Body piercing comes FREE with colon surgery!!

Give me a break it's March in Oregon

The epitome of style
The epitome of style

Another surprise!

continued from Part I...

When I woke up from my operation I had another surprise.  Stitches are no longer in vogue.  The latest thing is staples and I had a dozen or so of them in my belly.  At right is an actual photo of my stylin' body piercing.  My tummy is obviously not at its most attractive right now but give it a break... it's been through a lot.  Once I've worked it over for a couple months I'll publish the "after"  shot with the cool scar, the muscles all rehabbed and the skin all tanned. 

According to the surgeons, stapling is better because it bunches up the skin so there is no tension on the parts that are growing back together.  I assume they sewed the underlying muscles back together with dissolving stitches.  Well it feels quite prickly and every time you move you feel like you are going to rupture something.   They cautioned me to be careful when moving about and move slowly and that is sooooo not my style. 

Overheard in the OR

A slight glitch in the operation

Interestingly enough my evil polyp was not where the endoscopy doctor said it was. He said right at the "splenic flexture" (sounds so official doesn't it?) which is where the colon bends and goes horizontal over to the liver side. It was actually quite a bit further in. I'm guessing it's because they failed to adjust the measurements for the fact that I am a smaller than average individual. In order to locate the tumor in the real world (using the tattoo as a marker) the surgery team had already punched three laproscopy holes in the left side. You can see them quite clearly in the photo above. If they had known where it really was, I suspect they would have punched the holes on the other side for a better angle.  I suspect also that is the reason I ended up with a vertical rather than the promised horizontal incision.  Think about it... if the tool is inserted from the left and crosses the midline, the easiest egress will be through a vertical incision.  The comic strip is my concept the moment they made this discovery in the OR. Perhaps it is a deep memory from anasthesia or perhaps I just made it up. Who cares? It had to have been something like that!

Do not eat the restricted diet foods in hospital

One way or another the procedure was finished and I found myself awake, pumped full of morphine and trapped in a hospital bed with a catheter and a tummy that hurt even to breathe.  After a while the doctors had listened to my tummy and determined that it was no longer paralyzed from the surgery, so they allowed me to have "clear liquids". This means essentially salty water or sugar water in the form of "broth", Jell-O, sugary "juice", or popsicles, all of them entirely nutritionally bankrupt. I had my husband bring in some canned vegetable broth instead. I quickly advanced to "full liquids" where you have a much larger selection, but they all turn out to be various forms of white-flour based flavored wallpaper paste. I've been told that the regular hospital menu has improved a lot in recent years, but the restricted diet patients  still get nutritionally shorted, just like 20 years ago when I worked in a hospital kitchen. Get me out of here so I can get some REAL nutrition and some SLEEP! I was thinking.

The medical establishment minimizes nutrition as therapy because they have important things to worry about, such as drugs. Oh just get some calories in 'em, is how they think. That thinking is borne of ignorance and indifference and I predict it will change radically in the next couple decades. It is pretty well accepted among alternative practitioners and healers who are not all tangled up with the big pharmaceutical-medical establishment  that consumption of excessive sugar and refined white flour actually promotes the growth of cancer, so it seems a little odd to be stuffing exclusively salt, sugar and white flour down someone who just had surgery for potential CANCER!! There are TONS of healthy nutritious and delicious soups, smoothies, and soft foods you can eat after colon surgery, none of which involve sugar or white flour. The hospital of the future will have its own organic farm.  That is the only way to guarantee  feeding   patients truly the best!

Through sheer will power I got released from that hospital less than 48 hours after they closed my tummy. I educated my husband a little bit on how to feed me and he came through beautifully. I went off my pain med the next day and I saved the Vicodin for truly excrutiating pain such as back pain. Now I could rest, relax, and clear the toxic residues of anasthesia, pain meds, proton pump inhibitors and all the rest of the junk that they pumped into my veins. Milk thistle tincture is an excellent supplement to help your liver deal with toxins.  I also had Chinese trauma pills, Vitamin E for the incision, and the firm intention to get this incision out into the sun if the fickle Oregon spring weather would cooperate.  

Beauty is in the eye...

Remembering the occasion in verse

I close this hub with this piece of truly bad poetry.  One of my friends remarked that the fourth stanza is so bad it's good.  I had to get the Tri-Lyte in there somehow.  It was one of the highlights of the whole ordeal.  Anyway, no Poetry Pulitzers for me but I hope it makes you chuckle: 

There once was a girl named Colleen

who expected her scope to be clean.

When they looked up her butt

they said, "Honey guess what!

There's a huge polyp there that looks mean.

There's only one thing we can do:

hack a section of gut out of you.

But we'll stitch you up fine

with high quality twine

And you will be almost like new.

