“Hey, Sistah Pat! Long time, no see! What’s been going on?”
Lots of bad stuff. Stuff I don’t want to think about, much less deal with. Remember that butt issue I mentioned a couple years ago? The occasional bowel incontinence? The “condition” resulting from the common practice of doing an episiotomy on just about every woman who had a baby in the 70s. Yeah? Well, it doesn’t go away. It just gets worse. TMI? Too bad. If you don’t want to know about it, better turn around and leave.
It doesn’t get better. The occasional minor(?) (as if any loss of control could be called minor) bowel incontinence just gets worse. More frequent. Less controllable. This last year, it’s gotten to where it’s making a significant impact on my life. I wear a pad all the time. Have you noticed that I don’t get in the hot tub anymore? Not that I have accidents all that often. It’s just that I never know when I’ll have one and can’t feel them when I do. So I have to be careful. I’ve become familiar with medical procedures like anal manometrys, proctographys and proctosigmoidoscopys. Not the kind of procedures you want to talk about.
And now…it’s just become too contolling. It determines whether or not I’ll go places with friends. It interferes with my job. It keeps me from exercising. It keeps me from eating fruits, salads, and vegetables. It’s gotten to the point where I stay pretty close to home and don’t do much of anything. High fiber diet? I don’t think so. The consequences are not pretty.
So I finally scheduled surgery for December 20th. I figured I’d have two weeks to recover. My doctor said I would be in the hospital five days but she might let me go home after four since it was Christmas. She said I might want to take an additional week off work so I decided to do some online research to see what the normal recovery time is. I mean, really, three weeks off work? I just don’t do that. I usually bounce back pretty fast and I thought five days in the hospital sounded ridiculous. I searched “sphincteroplasty” and the stuff I discovered scares me to death. I found out that the success rate is only about 49% and that the surgery often makes the problem a lot worse instead of better. I discovered that the recovery time is three to four months and most people recommend being off work at least 6 weeks. I read of cases where women had the surgery three and four times and it got worse each time and they finally wound up having a cholostomy. And I didn’t find a single post or writeup from anyone who had a complete recovery and was glad they’d had the procedure. Most of them seemed happy that they wound up with just occasional leaks and flatulance and that’s where I am right now before having surgery.
My doctor told me this is a problem affecting about 10% of the women in my age group who had children. Where the Hell are all these women? I don’t know anyone who has this condition. I don’t know anyone who’s had a sphincteroplasty.
I cancelled my surgery. I made an appointment with another specialist this coming Monday. I’m not interested in trying to diet or exercise right now. If I eat a lot of fiber, fruit, and veggies, I’m setting myself up for problems. If I exert myself with exercise, I have a leak to deal with. And we’re not talking urine. So I try to eat healthy. What does that mean? Without the massive amounts of fiber, fruits and veggies, I’m hungry all the time and I can’t even have a damn cigarette.
Okay, there you go. Not the kind of upbeat, cheery post I’d like to do but, at least, I’ve laid it all out there and you know why I’m just not that into losing weight right now. I think I’m doing okay to stay off the cigarettes and keep from going postal.