Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Recovering... again!

2 years ago this weekend we threw a 'Sarah's Better' party after my ileostomy reversal. Ha! How's that for irony. Since then I've had 3 further operations (so that's 5 in total)...  I still have an ileostomy and at the moment am recovering from the biggest operation of them all.

So, I'm 16 days post surgery now and thought I'd pick up my blog again. It's a bit like deja vu, as I started writing this blog 2 weeks after my last surgery... 'to  record my return to fitness and health'. Hmmmmmm..... 
Wine list at the Princess Grace Hospital!

Surgery on 29th October went well.. or as 'well' as major abdominal surgery can go I suppose. There were no emergency complications and after 2 days in intensive care and another 6 in hospital I managed to escape back home. I have an 8-10" incision and a new ileostomy. I was in hospital in London (Princess Grace) which was fantastic (sadly I never got to sample the wine list though!), albeit a logistical nightmare for my hubby and family as it involved a 2 hour trip from home. I didn't see my boys for 7 whole days which is the longest I've ever gone without them. As always however, my amazing hubby, mum, family and friends all rallied around, walking the dog, visiting, sending texts, flowers and washing and ironing etc etc.. I'm so lucky to have such incredible support... thank you all! We simply couldn't do it otherwise. 

The surgeon repaired my 'non working' stoma and gave me a lovely new one (I think he was quite proud of his handiwork). He found multiple and major adhesions (think 'kinked hosepipe') behind the old stoma which was causing all my problems as well as a significant narrowing of the opening itself. Whilst he was there he also reconnected my colon to my small intestine.. just in case I fancy trying a reversal any time soon. Hmmmmmm.... 

All in all it was the biggest of all the surgeries I've had, and so far I'm getting the feeling that recovery is going to take much much longer. A quick flick back in my blog and 2 weeks post surgery last time I was taking my boys swimming. Swimming?!?! was I mad? The most I can even contemplate this time is a little shuffle with the dog and a few core stability exercises. Can't imagine swimming for quite some time yet. 

There have been a few ups and downs. A high temperature, crashing blood pressure, the mother of all headaches - which went on for days, required a permanent ice pack on my head and wasn't even touched by the strongest painkillers - and some unusual blood test results have all led to various tests and panics. But I think I'm finally starting to make progress, even if it's super slow.  Eating is the biggest problem at the moment. Having been on liquids for nearly 4 months, my body, funnily enough, doesn't seem to keen to pick up where it left off before. I'm still dreaming of steak and chips or a huge pizza and think it will continue to be a dream for some time to come...  I've lost so much weight (2 stone), my clothes are hanging off me (people are calling me 'frail' which is never good) and have zero appetite. I'm eating like a little sparrow as I just can't tolerate anything bigger than a tiny portion.. not like me AT ALL.

I'm being bombarded with images of Christmas dinners, puddings and drinks which are everywhere at the moment... but it's so far removed from where I'm at right now I can't even contemplate it. I'm actually wondering if I'll ever eat normally again. I just hope it's because it's early days and it will take time. Fingers crossed.

Courier Newspaper Group Unsung Hero 
On the upside, just before I went into hospital I was totally thrilled to win the Courier Newspaper Group 'Unsung Hero' award for my running group and also as Race Director of the Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon. I've also been awarded the 'Group Leader of the Year 2012, South East' by Run England for my group.. a huge honour and I'm massively proud of both achievements. It is a real positive to dwell on as I recover and couldn't have come at a better time.

Sarah's Runners continues in my absence thanks to a team of fantastic support coaches and I can't wait to get back to them. I think it's going to be a few weeks before I can manage a run if today's 'slow shuffle' is anything to go by.. I walked 2 miles today and it finished me off! Although I'm only 16 days out of surgery... so I guess that's not bad progress. The view of Bewl Water and the stunning autumnal day lifted my spirits though and I feel like I might just be turning a corner... all I need to do now is learn how to eat again...

Beautiful Bewl Water

3 comments:

  1. Hi Sarah, I know I'm not coming running anymore but please know you are always in my prayers. You continue to inspire me, I've just signed up for the Moonwalk, I always wanted to a marathon and a nightwalk seems a way to do it! I love to read your blog and congratulations on your awards they are truly deserved. Take care and keep going xx

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  2. Sarah,
    You're an inspiration! I know how hard it is to bounce back from surgery like this, but bounce back you will! Don't worry about the eating, it'll come. Just nibble away as you feel like it and move about a bit and it'll all kick back into action - when it's good and ready! It's no mistake that 'patients' sounds like 'patience'.....stay strong and keep being lifted up by the little things :) Helen x

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