre surgical stuff with me wearing my stylish headgear. LOL

Dr. Breyer coudn’t keep a strait face when he discussed pre surgical stuff with me wearing my stylish headgear. LOL

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I was up and walking 8 hours after major abdominal surgery. HuzzaI was up and walking 8 hours after surgery. Got to love that epidural and surgical skills!

Day 2: Got the surgical bandage off. Dr. Breyer used the same “zipper”, the scar used during my cancer surgery in 1986. The eipdural combined with IV Tylenol and Delodid is keeping me pain free. Got moved to a private room on the 13th floor LONG Hospital. Great nursing staff including MO, Jackie, Sara, and many others. Nurses ROCK. You are the backbone of quality care! Love you all! Quick visits by Dr. Sanford and the urology team. Happy with my progress. Going to reduce the epidural rate tomorrow to move me to oral pain meds.

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Dr. Breyer and team used my “zipper” the same scar from previous cancer surgery. Beautiful job with colostomy on left (1986), new urostomy on right and surgical “JP” drain upper left.

New stoma: day 4 post op

New stoma: day 4 post op

Day 3: Coming off epidural didn’t work so well. Pain level up to 9. Really fuzzy headed from Oxi and Doladid oral pain meds. Had to go back up the epidural flow after we got from 8 down to 2 and I couldn’t stand the pain anymore. Got some pretty flowers to lift my spirits from Josh and Steph, Tricia and Richard.

Beautiful orchids from Richard's Mom's garden. These and others from Trish and Steph and Josh really lifted my spirits.

Beautiful orchids from Richard’s Mom’s garden. These and others from Trish and Steph and Josh really lifted my spirits.

Day 4: Tried again to reduce epidural flow rate this time with success. Felt so good, I got a solid diet and scarfed down breakfast and lunch and promptly threw up both. Was going to get released tomorrow, but due to lack out bowel function will be staying here another day or two.

Day 5: Back on liquid diet, but up and walking freely without IV or epidural. Got some beautiful flowers from Josh and Steph, Trish and Richard. Removed drain from urostomy. Stints will stay in until follow up appointment on Jan. 30th and staples too.

Day 6: Urology Nurse Practicioner, Erica says it’s up to me if I want to go home today. My answer…YES! Took out JP drain, that was interesting. Felt like she was pulling out my belly button. Trish had UBER-X ride waiting for me at the curb to take me to Richards to pack up for the drive to Peggy and Earl’s in Folsom (1.5 hours.) Car sickness can be a problem! Thank you Richard for your generous hospitality and to Karl for being the “host with most.”

Day 7: Got a full night rest at Peggy and Earls. Just taking the hydrocodone every six hours with stool softener and doing great. Up walking. Tip for those with BOTH colostomy and urosotomy. Use a drainable pouch for the colostomy. Output is mostly gas and liquid. Hospital sent me home with Hollister convex two piece drainable urostomy pouching system. Not sure I’ll stick with it, as I should be able to use the same Convatec wafer for both ostomies.  Jeff and Kristin came over to visit and are bringing in pizza for lunch. Girls are out shopping. Life’s back to normal. Looking forward to a UTI=free future.

Thanks to everyone for the hundreds of FB posts and CCA work and My CCA Support community posts and prayers. They worked!

Karl, Richard's miniature greyhound was Trish's host with the most. Thank you Richard for opening you home to us again!

Karl, Richard’s miniature greyhound was Trish’s host with the most. Thank you Richard for opening your home to us again! Ashley said that we’re cheating on Buster with Karl. LOL

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