Now Colleen, please do not be blue.

We gave you a colon tattoo.

When they open your gut

They'll see just where to cut

And things will go better for you.

Now here is a gallon of Tri-lyte

Drink a cup each 10 minutes and go shite.

Keep on goin' to the john

till the Tri-Lyte is gone

or your poo runs as clear as the daylight."

They persuaded Colleen to recline

And they probed and they slit her midline

After moments of doubt

The bad polyp came out

And the best news of all was:  BENIGN. 

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Comments 23 comments

Bill Beavers 7 years ago

Congratulations on the outcome of your experience. The last time I was in hospital I had my tonsils out at probably age 9 or so. I'm not 64 and I'm going to be the absolute worst patient anyone could have when my time comes. Hope you are mending just fine.

anjalichugh profile image

anjalichugh 7 years ago from New York

I don't know what to say here. You've been through tough times and thank God it's over. The way you summarized your predicament in the form of a poem was brilliant and ingenious. Stay strong and healthy. We all want you to keep writing amazing hubs.

hot dorkage profile image

hot dorkage 7 years ago from Oregon, USA Author

Thanks for the kind words!!

Score Colleen 1 Cancer 0. I have none of the lifestyle markers for colon cancer, only the familial trait. Staples come out tomorrow. Let's hear it for a healthy lifestyle. I attribute that and all the prayers of all my friends to the outcome. In the days before the Tri-Lyte purge I was chowing down on all the healthy green things I could get my little teeth into because I knew it would be a while before I could have things like raw salad again.

I was afraid to be a bad patient because I was afraid they would take revenge on me by keeping me there longer. But I did bitch rather loudly about the food. Those nurses aren't stupid. They know it's crap too.

Anyway hubbers, If I had had my colonoscopy when I should, this whole thing probably would have been avoided. I wouldn't wish it on anybody. After age 50, colonoscopy is usually covered, and if you have family history or other markers you can make a case for getting it at age 45. The purge for the colonoscopy is only two liters instead of a gallon, it tastes better, and you drink it in two batches. If your colonoscopy is clear, you're good to go for another ten years. DO NOT PUT IT OFF. IF YOU NEED ONE, SCHEDULE IT TODAY!!

funride profile image

funride 7 years ago from Portugal

Congratulations, I´m glad to know it was benign and that all went well. Good advise btw.

As to the piercings I also had my share: a dozen on my left wrist and more than 25 on the right one. But all of those were taken... the ones they left on me are all inside my face and I can only see them over the Xray lol.

Take care

Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 7 years ago from USA

I'm so glad everything turned out for you! "Benign" is a wonderful word to hear, isn't it?

Your sense of humor about this is remarkkable! I LOVE the "Occasion in Verse"!

Now I must go read the first one. A bit out of order, I am!

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

Hot Dorkage, you're a real trooper! Glad to see it all turned out well. Good poem!

hot dorkage profile image

hot dorkage 7 years ago from Oregon, USA Author

I still feel like I am going to rupture and guts and alien heads and stuff are going to burst out of my middle every time I stand up. My very good friend Peter, who has a scar in a similar place, says it takes a month or more before you can get out of bed easily. Surgeon swears the vertical incision is best. I wouldn't know, I don't have any others to compare it to. Anyway I got all the gory pictures so they'll go up in a few days. :P And of course after I had it done I found they are doing this procedure with a combo lap/endo that doesn't open the abdominal cavity at UCLA. Lap and endo are both a piece of cake. Oh well, future polyp victims will have even less reason to worry.

B.T. Evilpants profile image

B.T. Evilpants 7 years ago from Hell, MI

I sure am glad everything came out ok! Benign is a beautiful word, indeed!

Given my proclivity for doing stupid things, I am no stranger to staples. you are correct in your asumption that they stitched up the inside first. I've had that done on various parts of my body, through the years. I hope you heal quickly!

Kulsum Mehmood profile image

Kulsum Mehmood 7 years ago from Nagpur, India

Colleen, I am glad and relieved of worries to learn that the diagnosis was "Benign". I am happy for you. Your sense of humour and your poem writing skills are applaudable. Do take good care of yourself.

marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 7 years ago from USA

ewwww with recent colon pain and bloating, this hub got my attention. I wish you well and thanks, i think, for sharing this journey!!!

hot dorkage profile image

hot dorkage 7 years ago from Oregon, USA Author

Thanks Marisue! I hope you find the cause of your issues, and whatever it is I hope you don't have to be cut open. As a previous surgery virgin I had no idea how much surgery sucks but now I know. Avoid it if at all possible. Well the progress is: it's not such a production to sit up now. (still not doing straight situps, but situps were never very good exercises to begin with.) I've started some gentle yoga, I even ran a mile yesterday with a home made tummy corset on and most importantly I can sing after a fashion. Carmina Burana is probably not the ideal rehab singing material (it's pretty intense!) but that's what's going on now. Tum still feels like it has rocks in it but I can make them go away if I concentrate, so I guess they are just muscle spasms. Anyway, hope to have it all flat and buff like it was in another four weeks.

