This morning I had an appointment with my surgeon, Dr. Cohen. In case you missed it yesterday, I had prepared a little speech for Dr. Cohen, outlining just how rocky the road has been since my surgery last May, and how frustrated I am with the state of my body. I didn’t memorize every word, but I knew the bullet points, and was ready to paraphrase and ad-lib as required.
Before I could meet Dr. Cohen, however, I met with Dr. Lovegood, one of his residents. This is usually how Dr. Cohen’s appointments go – one of his resident’s checks me out, chats with me a bit, gives a report to Dr. Cohen, and then I go into Dr. Cohen’s office to discuss the state of my bowels. Dr. Lovegood’s first job was to give me a rectal exam (hey, this is starting to sound like a porno). After that, Dr. Cohen’s nurse, Misty (not pictured above), set up a pouchoscopy camera so that she and Dr. Lovegood could get a look inside my pelvic pouch. I went from having a finger in my butt to having a tiny camera in my butt (nothing else entered my butt though. See? Not a porno post). On the TV monitor above me, I could see my pink innards and a white plastic tube – the percutaneous tube.
Misty took some photos of the inside of the pouch and withdrew the camera from my backside. Dr. Lovegood explained to me that the percutaneous tube had somehow found its way into the pouch, which explained why I still had fluid, sometimes brown in colour, draining into the bag on my thigh. He passed this news on to Dr. Cohen, who gave the okay for the tube to be removed. Hooray!
After all the poking and prodding and reality TV, I took a much more comfortable seat in Dr. Cohen’s office. I had some bullet points jotted down in my notebook to remind me of my little speech, but the situation had changed a bit, so I made some mental amendments and began talking. I told Dr. Cohen about how hard the last few months have been. I went over the issues with my ostomy, my wound, and my recently removed percutaneous tube. Dr. Cohen listened intently, sympathetically, and said that he was glad I told him everything I did.
We discussed the new plan of action, which is in fact more of a plan of inaction. Again I will wait. Another two months. The hope is that now with the tube out, the rest of my pelvic pouch-to-anus connection will heal properly and I won’t need a corrective surgery. That’s the big takeaway from my little anal adventure today – there’s a possibility that the corrective surgery won’t be needed at all, and I can have my ostomy reversed and my pelvic pouch up and running in 2-3 months. While that’s definitely good news, I’m trying not to get too excited because the possibility is not a guarantee, and because I’ve gotten my hopes up before only to have them obliterated by bad news later on.
I’m booked for an x-ray of my pelvic pouch in early December. That’s when I’ll know whether my ostomy will be reversed, whether a corrective surgery will be needed, or whether some other plan will be put in place. I left Dr. Cohen’s office feeling pretty good. Better than I have in a long time. And while I’ll do my best to temper my expectations, I’m going to thoroughly enjoy sleeping tonight without a tube dangling from my butt.
NOTE: A very big thank you to my friend Alistair who works at Mount Sinai Hospital and who gifted me this awesome R.A. Dickey bobblehead after my appointment today. It made a good day even better.
Image via 600RR.Net