Two steps forward …

I’ve not had much to report over the last couple of weeks; the wounds on my abdomen have been steadily healing, and are now at the point where even the large wound from my ileostomy closure is pretty much healed. The dressing on that only needs changing weekly now, so I’ve been discharged from the care of the district nurses and moved into the care of my GP Practice Nurse, but we expect that I’ll only need a couple more dressings anyway.

Yesterday however, was a red letter day, as I had my kidney stent removed. In the past I’ve tolerated these stents really well, not really noticing that they were present, but this last one has been a real nuisance; I could feel it as I moved around, and it irritated both my bladder and my kidney (where the ends of the stent rest) causing me a fair amount of discomfort. Consequently, you’d expect me to be pleased to be losing it – and I was – but the process of removing it is done with a very small amount of local anesthetic, and involves a flexible cystoscopy. Not particularly pleasant, and definitely a “look the other way” situation.

So on the negative side of the equation, the whole cytoscopy process was somewhat intimidating. And then the actual removal of the stent felt very weird (and rather uncomfortable too, if I’m honest). But on the positive side, it’s a massive relief not to have the stent any more.

Having removed the stent my urologist now needs to run some blood tests in about a week, to make sure that my kidneys are continuing to work as expected, and then will run an ultrasound scan on my left kidney sometime after that to check that the kidney is still continuing to drain normally. Signs of it swelling up (“ballooning”) will mean that the ureter is still restricted somewhere. I suspect that would be “bad news”, eventually leading to yet more surgery, so I’m really hoping to avoid all that.

Meanwhile my perineal wound is healing slowly, at best. There is still a lot of discharge from the wound, which doesn’t seem to be reducing at the rate that either I or my surgeon would like. Sadly, from what I can discover, this isn’t unusual for these types of wound, though in my case my surgeon feels that my radiotherapy may be a contributory factor too. To see if we can improve the situation he is referring me to the tissue viability clinic later this week, who will run an assessment to see if there would be an advantage in undertaking a couple of weeks of vacuum therapy. This would be similar to what I went through last year, but managed at home by the district nurses, so not terribly pleasant, but perhaps it might be just what is needed to kick my healing into overdrive and get me back to normalcy again.

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