by on Sunday, January 4, 2009 18:50
This entry is filed under: Coping/Support


I am in the planning phases of the second surgery so I thought I’d share a little bit about what’s going on.

Most of my life is currently revolving around getting my PhD proposal completed before I have my surgery. Everyone is being very helpful in supporting this process. I feel it will be much easier for me to recover if I have that under my belt.

I have pre-op testing on Jan. 19 and surgery is scheduled for Feb.10 (I was unable to get it moved back). Unless an urgent case, such as a cancer patient, comes in, I will be going for my second surgery. The surgeon is going to try to do it in one surgery but it will be two more if it doesn’t go “perfectly”, according to him. I will be in the hospital for about 5-10 days and 2 months for recovery afterward. If I need a third surgery, it will take place 4 months after this one.

I am really trying to exert control this time, perhaps because last time was such a surprise and I felt like I had no control. I am doing lots of planning — getting school and work things in order, getting things to read/watch/listen to while I’m recovering, thinking about what I want to bring to the hospital, planning food that I will want when I get home, organizing visitors so that I have a people visiting me a different times (I have a few people that are coming in from out of town to visit). I find the planning part does make me feel better about it. I am also trying to be realistic about how difficult it will be — actually, I’m likely overestimating it to be on the safe side. I just try to tell myself that of course it will be difficult and at times I will feel very overwhelmed but it will get better. It has to be less difficult than last time and I got through that, so I can get through this one. I am also very excited to move past this chapter in my life although I hope I can try to remember how lucky I am once I have some distance from this whole experience. Things could have always been much worse.

These posts might also help out:

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5 Responses to “Planning”

  1. avatar

    Dennis says:

    January 4th, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    What is going to happen in your second surgery? Are they making the j-pouch and taking down the ileostomy, with the possibility of just making the j-pouch and leaving the ileostomy in? After my second surgery I was in the hospital for three days, should’ve been in there four looking back on it but that’s all. The recovery wasn’t too bad. I didn’t go to work until 3.5 weeks later. The recovery after that wasn’t too eventful but I just took it easy for another 3 weeks or so just to play it safe. Take care,


  2. avatar

    Mark says:

    January 6th, 2009 at 7:49 am

    I love this post about planning. I planned my surgeries in my own way, trying to get it organized with my work and with Megan’s work (she too was trying to get her proposal ready during my surgeries). I found having the ability to plan and be in “control” of my exterior life was really helpful in helping me prepare mentally for the recovery.


  3. avatar

    Jenelle says:

    January 7th, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    Hi Dennis,

    Yes, that’s exactly right. The surgeon plans to make the J-pouch and takedown the ileostomy, but will just make the j-pouch and takedown the ileo in another surgery (4 months later) if needed. I’m pleased to hear about your short recovery time! Last time when I went in I was there for 2 months, so anything will be better than that but I’m certainly not looking forward to it, particularly the constantly being woken up at night.



  4. avatar

    Jenelle says:

    January 7th, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Hi Mark,

    It’s interesting how similar people’s reactions to situations can be! I really think it’s a balance between surgery and, well, life!



  5. avatar

    UC Story to J-pouch Life says:

    January 10th, 2009 at 8:21 am

    […] 4 days can mean a lot. This experience has taught me that I can plan all I like (and oh do I ever love to plan) but flexibility is important, […]

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