Tuesday 30 January 2018

Ass Issues

Needless to say it's certainly been a little while! And even though it seems wildly out of context, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all. So now to 2018.

Brief update on what's been happening: got discharged from hospital after my stay in November (don't think I'd cope if I was still there now) and I had everything crossed for a lovely normal Christmas period. Wanted to start 2018 with a 'new year, new me' attitude and all that shite...Dyed my hair blonde. Strong start. 

From a general Crohn's point of view though, we made it to January in a relatively normal state - no more hospital admissions, and I will take the small wins as and where I can! Also had both an outpatient appointment and a catch up pre-Christmas with my consultant. I mean it wasn't great news?! Essentially, your inflammatory markers should be around 50 and mine was coming in at 507. Whoopsy. Have a vitamin D deficiency too, but as far as I'm concerned, if ever there was an excuse to go ahead and get the honeymoon booked it was my body medically crying out for a bit of sunshine. And I finally got my iron infusion - second time lucky as the first time I had a temperature after the flu jab. Swings, roundabouts, etc. Was also still on the waiting list for the EUA from September - and herein lay the problem; THAT'S A VERY LONG TIME TO HAVE A POORLY BOTTOM.
But as of yesterday, I got my long-awaited EUA. All up in my personal space trying to figure out what exactly is happening with my ass. The surgeon came to see me beforehand as they do, and tried to explain to me what was going to happen. As with any type of IBD surgery, it's very much a case of consent to almost everything and then see what you wake up with. I know this. Yesterday was my 16th time in theatre. It's just a bit tough when they essentially say they don't know what's wrong with you.

I had an MRI in November and it showed that there was unusual activity in my pelvis. So then I was sent for the flexible sigmoidoscopy but they couldn't find anything? Yesterday's surgeon spoke to the people who carried out the MRI and the Flexi to literally try and get to the bottom of it. But to no avail, it seemed. The surgeon also mentioned that maybe the only way we can stop my bottom being such a pain, is to stop using it all together. That's an intimidating thought as having a permanent bag in this scenario would be more of a choice, rather than a necessity from emergency surgery. Brain. Fried. But hopefully that's a long way off before we have to weigh up all the pros and cons.

However, I knew I was pinning a lot on this EUA. Very much viewed it as: if you're physically up in there then surely you can see what's happening?! Alas, nothing is simple and to the naked eye they couldn't find any polyps, fistulas, abscesses or fissures. She did however confirm that I have erythema and induration on my right hand side. Personally I'd almost prefer her to tell me I just had piles like a normal person who's been pregnant but then that would be too simple! Anywho. After my EAU the surgeon came back out to see me and explained what she'd managed to do. Or not, in this case. I'm going to need an urgent MRI to reassess for presence of sepsis, with the plan to go back into theatre as she didn't want to delve further when going in blind. 

There was talk previously of botox, applied to the internal sphincter (cue jokes about the most youthful bumhole) but actually that was a no-go from the get-go. The botox paralyses the muscle and the last thing I need is help to go to the toilet. Any more urgency and I would be in a position where I thought I needed the toilet toilet and it turns out I'd have already been. I'm not even 30 yet. Let me get to Nana age before I start shitting myself on the regular!

Next on the list of fixing me, is a SeHCAT scan that I have tomorrow and again next Wednesday to see if I have a bile salt malabsorption. This is a double edged sword for me as it'll either show that yes indeed I have something wrong. Not ideal, but at least we'd know what we're dealing with. Equally if it shows that I don't have bile salt malabsorption, then we're very much still wondering what is wrong with me.
In other news, I started seeing the hospital psychologist. She's been amazing. She's helped me figure out that actually I am pretty well equipped with the 'tools' I thought I needed, and that maybe - just maybe - my expectations for myself were a little too high and that sometimes it's ok to just be ok. Being able to shift my mindset ever so slightly and not give myself a hard time when ill has done me the world of good. I feel more like I can take on the challenges Crohn's throws at me, whilst also maintaining my mama skills I was worried I'd lose because I'm the 'poorly mum'.
Towards the end of our last session we briefly discussed body image. I'd like to delve into this in slightly more detail so will do so in another post - mainly because it's something I've been struggling with of late, as I don't know what I look like anymore. What is my body after pregnancy and Crohn's flares? What shape am I? Who knows?! I certainly don't.

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