Where it all went wrong

My husband, Jeffrey, is a fantastic driver, and we have an all-wheel drive Subaru Forrester, which handles really well in the snow so, despite treacherous driving conditions (heavy storm, low visibility, slick roads, snow drifts, iced-up windshield wipers, thick snowfall,) we made it to the pharmacy and home safely, yesterday. It helped that there were very few people on the road.But, DAMN, was it scary. What should have been a 30-40 minute drive took us 2 hours. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to arrive home.

Poor Jeffrey had to do all the shoveling and snow blowing yesterday (driveway, front porch, back yard paths for the dogs), as I cannot lift anything over 5 pounds or bend for the next few weeks. He went out twice yesterday and is out again this morning. The snow is heavy, and it is very cold, so it is no small or easy task for him. All i can do is offer encouragement and apologies that I can’t help. Of course, he can write his name in the snow and I can’t, right now, so it all evens out.  *smirk*

I am doing better today. I got a good night sleep, and everything is less sore and less swollen. I am pretty mobile,  and am getting up and around relatively easily, all things considered.  At the risk of oversharing, (hey, we’re bloggers, that’s what we do, right?) here’s the explanation of my current surgery:

For those new to my blog, I am one of those people who pulled the short straw from the genetic pool, and have had a bevy of health issues, mostly involving my digestive and intestinal tract, i.e. Irritable Bowel Disease (“IBD”)

I was diagnosed with severe Ulcerative Colitis in 1998 (I was 27 at the time, and never head a serious health problem prior) and had a total Colectomy in 1999, which involved a total of 3 surgeries. Since then, I’ve had several other surgeries: 2 surgeries to have large kidney stones removed, one from each kidney; 2 hernia repairs; and 2 more surgeries to clear up intestinal scar tissue and “kinks”.   Needless to say, between the scar lines and stretch marks, my abdomen looks like a road map. (Which is ironic, since I have no directional sense, and can’t find my way around the block without a GPS…and even then.)

Almost all of these surgeries required Catheterization. Somewhere early on, a catheter damaged my urethra, causing scar tissue. This scar tissue caused strictures to occur, restricting urine flow.  (If you’ve never experienced this – it can be very painful and, ultimately, life threatening.) I’ve had 3 or 4  Endoscopic Urethrotomies to cut the scar tissue, but it keeps coming back. Yesterday, I had Urethroplasty, to  remove all the scare tissue and transplant tissue from my mouth (inside lower lip area) to my urethra, in the hopes of staving off further scar tissue growth and recurring strictures. It has an 80% success rate, so odds are good this will be a permanent fix. There were some serious risks to this surgery, but their were serious risks to not doing it, so it was a no-brainer when deciding to have it done. All went well and there were no complications. Best case scenario, I will have the catheter removed in 3 weeks; worst case, 6 weeks. Fortunately, I got approval to work from home, starting Monday, March 20th, and State Offices were closed yesterday due to the weather, so I am only losing a total of 4 days accrued time for this whole event.

I came to terms with being a walking health issue a long time ago, and mostly don’t let it get me down but, occasionally, it still gets to me and I get a little depressed, weary, and downtrodden. I do try my best to keep a stiff upper lip, even if that lip is swollen, chapped, and sore.  Also, a supportive and doting husband, an understanding and supportive best friend, 2 adorable and loving dogs, a bevy of concerned and encouraging friends and bloggers, and a good sense of humor make it all a bit more bearable.

Cookies and cosmos help, as well.

24 thoughts on “Where it all went wrong

  1. Yes, looking towards a smooth and accelerated return to normality for you, S/b. I was aware of your general condition from your previous posts, which involved filling in some gaps, but not to the detailed extent you’ve given here. Makes me appreciate what I have even more, my petty troubles being nothing more than a flea-bite compared with those of you and some other blog pals. But thank heavens for Jeffrey, bless him, (which I know you’re already doing), and wallow in the unconditional friendship and proximity of your two little furry ones who’ll also be valuing you very bit as much as anyone could wish. They must surely be helping you to keep your chin up.
    Go well my friend.


