It’s been just over 6 weeks since I had my ileostomy takedown operation, and progress continues to be mixed.
On the one hand, the surgical side of things has gone extremely well, with the wound where my stoma used to be healing staggeringly well. The wound has completely closed, filled in with new skin and scar tissue, and scabbed over. I no longer need to dress it; I suspect it will be completely healed within another week or so, though clearly the scar will continue to improve (fade) over time.
On the other hand, the adaptation of my bowel to its new configuration is progressing much more slowly. To be fair both my surgeon, and colleagues who have been through this, warned me not to expect too much too quickly. But I still went in with pretty high expectations. And if I’m brutally honest, I’d say that at the moment I’m at a stage where living with the ileostomy would have been easier than what I’m currently coping with – which is slightly depressing. However, the adaptation should continue fairly rapidly for a few more months yet, and then much more slowly for up to another year or two after that – so there is plenty of time for things to get a lot better yet.
My main concern at the moment is how long it will take to get me to the point where I can realistically return to work – at the moment I’d really struggle (at best). So here’s hoping for some rapid progress now we’re into the new year!