Sunday, April 8, 2018

Dear Kids,
         Two more days until my surgery.  I know it won’t be a piece of cake, but at least I’ll start improving, instead of going downhill, like now.  This week has been really hard, with lots of pain at my lower end, and it’s been getting worse every day.  Tomorrow I’m supposed to do the “cleanout” prep for the surgery, which is just like the prep for a colonoscopy, and I simply can’t.  The pain would be too terrible.  I’ll call my doctor in the morning and see what options there are.  Maybe I could go to the clinic and have a morphine shot.  Maybe they can clean me out just before they operate.  There’s got to be something they do for people like me.  Or, what if the patient is unconscious?  What if it’s an emergency?   I’m sure they can be creative.
         I’ll probably be in the hospital for about 4 days.  They keep you until your new system is totally working, with food making it all the way through your intestines and out into the bag.  I met with the colostomy nurse, Rochelle, who’s really nice.  (They have to be nice in this business!) There are lots of different kind of bags, and ways to do it.  She told me about people who found a whole new life with this setup: swimmers, golfers, people who were finally able to travel, and one lady who finally was able to go on a cruise.  The bags are really flat, and you can wear your normal clothes.   The nurse had me sit down and stand up and bend from side to side, and then marked with an “x” where the ostomy (the hole) will be, so the bag won’t be in the way of anything I do.  I feel really confident now, and I’m looking forward to my new life.
         The bad news is that I’ll be on a really restricted diet for at least two months, and there’s no promise that I can ever eat absolutely everything.  Here I’d been looking forward to eating anything I wanted to, as soon as the bag was in place.  Wednesday morning, at Winco, I was looking at all the foods I want to start eating, and absolutely drooling.  But it will take time.
         Yesterday afternoon Tom came by with three of his kids, and we put him right to work on my new computer.  I had a long list of things that weren’t working quite right, and he fixed everything in about 10 minutes.  Dad and I often talk about you kids and your skills, and how they benefit us.  Just think: We have an eye doctor, a computer expert, a cop, an engineer, a teacher, more than one speech therapist, a food expert, a licensed landscape architect, and a soon-to-be nurse.  We have everything we need!  Plus a lot of love and cooperation among you.  Dad and I love you all so much!
         Thanks again for your prayers.  Please pray especially hard for me on Tuesday!
         Love, Mom