16 August 2011

Things are Progressing

I realise that it's been awhile since I last updated. Well, to be honest, not much has been happening in the past week; that is, until today.

Last week the various teams of doctors around here had conflicting opinions on how they wanted to treat me. I couldn't even tell who was actually in charge of my care. There was a gastro consultant who had come round who confirmed the point that I needed surgery, and there was a gastro registrar who seemed to be working more closely with the dietitians who wasn't necessarily convinced that surgery was the only option, and wanted to at least do some more testing, which involved another MRI. The MRI showed that nothing had changed since the last one in April.

Yesterday, when the gastro registrar made his ward round, he said he was ready to send me on my way. I was a bit confused by this as I have barely stabilised my weight since I've been at St. George's, let alone actually gained. Not only that, but I would have been reliant on maintaining my weight by oral intake alone because the home PN program takes six to eight weeks to set up, and I've only been here for a little under two weeks. Luckily(?), I was a bit sick over the weekend, and the registrar no longer thought it was a good idea to send me home.

That meant I got to be here for ward rounds today, which were very exciting. First, the gastro consultant and his team came round. They informed me that the surgeon was back from his holidays and would be around to see me this afternoon. They also informed me that I could be having surgery as soon as tomorrow. I was a bit overwhelmed by this news, but also a bit excited. The consultant said I should prepare all my questions for the  visit with the surgeon in the afternoon.

Turns out I didn't really have that much time to prepare for the visit with the surgeon, but to be honest, I've had two small bowel resections, one with a right hemicolectomy (meaning the right side of my large intestine is gone), done in the past and I have a rough idea what to expect. It was kind of funny when the surgeon stopped by, I was on Skype over the phone with my dad, and he got to eavesdrop on the entire conversation. He's actually gotten to listen in on a few random conversations I've had with staff here because no one realises I'm on the phone when they stop by.

My main question for the surgeon was whether he thought I was fit enough for surgery. He said given my current health situation, I probably won't get much healthier, and could in fact lose ground if I decided to wait. Of course, there are risks associated with surgery, as there are with any surgery. These include bleeding, infection and the possibility of a reversible ileostomy (i.e. a poo bag that would be attached to my stomach), that would require further surgery to reverse. Knowing these risks, I'm still ready to have the surgery, and hopefully get back to a normal life soon, and since I'm having this done now, I may actually be well enough to go home for Thanksgiving! I can't tell you how disappointed I was at first when I thought I'd be stuck here for the holiday (as previous posts have pointed out, I love stuffing my face at every opportunity, and Thanksgiving really is the perfect holiday for this).

Otherwise, my stay at St. George's has been uneventful. There were a lot of discharges on the ward yesterday, and half the people in my bay are new. Two of them are also sufferers of IBDs, one with Crohn's the other colitis.

Yesterday I was served the most "interesting" pudding. It was supposed to be butterscotch rice pudding, but I think it looked more like sick. And it really didn't taste of anything. What do you think: pudding or sick?

Pudding or sick? You decide.