This is my personal blog about my health battle following surgery going wrong. I have had health issues since I was 25 but nothing like the experiences I have encountered over the past two years. I had an ileostomy ( removal of large bowel or colon) aged 29 for bowel disease but my general health was then good. I then suffered from severe endometriosis and my gynaecologist at the time treated it by repeatedly aspirating cysts in the peritoneal cavity, he did this over a 20 year period and whilst it kept me relatively pain free allowing me to work and have a good life, It created a monster. The ferocity of the monster only emerged in 2015 when I went in for a hysterectomy which turned out to the much trickier than expected. My bowel perforated and left me with Fistula. A fistula is an abnormal connection between the bowel and, in my case, the skin – Enteroctauneous Fistula. It is described as a catastrophic surgical complication and doesn’t make good reading.
I had lived with it for two years and my surgeon felt it was now safe to go in and repair it. Life with a fistula can be miserable with frequent infections requiring antibiotics and painkillers far more frequently than is ideal. Even on good days, I had no real stamina although how much of that was depression I cant really quantify. It stopped us going on holiday, going out for meals and generally doing many of the things middle aged couples do. I had become quite depressed and bitterly regretted ever having the hysterectomy. I spent a lot of time in my bedroom looking out the window, it had pushed my marriage of 36 years to breaking point. It coincided with my mother having a brain haemorrhage and ending up in care – a terrible time.
I had many reservations about the repair of this fistula – in my defence ( most people know me as a worrier) every doctor I had spoken to apart from my surgeon had said leave well alone as I could end up worse off. But my surgeon said at just 56, with a healthy gut apart from this one area, (there was no Chrons or evidence of disease,), he was confident he could fix this. My long suffering husband was keen ‘to have his wife back ‘ as well as his life. This major health setback had robbed us of our retirement and our plans. On saying that, my goalposts are far lower than my husbands but even so this was very restricting and if it could be fixed, then I had to try. I so wanted to be well for my family especially as I now had a beautiful granddaughter Cerys, who had been born January 16 – a true shining light in our lives. I also had my twin nephews to whom I’m sort of gran owing to their own grans being ill so yes I really wanted to be well again. So I said to my consultant – yes go ahead and arrange it…..
“It is hard to fail, but it worse to never have tried to succeed “