04 August 2011

No guts... lots of glory

We've been holding our breath for this week... Son Squeeze has been dealing with severe Ulcerative Colitis for the past 2 years. Steroids, pills daily up the wazoo (well, not UP that wazoo...), stomach cramps, blood transfusions, and lots of other unpleasantries that I won't mention (you're happy about that, aren't you?)... We were finally finally referred to a doctor that specializes in Colon & Rectal surgery (and he does it lapriscopically!)

After 2 years of trying everything on the market, and not wanting things to progress to the "C" word (hint: cancer), the doctor recommended having Son Squeeze's colon (ALL 5 feet of it... can you believe we have 5 feet of large intestine?!) removed. With it gone, the UC would also be gone... so why not? AND they can now make a new "bowel" out of the end of the small intestine so he could live without an ileostomy bag for the rest of his life :)

This procedure is done in 2 parts: Part 1 – removal of the colon, create the new colon ("pouch"), attach it to the back end, create a temporary ileostomy (stoma / bypass); Part 2 – reverse the temporary ileostomy, get ride of the bag and let nature take its course. Apparently part 2 is a little rougher recovery due to the hole/stitching in the abdominal wall.

Part 1 (on June 14) went well... at least the surgery. Recovery took a bit longer due to some complications since his leftover guts (small intestine) were swimming around since there was now a LOT more room for them to move around in, but we finally brought Son Squeeze home after a week and on a liquid diet. He lost 17 pounds in 7 days...

Prepping for the Lupogram
Skip to August 2... the Lupogram. This test would show if the new pouch is healing and holding so that the ileostomy reversal could happen. We were all literally holding our breath. I was allowed into the X-Ray room to watch the procedure. Talk about AMAZING! Watching the dye contrast appear on the monitor inside his light-colored abdomen... spooky!

I'm not sure if they noticed I was taking pictures of the monitors while the 2 nurses were doing the procedure but hey, this is for memory's sake! I'm sure this technology will be outdated by the time Son Squeeze has his own family... So, spoiler alert: IT WORKS! The new pouch works and so does his back end control (I'll keep it at that...) which the doctor is very pleased about... very important too :) With that, surgery happened today to reverse the ileostomy – no more bag! But I will say that Son Squeeze has been a trooper through the whole thing.
The constrast dye filling
the new "pouch" (kidney shape)

This morning Son Squeeze woke up excited about the procedure (completely opposite from last time... oh boy... that time was not so good, and especially since he has to be on a liquid diet the day before – hungry boys are NOT happy boys). We arrived early for check-in and then waited (and waited and waited) to get into surgery. 4-1/2 hours later he finally went in... Last time we were the first to go into surgery. We realized if you're not first, you wait (and wait a LONG time). 

Surgery took only 1-1/2 hours this time and the doctor is pleased! And we're now in the room... But the narcotics weren't as strong. No funny chattering... 

Sidenote: I have to tell you at least one funny experience while he was coming out of the drug-induced happy place: I realized he was still under the influence and I could ask him anything... really, anything! So I asked him if he liked any particular girl at school. The older Scottish nurse, who treated Son Squeeze like he was her grandson) was taking his vitals and doing some things while I was asking questions, and Son Squeeze answered, "Yesssss... So&so is smokin'." The nurse turned and said, "Oh, you shouldn't like someone that smokes!" I laughed and said, "Not a smoker! He meant she was hot!" :)

We are all looking forward to new things... including learning how to control the back end while his new "colon" learns how to do new things. So on to new and exciting adventures...


  1. Whoa- tough kid. Wishing him and all if you the best!

  2. Thanks Joellyn... Love seeing what's happening with you and the Prairie Tales :)