Jordon 2, Crohn’s 0: After a SECOND surgery I’m back to full health again

Hello… it’s me (Jordon, not Adele). I was wondering if after all these months you’d like to read…

I'm back! And while it feels I've been gone ages, but it’s been about two months since I told you’d I was going back under the knife in my second battle against Crohn’s disease - nearly a year to the day since my initial operation success, and roughly two years in total since my health first declined triggering a lengthy process of treatment then recovery – which for now at least seems to be complete. Phew.

Every single day throughout that time, my health was on my mind. It never controlled my life, but it was this little niggling felling that just couldn’t be shifted, because I knew and my body knew that something wasn’t right.

Well now, that should all be behind me. My final surgery to re-join my small and large intestines was a success, and I’m now back to ‘normal’ (whatever that means), and the way things were before.

If you haven’t read my earlier blogs on this, I’ve been battling Crohn’s disease for five years now and had a seriously nasty flare up in 2017. I was fitted with an ileostomy bag in July 2018 to remove the disease and give my bowels a rest. The latest surgery I’ve had was to re-attach my intestines and remove the ileostomy bag.

How was the surgery?

On the day itself, I had to be at the hospital at 7am ready to be admitted. I had to stop eating from midnight and drinking from 5am, so the car ride there left me with a very dry mouth. I was half tempted to stick my head out the window like a dog and catch some rain on my tongue (I didn’t).

As it happened, the surgery wouldn’t take place until 2pm, so there was an awful lot of waiting around and nodding off from not much sleep the night before. When the time came, I was elbowed awake from my slumber and got prepared to be taken down to surgery.

True story: I had a wheelchair pick me up to take me to the theatre, and on asking why I couldn’t have walked, the nurse said “It’s to stop people from escaping and doing a runner before surgery”. I’m not sure how true that is, but it certainly lightened the mood.

After signing my life away (literally… there was a line about accidental death on the consent form), I went into the theatre. In my first surgery, I distinctly remembered the words “We’ll see you later” as they put me under… but this time, all I remember is feeling coldness in my hand… and then nothing. I was gone. Probably still slightly shattered from the early start to be honest – I’m not a morning person at the best of times.

The surgery took just over an hour, which for this procedure was pretty quick. They cut a hole around where I had my stoma, and pulled both ends out of that hole in my stomach, stitched it all back up and put me back together, luckily with no complications. Of course, I didn’t know any of that until I’d fully woken up, but it’s pretty amazing they did all that so quickly.

When I came round, somehow I was able to recite my mum’s phone number for the nurse to ring her. I was quite impressed! The first evening after the surgery, I didn’t feel much pain at all. I knew it wasn’t as severe as the last, but I was surprised by how well I was feeling. The following day I realised it was the copious amounts of painkillers I was on after the surgery, because the next morning… boy did I feel it!

Despite being sore (to say the least), I got through it on only paracetamol. I was offered morphine and other painkillers to ease the pain, but I didn’t find it severe enough to warrant the strength of those drugs and their side effects (am I a brave boy or what?)

Just 48 hours after having the surgery, I was released from hospital. I thought this was ridiculously quick, and I didn’t feel like I should be leaving so soon, but I met all the criteria to go, so I spent the rest of the time recovering on the sofa in front of my TV and Xbox.

This surgery was very different from before. With the first operation, I was all by myself in the days leading up to and on the day of surgery as the hospital was too far away for my mum to get there in time. This time, however, both my mum and my partner of nine months were there to support me. They were there all day long, and it certainly made the experience less frightening having them by my side.

How are you feeling now?

I feel near enough back to normal. I’m eating again with no issues and, dare I say it, I’m eating a lot healthier now than I ever used to before. I’ve started eating vegetables and foods that are better for me… and enjoying them. I don’t know what they did to me on that operating table! Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still be enjoying my usual McDonald’s and Subway lunches, but they just might have a splash of green in them from now on.

The last remaining thing to get me back to full health is for my wound to heal. It’s taking longer than expected for the skin to heal back over the hole they cut in my belly, hence I need to change a dressing over it every few days to keep it clean and aid healing. I can’t have a bath or get it wet in the meantime, so I hope it won’t be too long. Don’t worry though, I am still washing. No need for pegs if you’re near me.

For the first time in several years, I’m now able to live a normal life without much concern over health, which is honestly a massive weight off my shoulders. It feels good, and long may it continue.

What’s next for you?

Health wise, with a bit of luck I should remain stable for a while (or indefinitely). There is always a risk the disease could return, though hopefully never with the same severity as before. I’ll be closely monitored for a while to make sure there is no disease coming back.

As for work, it’s back to normality. For the past few months, I’d usually be watching The Chase about now… but I’m pleased to be back at MSE Towers and scheming some new blogs to work on for the rest of the year. It won’t be long until Black Friday and then the Christmas sales… so I’m sure I’ll be keeping busy! I’m also excited to be doing some event hosting soon too, at a money bloggers’ award show in Washington DC and then in London the week after. MoneySaving never stops!

So from now, you can expect normal service to resume. I have made sure to use my time off to just detach myself from social media and blogging to focus on resting, and it’s definitely helped. But now it’s time to get back to work, and save as many people money as possible.

I hope you’ve taken something from this series, and I personally hope it’s the last I have to write! If you’d like to know more about Crohn’s disease, please visit the Crohn’s & Colitis UK website.

If you know someone who’s been through a similar situation, feel free to comment below, on Twitter or Facebook. If by sharing my story I can help someone else, it will all have been worthwhile.