  2. Oh Sassy, I am so sorry you’re undergoing these health issue. And so young. What a shame that you have scar tissue from catheterization. I’ve always avoided catheterization because of the problems my younger brother had with a bad catheterization. That tissue is so sensitive. However, three years ago I could no longer avoid catheterization because of a kidney stone that was stuck in my uretha and I had to undergo an operation to remove it and then leave in the catheter because I had more kidney stones ready to “drop.” I had one of those pulverization procedures to blast away the rest of the kidney stones. Now the kidney stones have returned. I think one has passed but I again have others ready to drop. Reading of your problems with catheterization I am even more resistant to a repeat of that dangerous procedure. But I realize that sometimes catheterization is necessary, because it could be lifesaving. What a shame a wonderful person as young as you have to go through this. Thank goodness you have a loving spouse taking care of you.


  3. I am a newbie to your blog, and I wondered from your last post what your medical procedure was. I was going to ask in the comment section, but I didn’t want to ask something that you might not want to discuss. Thanks for your post explaining your various medical procedures. You have a great attitude about it all I am glad you have your husband and dogs to help you through this phase. I had a cardiac ablation for an irregular heartbeat back in November of 2015 and I had to have a catheterization and I hated it. So, I can only imagine what you have gone through.

    There is nothing like a good dog to help lift one’s spirits. I do not know what I would do without my dog….or my Subaru Forester. It has been the car that has seen me through some pretty rough times and I can always count on it to get me through just about anything!


    • Only people who have been through serious medical issues can really appreciate how difficult it is. I’m not shy about the details, just like to avoid whining about my lot in life too often 🙂


  4. Talk to your Urologist about a procedure called “Buccal mucosa graft urethroplasty.” It involves harvesting mucosal tissue from inside the mouth (not pleasant, but things do heal). My lead was the head of Urology at Walter Reed National Military Center, with the surgery performed at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. Two to three day in-hospital recovery, and then a few week with a caterer to allow the new “plumbing” to heal. The mouth will be sore!!
    While your partner is out shoveling, make him something special like a hot chocolate (or stronger)


  5. Some of us go through those periods in our lives where we become the “walking health issue” that you speak of. Fortunately for me, it was during my infancy. Had it been later in life with those same issues, I would be a “nervous nellie.” It makes me proud of what my parents had to endure. But at the same time, I have to continuously ask my parents at this time in my life about exactly what went wrong or what the cerebral surgeries entailed. Thankfully, no lobotomies.
    Again, wishing you a quick recovery and continued mending!!


  6. You’ve filled in a few details, so now I understand better. Thanks for that. I didn’t want to ask…

    I certainly hope your recovery goes well. That sounds like a procedure you’ll be glad to have had AFTER everything heals. Right now it sounds quite uncomfortable. Best wishes, my dear.

    Hot cocoa! Just the thing for a snowy day. It rarely snows here, but when it does I make hot cocoa. Except last Saturday when it snowed a little bit. There just wasn’t enough snow or any excuse to go out in it to justify making a pot of hot cocoa. And/or I was too lazy. I did make two pies Tuesday for Pi(e) day (3/14… 3.14) so maybe that makes up for no hot cocoa?

    It’s late; I’m tired and rambling. I’ll just leave this here. (love you!)


  7. Ah, life. I’m glad your procedures went well and that the prognosis is good. You project incredible spirit! Hang in there! Puppies and supportive husbands are a good start. 🙂


  8. Wishing a permanent and healthy recovery. So sorry that you have had to go through all these health issues, but also so glad you have a supportive partner and best friend. Take care, rest LOTS and enjoy the hugs and kisses from loved ones (including those adorable pups)


  9. You have my sympathies. Me I’ve been fairly fortunate about the worst I’ve ever had is inner ear infection that left scar tissue that leaves me partially deaf now.

    And it was one hell of a windy storm we got – and my facebook friend were all “It’s the white death from the sky!” and I laughed. First they predicted 18″, then 16″ then 14″ then 12″ then 6″. We got about 4 inches followed by rain that turned everything to slush, then it froze into ice. It’s just started melting away. And we’re now three days out from the beginning of Spring.


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