It was February 2001 when I started with my first severe bout of Ulcerative Colitis. I was referred by my GP to a medical consultant at Lincoln County Hospital. He suggested an endoscopy examination, which showed UC. I was prescribed a small dose of oral steroids to control it. By August 2001 the UC was very severe, at night I was visiting the loo on average of 20 times. The emergency doctor came to examine me. I told him my history and told him I was now on the maximum dose of oral steroids per day. He arranged to have me admitted to Hospital that day.
After a week of intravenous steroids it was decided to perform a sub-total colectomy (removal of most of the colon but leaving a small piece attached to the rectum). They also formed an ileostomy, which with the help of Jocelyn and the rest of the stoma nurses, plus my wonderful wife Jenny, was not as hard to manage as I thought it would be. After a set- back with a couple of infections (normal for this type of surgery) I was released from hospital in September 2001 with my new friend the stoma, and feeling better than I had in months.
Being a very active chap all my life, I had to be patient and let my body heal slowly, which was hard to do, and rest a lot. It took eight months of convalescence to return to work on a graded return basis. It was suggested when I was in hospital that I was a prime candidate for the formation of an internal pouch. I had my operation to form the internal pouch and formation of a loop ileostomy in January 2002. I was out of hospital within a week and returned to work 3 months after. The loop ileostomy behaved itself(ish) and my new pouch was allowed to heal and Ian yet again got on with living a full life.
The final operation to reverse the loop ileostomy (join up the loop and tuck it inside), and find out if the new plumbing works, was carried out in October of 2002. Not everything went to plan. I contracted an infection around the site of the wound but after a course of intravenous antibiotics and an extra 5 days in hospital all was well.
The new plumbing does work and works well and I am in full control of my bowel movements for the first time in years. I take ‘Imodium’ to ease the way and make things more controllable. In 2003 my wife and I took up again one of our hobbies – traveling – to the Greek isles twice and to visit relatives in Germany twice, all by plane. Life is good and for living.
Thanks to my lovely, supportive, empathic, patient wife Jenny, the surgical team at Lincoln County Hospital led by Mr. Barlow, and of course my family, friends and work colleagues, it’s onwards and upwards.
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