Since my stoma reversal I have been hell bent on getting myself fit, so a few months ago I joined the local leisure centre, 2-3 times a week you’ll find me there attempting to swim like an agile Olympian. It did take me a few sessions to get into the rhythm of it and now you’ll see me doing lap after lap with some sort of ease and hopefully a little grace. I felt great and very pleased with myself for how quickly I was building muscle and strength through swimming and yoga practice at home. Bowel movements were averaging around 4 times a day, still diarrhoea and still couldn’t tolerate certain things like skins on any vegetables or raw onions. I was generally pleased with the progress that I had made.
One night whilst in bed asleep I woke up to the feeling that I was about to throw up, so I ran to the bathroom and my mouth just filled with water and I had intense stomach cramps. I wasn’t sick, but I knew this feeling all too well. This was my daily routine before all the surgery. This carried on for a few more days and in my naivety I just carried on hoping the feeling would pass. I knew I had an appointment at the hospital in a few weeks and I could hold on till then. A few more days passed and the stomach pain began to affect my appetite, I couldn’t face up to a meal where before I would be constantly grazing and gorging!
My energy levels had depleted significantly to the point I’d drag myself out of bed onto the couch and stay there all day. I didn’t leave the house for 3 days. BM had reduced significantly and the cramps were happening regularly. This was definitley a flare up and me ignoring it wasn’t helping anything, so I had no choice and rang the hospital and was able to be seen the very next day by one of the Gastro doctors. At first he tried to tell me that it was the Loperamide that was making me feel sick and bunging me up too much. I know Doctors know more than me, but this is my body and there was no way I was walking out of his office with no medication or future investigations pending. He eventually prescribed me a course of Prednisolone. This is type of steroid that is generally used in the short term. The list of side effects is as long as your arm and you have to take Calcium with them as you are at risk of Osteoporosis. I take 6 tablets after breakfast for 5 weeks and then reduce the tablets by 1 every week after that.
Within a week of taking the tablets I had my first formed bowel movement. I literally ran into the bedroom to tell my partner as this hadn’t happened for me since I was in my teens! This continued for a whole week, my energy and appetite returned and I was back on my feet and getting back to normal. I was meant to be taking a trip to see my Dad in Bulgaria and because I was so much better I decided to go. Whilst over there I ate fresh crunchy delicious vegetables and so much cheese soft cheese. I drank only bottled water (see my post about Travelling with an Ostomy if you are worreid or anxious about taking a trip.) I couldn’t believe the change in how I was handling food. Now I’m 5 weeks into taking Prednisolone and I feel good but my skin is aweful, no matter how much I scrub and facial those pours just block up again. I’ve also acquired sore red skin around the sides of my nose but by the look of the information leaflet this is the least of my worries. I just make sure I exfoliate and put plenty of coconut oil on morning and night.
I’ve also started a food diary, since this regular healthy bowel movement is new to me, I can monitor the changes more effectively. I ecourage you to make one as well and you will soon see patterns and be able to see exactly what you can tolerate, what’s gives you heartburn, Acid reflux, cramps, diarrhoea, ALL the good stuff.
I’ll be making an information page about getting the most from your food diary soon!!