So for my first post of 2017, I thought it was about time I posted an update. I am now five months post op, which is pretty hard to believe! So much has happened in that time, but the op feels like five minutes ago.
I can now do pretty much everything I could before - I can sit comfortably on any chair, swim, drive and get back to exercising. Aside from maybe riding a bike, I'm back to normal, although that would be a pretty abnormal event for me at the best of times.
I had a follow up appointment with my surgical team last week and ended up seeing my actual surgeon, the top dog, who I've not really seen since I was discharged from hospital in September. He took a look at all the wounds/scars and said he was really happy with how everything was going. Although my tail end wound hasn't 100% healed yet, he discharged me from his team, which is a very good sign. It means I am out of the woods and there isn't much that could now go wrong. I won't be seeing the team again and have no need for another appointment. It was odd saying bye to him, he's done the most incredible job and completely changed my life, a thank you doesn't seem enough. He told me to stay away from surgeons and that I've been a model & brilliant patient, I said I would hopefully not be seeing him again too soon... in the nicest possible way of course. Obviously, I am never one to speak too soon or ever get my hopes up but if my surgeon thinks it's okay to discharge me, it must be good, I just need to trust him.
All my other wound sites are now just scars and are already fading, which is brilliant. It took me a while to adjust to the new Margaret, the stoma is further up the digestive track so there are some minor differences to how she behaves. I've also had a small infection under the skin, under the stoma which is annoying and persistent but nothing awful and compared to everything else I've put up with, is a walk in the park.
A few weeks ago I went away for a mini trip with three of my closest friends to the Cotswold's which was so relaxing and the first time I had been away since the op. Tomorrow I am headed to Spain for a five day winter sun break and a breather following a very busy couple of months with Chroma. I'm a little nervous as I'll have to put a new dressing on my tail end wound every day, which isn't the easiest thing to do, but my nurse has given me the go ahead, so I'm just going to go and enjoy myself as much as possible.
After years of wanting to but never finding the right group or time, as well as being poorly a lot, I have finally taken up ballroom and latin dancing, which I am loving so much. After 18 months of not being able to exercise and spending most of my spare time on the sofa as well as this 5 month surgery recovery, it's safe to say my legs don't know what's hit them. My fitness levels are on the floor and my weak knee muscles, especially, really ache after an hour of dancing. It does, however, feel amazing to be able to exercise again and do something I really love.
The rest of the year is looking brilliant, with lots of exciting things coming up. I'm finding it really hard to believe it's all okay and that going forward I should remain healthy. I've spent far too long anticipating bad news, which has often then come. I think it's going to take me a while to fully get my head around the fact I'm doing alright and no longer need to be on high alert.