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

Hot Dorkage, hope you continue to make progress and get completely back to normal soon.

This is kind of off topic, but I was fascinated by what you wrote about your son. I've noticed that in a lot of families, the son (or a son) resembles the mother and the daughter (or a daughter) resembles the father. Do you think it's a coincidence that the child who most nearly is like you (both inside and out) is the opposite sex?

hot dorkage profile image

hot dorkage 7 years ago from Oregon, USA Author

I have two of each. The other son favors his dad. Both daughters favor Dad in looks but the younger one is more like me in temperament. I have no idea why this pattern seems to emerge. I look like my dad and my closest brother favors my mom. My other brother favors Dad, My first younger sister favors mom. And my youngest sister, like me, favors Dad.

Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

Hot Dorkage, thanks for answering even though it was off topic. I guess it could go either way, if you get a large enough statistical sampling.

Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

What an ordeal! I'm so glad it turned out to be benign. I also had a stay in hospital a while ago, and I know what you mean about the food. An organic farm on an adjacent plot would be a fantastic idea. So much illness is caused by poor nutrition, and sick people deserve the best food available to help them heal. I hope you're well on the road to recovery now!

hot dorkage profile image

hot dorkage 7 years ago from Oregon, USA Author

We just gotta keep preaching that mantra Amanda! Maybe not in your or my lifetime but if enough people demand it, the suppliers of hospital restricted diets will have to change their ways. The internet is a great pulpit.

I'm healed over now and focused on improving the scarred area. Probably a hub on scar rehab is in the works if I am successful.

2patricias profile image

2patricias 7 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

Just read this 2 months after your wrote it - hope you are much recovered by now.

Pat says - I could barely look at the photo of the staples! yuck. Last year I had an endosopy of my lower colon. A friend who has had a polyp removed told me to watch carefully for smooth, pink surfaces. So I elected to watch the process on the TV monitor, which at least distracted me from the discomfort/indignity of it all. The result was all clear - my digestive problems have another (less complicated) source.

My favourite part of the Hub was your description of hospital food.

So pleased your result was Benign. By the way, when I opened this Hub, the ad at the top of the page was for 'short break holidays'.

hot dorkage profile image

hot dorkage 7 years ago from Oregon, USA Author

haha, short break holidays indeed! That's the irony, before this all happened I had no digestive problems to speak of. 2 mo. later I can lift things and do setups and backbends again, and I have finally started gaining back the weight I lost. However I guess the old innards will never be quite the same. (since you are a gardener, think of a spliced piece of garden hose) Tum is a lot noisier now, I can feel things moving around a lot more, and I am, as they say, "scarred for life." yes I'm definitely gonna keep an eye on those boys as well as the internal landscape during the next colonoscopy, which, for me will be March 2010. And I'm beyond indiginity now. Having a camera poked up there will be small potatoes compared to some joker slicing his way in with a knife. What does smooth and pink mean? From the pictures, all of it was kind of yellow colored.

2patricias profile image

2patricias 7 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

The surface of the inside of your colon should look smooth - although there are little pockets where things like tomato seeds can lurk - and the colour should be pink. That's how it looked on the monitor - not sure how a still photo would look.

hot dorkage profile image

hot dorkage 7 years ago from Oregon, USA Author

All the stills looked pretty smooth and I guess kinda pinkish yellow except for the bad bit. It will be interesting to watch it live next time. Wouldn't miss it. I wasn't really interested in my colon as long as I thought it was fine, guess that's all changed.

Feonoryn 5 years ago

I am sorry for what have you been thru. Awesome sense of humor. I am glad it was benign (dumb doctors). Want to know something funny?! I found your article when I was searching for advise in how to deal with the fact that my sisters are upset at me for getting a tattoo...hahaha not very related but somehow I do not mind that they are upset anymore; I am 28, married and pay my own bills ;) Hope you are 100% recovered already.

Linda Hoove 4 years ago

I am about to take your same journey. Reading your aticle has eased my fear of the surgery. I am still nervous but have great confidence that they will remove all troubled areas and I will be back on the mend soon. Thanks for writing this taricle.

Melaine Cooper profile image

Melaine Cooper 3 years ago

Thank you so much for the funny upbeat story. Yesterday, I got the path report and was told I would be tattooed before surgery. Being a bit shell shocked it did not occur to me to ask about the tattooing. I always told my daughter she could get a tattoo only after I got one. Does this count?

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