May 11th. That’s my surgery date. Now I know what you are thinking: “But Brevin, you accredited rocket scientist slash professional gunslinger, isn’t the Lost Season 5 Finale on May 13th?” Why yes, yes it is, but my priorities are shifting around. May 11th also gives me enough time to plan everything I need to address, like flying my mom out, taking care of the teams at work, and breaking up my 27 year old love affair with Kentucky Fried Chicken (it’s not you, it’s me. Although, you really let yourself go when you dropped the TransFats. Just saying.). I had my surgery consultation this past week at UCSF and I was fully prepared going in. I had medical records, a collection of color-coded questions broken down per category, you name it. But the thing that helped me out the most going in was doing research and getting support from this community. The surgeon super squad pretty much told me everything that I thought I was going to hear and yeah, while it’s still overwhelming and scary as hell, the preparation lessened the shock value. I received a lot of pamphlets on what to expect, what the surgery entails, how to care for it, etc. I haven’t read all of it yet, but I’ll bet money it’s better than Twilight fan-fiction. I’ll try to summarize as best I can on what they plan on doing with me. I’m still digesting the details, but this is what I gathered so far regarding the first surgery:
I’m Getting a Loop Ileostomy:
Poop comes out here!
I’m not quite sure why some people get an End Ileostomy and others get a Loop Ileostomy, but I’m getting the Loop one. I bet they explain in my information booklets, and Eric mentioned that it’s usually based on the patient’s health and urgency. I doodled the two types for review (and conveniently did not include poop in the drawings, free of charge).
Where The Scars Will Be. It seems that I’ll get a few lapro incisions with a 4 centimeter horizontal slice right above the pubic bone, similar to what Mark had. I’m amazed how medical technology can remove five feet of organ with these tiny scars. The more I think about it, the more I get creeped out by the mental image. The more I get creeped out, the more I appreciate the fact they can actually pull it off. My biggest concern was the already-present scar on the right side of my stomach (had it since I was a baby), but the surgeon said it shouldn’t factor into the surgery since I’m male (I guess this might have been a slight obstacle if I were female). I don’t know where the ileo-baggy will be placed yet, but at least I mentally blocked in the surgery scars:
The J-Pouch in Surgery One. I’m set up for a two part surgery. The first will remove my large intestine and create the j-pouch, with the loop ileostomy configured for my ileo-baggy. I then heal up for three months and go for the second surgery, which should be the Take-Down.
What’s Next. Pre-op is May 5th. That’s when they will check my tummy to see where the ileo-baggy will fit best. I’ll also be going for a CT scan of my small intestine to confirm that it’s not Crohn’s. Until then, I’m still shooting for my 2,500 to 3,000 calorie diet and trying to increase my protein intake. I’m allergic to peanuts so I can’t eat most of the protein bars, but I did find a giant box of chocolate chip Cliff bars at Costco. I also found an industrial size tub of mayonnaise, got some jerky samples, and regretted both 10 minutes later.