Discussion · Diverticulitis

Sharon’s Story

I would like to share my story with you regarding my experience with diverticulitis surgery and in the hopes that it might help someone who is going through the same thing  or maybe nervous waiting to have surgery.

I had been dealing with diverticulitis for the past ten years off and on. And “boy it’s not fun”. In and out of the emergency room, X-rays, blood drawn, drinking that nasty chalking stuff, antibiotics, etc on and on. So, moving forward, I had an attack at work one Sunday morning, and of course, I had to leave work and go straight to the ER while thinking in the back of my mind “here we go again”. With the attacks in the past I had no infection which was a good thing, but not so much this time around. People were coming in and out of my room drawing blood, X-rays, and running other tests that I never had in the past. I then start to get a little nervous and thought to myself there is more going on here then I know right now. The doctor explained to me that the surgeon on duty would be seeing me due to an infection. I said to myself “infection” I’m in trouble now. At this point I was really getting concerned and nervous and my mind was racing and saying what about if it’s this or that. Of course thinking the worst. Eventually, the surgeon came and spoke with me and explained that I had an infection and would need to be admitted to the hospital to be watched closely. He said I was not out of the woods yet and may need to have colon surgery. And of course I said “colon surgery”. I did not know what to think next and everything was happening so fast,and then I was taken upstairs to a room and once again the reality hit me. Thinking in the back of my mind “am I really going to have to go through colon surgery and if so will my whole colon be taken out and have to live with a bag the rest of my life”. You want to talk about scared. So as you can imagine I could not sleep knowing what I might be facing in the coming days. Turns out the antibiotics and rest got me over the hump and I was beginning to heal on my own.

I was discharged from the hospital several days later and rested at home for sometime before returning back to my job. Meantime I had to check back with my surgeon to see how things were going and to discuss possible colon surgery “again”. He discussed the option that I had. The first was to wait and see if I have another attack and the possibility of having to remove the colon, or go ahead and plan the surgery now. I decided to go through with the surgery then wait until another attack and have to have the colon removed. The surgeon told me up front everything I needed to do before surgery so that I might have a better shot with not having to have a bag the rest of my life. Although nothing is for certain when in situations like this.

The nervousness was kicking in big time the night before the big day, and could not get much sleep. We arrived at the hospital really early and had to wait until they called my name and I was beginning to feel sick and everything else. Finally, they took me back and got me ready for surgery and the next thing I know it’s that time. In one way it was a relieve and another not so much. The biggest part was I did not want to have a bag the rest of my life. Surgery went for several hours and everything came out well. Guess what “no bag” LOL. My recovery went well and only needed to work with physical therapy for a few days and walked the halls everyday.

I had a big support group behind me all through the process. My coworkers were so sweet to come visit while in the hospital. My son from Maryland flew in to visits me along with my mother. Of course my husband was by my side as always.

In closing, I would say if anyone is having to think about colon surgery to be sure to do your homework and research and ask your surgeon a lot of questions because in the end it’s your body.