I've not been posting here for a while and that is a good sign; I generally turn to this blog now only when I have "issues" to work through ("issues" being a word that even when spoken out loud must be accompanied by bunny-ears quotation marks).
So where have we got to? It's nearly six months since my initial operation, just over 5 weeks since the final operation and all is going well.
I no longer have a colon so I can be sure I will never suffer from ulcerative colitis again; that's a certainty.
I have been re-plumbed internally so I no longer sport a colostomy bag. Whilst I rather like the idea of "sporting" a colostomy bag (of wearing it proudly, in an ostentatious manner), I am of course delighted to be rid of it.
I have some reasonably dramatic external stomach scarring (made worst by the infections I incurrred) but I can convince myself these have an edgy "gangsta" look to them. Indeed, with a little story-telling brio I think I could convince a gullible audience that these wounds were incurred whilst rescuing a distressed maiden from knife wielding youths. "No, please, don't call me a hero. I was doing what any recklessly brave man with no regard for his personal safety would have done ...".
The long-term lifestyle impacts of life without a colon for me will become clearer over the next 6 - 12 months as things settle down and my body adjusts. At the moment the main issue is a need to get up 3 or 4 times a night to go to the loo which is kind of wearing. Other than that its not too bad; my scars get sore and I go to the loo more frequently than before, but I have "control" and feel I can start to get on with my life again.
My biggest frustration is finding the energy and strength to regain fitness and get myself working properly again. I've clearly been severely weakened by this whole experience and am desperately keen to prove to myself that I can get back to being a fully active, fit, strong, healthy and productive person.
I nearly have my weight back (I lost two stone after first op, recovered it, then lost a stone after second op, which I have nearly recovered) and feel I should be able to exercise soon. I've had a bad cold for the last week but prior to that I had managed two outings on the bike and think I might be up for something gentle this weekend.
I'm desperate to get back to work properly; so much to do and so frustrated at my weariness and inability to just 'buck up' and get stuff done. I made it in to work four days last week but had to stop and sleep in my car on the way in and the way home every day. That said, I have got over the worst of this cold now and have found the energy to write this post so that shows my brain is kicking back in to life.
So what? I guess writing this has helped me realise how far I have come, how I just need to show a little patience as I enter what is hopefully the last mile of this marathon. Its less than six months since my initial operation; I was seriously ill for a while there and am frankly lucky to be here at all.
I've always believed that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Well I'm still here, so I must be stronger.
So, time to get on with my life then. Bring it on!