Progress over the five days (has it really been that long?) has been quite mixed, but fundamentally it’s felt painfully slow to me. The wounds on my abdomen have been continuing to heal really well:
My new colostomy stoma is shrinking down (as expected) and with a little luck will be almost invisible under clothing, which means I will hopefully be able to go back to wearing smart clothes again, rather than living in baggy sweaters etc. My (rather Frankensteinian) main central wound tract is almost completely healed now, and no longer even needs a dressing. The same is true of the wounds from my deep abdominal drains, which have now completely healed. The wound where my old ileostomy stoma used to be is taking a lot longer to heal, but then it had the most healing to do, as it was an open wound 2.5cm x 3cm and well over 1cm deep. But even that only needs it’s dressing changed every other day now, and is filling in with scar tissue to the point where it will soon no longer need packing with Sorbsan. None of those wounds are causing my any real discomfort now, so progress is very good indeed.
My perineal wound however, is a real frustration. The corrugated drain is still (to my mind) producing a lot of exudate, which needs to be drained away, and is both physically painful due to the drain itself, the stitches holding it in place, and due to the nearby skin being irritated by all the exudate. Walking, sitting and sleeping are all somewhat uncomfortable activities; the result is that I’m somewhat more “tetchy” than normal, and of course, my poor family are bearing the brunt of that. Sadly we often manage to hurt the ones we love the most at times like this.
I’ve also been experiencing some problems with my bladder, which I suspect are simply down to the stent that is still present in my left ureter. This stretches from my left kidney, through my left ureter, and down into my bladder. As I move around I suspect it’s irritating the lining of my bladder (a fairly common side-effect) resulting in the symptoms of a rather urgent need to nip to the loo, pain while passing water, and an inability to ever actually pass very much, meaning frequent visits. Not fun.
However, I see my consultant again tomorrow, so hopefully he will have some good news for me, or at the very least be able to give me some idea of how much longer before he can give me some good news!