Going bagless

Today was (hopefully) the last day with my ileostomy. Tomorrow (or rather, later today) I will have the surgery to reverse my ileostomy, and return my “plumbing” to normal again. Or at any rate, as normal as will be possible – I understand that it’s never going to be exactly the same again.

And I find myself having very mixed feelings about this.

On one level I will be immensely relieved to lose the bag. I’ll gain a huge amount; being able to more easily bathe, go swimming, generally be more active, and lose the discomfort and frustrations of dealing with the bags and the drugs that I currently take to control my ileostomy.

On the other hand, I am really not looking forward to another operation and the associated general anesthetic. I found the whole process profoundly frightening last time. Then I had no choice; this time I suppose I do. I can see that it’s perfectly feasible to live with an ilesotomy for life.

However, for me, at my point in life, the decision is clear – my quality of life will be infinitely better with the reversal. So I just need to get myself through the operation. It’s a simple case of mind over matter – or rather, mind over my emotions. All I need to do is walk down a corridor, lie down on a table, and let them put a needle in my arm. After that, I wake up with the job done.

No sweat. I can do that.


4 thoughts on “Going bagless

    • Thanks Harry. When I talked to the doctors they confirmed many of your comments, and suggested that I expect at least a couple of months before things really start to settle down into what will become the new norm. But it’s also clear there are massive variations in this; I’ve talked to a couple of people where it took only a month or so, as well as other people (like yourself) where it took a lot longer.

      I’m working on the basis that I’m not expecting anything other than being able to restart work in the new year – which seems a reasonable hope. If it works out better than that then I’ll consider it a bonus, and if it takes longer then I’m just going to have to live with the disappointment!

      Still, no backing out now … I’m due in hospital in 4 hours.

  1. >>> I can see that it’s perfectly feasible to live with an ilesotomy for life.

    Amazingly, our surgeon remarked that some people choose to live with a colostomy/ilestomy for life as they find it more convenient. Presumably the older, less agile people, but surprising nonetheless.

    • Yes, I’ve heard this comment a few times too; I can well believe it’s true for older patients who really dont want to go through another operation when their ostomy is working well, and they aren’t experiencing any significant problems with it. Unfortunately, towards the end of my time with mine, that wasn’t my experience, as between the herniation and the congestion I had pretty much constant discomfort from it.

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