page has been updated, go to bottom for more!
checkout the pictures page.. not for the faint hearted! HERE
to those who don't know me, my name is bleddyn davies, my date of birth is 30/01/1984, i live in cardiff with my mates and do computer desktop support for a living
i love getting drunk with my friends and living like a student, but with money
On the 2nd of November 2005 I woke up with horrific pains in my stomach and was sick and had diarrhea, but had been out the night before so thought it was just a bad hangover, I cleaned myself up, had breakfast and went to work.
I had to go home from work as I couldn't stand the pain, but didn't call a sicky, just took leave becuase I blamed myself.
When I got in i began to feel really bad and was shaking on my bed for a few hours and was back and forth to the bathroom all day, I took thursday off work as I was ill and went home to St Davids on the friday becuase I don't have a registered doctor in cardiff.
for the first few days I tried starving myself, but the pains got worse and I started passing blood, so I went to the doctors and they put asked if I'd eaten anything dodgy, I explained that I had eaten some 2 day out of date sausages, so they said that was the cause and I gave them a stool sample. A few days went by as my pains for worse and worse, the results came back all clear from the doctor, so I went back in a further 3 times before having blood taken and that was sent to the hostpital
by this time I had been going to the toilet about 15 times a day, passing more and more blood each time
my blood test came back with a really high white blood cell count (meaning you've got an inflamation somewhere and your body is trying to fix it itself), so I was called in for a check up. I went into hostpital on the 23rd of November and had a magic eye where the sun don't shine (was under heavy sedation, but its still gross)
this showed that my large bowell was very inflamed, and the doctor diagnosed it as ulcerative collitis, its a fairly rare non contagous disease that they do not know the cause of. (if it was from bad diet and drikning too much, I would have kicked myself)
there is currently no cure for the disease, but 60% of people take control of the swelling by taking steriods for 4 days, I was kept in hospital and given hydrocortizone (think its callled that) for 7 days through an IV.
I had xrays and a CT scan (a CT scan is when you drink two litres of a special fluid and it shows up your digestive system, and they forced another liquid through your veins as you go through the machine -this bloody kills as you can feel your veins expanding). the CT scan showed that my whole large colon was inflamed and would have to be removed.
the large colon (or large intestine) removes water from your food and i guess makes your poo formed, so without one, you need to drink a lot more and go to the toilet more often
I had my whole large colon (large intestine) removed and now have a colostomy bag (can't find a good pic) on the side of my stomach
my large intestine was removed because it was inflamed and not working, it is currently uncurable, some people are fixed by pumping them with steroids, after a week of steroids I still had severe stomache cramps and was going to the toilet all through the day, having bad diarrhea (no pic needed!) followed by a lot of blood. I think my record was 14 times in one day (this had been going on for a month before I was operated on)
without the surgery i would have died for sure, when I first found out that I'd need a 'bag' I was horrified and was crying for two days before coming to terms with it
on the night before my operation, a guy in my hospital bay had the same disease and had his removed 16 years previously, so he talked me through a lot of things and gave advice and what to do etc, this really helped me no end
after having my 'last supper' and shaving my chest and upper section of pubic hairs i went to bed on Wednesday the 2nd at midnight, was woken at 6am for a shower and given a sedative pill at 7am. I was then woken at 9am and moved to the operating theatre (kind of half rememeber this) where I was sedated further and they operated on me
next thing I know, i'm coming to on a hard bed and see nurses checking my stats and talking to me but not making much of what they're saying. I had a tube going down my throat (not sure what for). I look down at my chest and see staples in my chest, blood, iodene and two bags on my stomach. the pain was agonising but they were injecting me with morphine and gave me a 'pain button' to press which administered 1mg of morphine every 4 minutes if i pressed it.
I kept asking them if it went ok but kept forgetting what they said, so re asked them! and was crying with pain at the same time, whilst being fed ice in a cloth to damped my mouth, I bit really hard into the ice and chewed a small hole out of the inside of my cheek and lips.
They then rolled me onto a different bed (hurt like hell) and took me back to my ward. for two days i can't remember much, but on my chart it says I self administered morphine 328 times! -came off this on saturday morning (I asked to be taken off becuase its quite bad a** -although listening to Stone Roses and Ian Brown was awesome)
-to cut the rest of my week short (i'm tired now), started eating on sunday (soup, jelly and ice cream), then full meals from then on, and emptied bags myself then started walking on monday, pain got less and less
then finally yesterday I changed both my bags myself (will have to change them every few days -ideally every day for cleanliness) -the first bag is for where the food comes out of the small intestine -have to empty 3-4 times a day -using a easy and clean folding seal. and the second bag is for where my anus is still connected to a very small part of the large intestine, this collects some kind of slime (lubrication) that your bum makes naturally, i'm told this will stop in a few weeks and i can just put a sort of sticker over the hole, and i'll pass about an egg cup full of this fluid through my behind every few days
further down the line (going in to hospital in 6 weeks to see consultant) I might be able to get an internal bag fitted so I'll be able to poo 'normally' again, but will still have to go 3 to 4 times a day from what I understand, and it will be a toothpasty texture
it was really tough to get to terms with it at first, but if i didn't get it done, would have died, so now i've got the best outlook on life ever and today really is the best day of my life :)
thanks for the support guys, and thanks to my parents for their support, could not have done it without them.
I still pee normally and can still have children
Just wrote a christmas card to the office (can't find it in me to send you all a card each i'm sorry)
I'm still really hyperactive, obsessive compulsive, easily agited and not getting any sleep. I'm feeding this by doing as much as I can on my mum's computer, i've replied to every email of support that i've recieved and most of the text messages (i might email my story to orange and see if they can wave my bill.. i sent 1000 more than i'm allowed to which is £120
I've cut down my tramadol from 6 a day and 8 paracetamols (to boost their effects) to 2 a day and 6 paracetamols, i'm not in much discomfort now and am able to walk up the stairs
I wore my normal clothes again today (not jeans yet as my staple holes are still a bit tender)
-just found out why i can't sleep, here's what my painkillers say on them
also, to answer your questions!..
"what the hell is that tomato thing, put it away!"
its called a 'stoma' this is then end of the small intestine, its been sewn to the outside of your stomach so you can attatch the bag around it, it has NO sensation in it, (i've not touched it becuase its been touching poo) but i've touched it with a medical glove on, it feels like the inside of your cheek when you tense your cheek. it petrudes the skin by about 12-15mm -this is so its easier to fit the bag around it.
the small intestine is 6 metres long, so i've still got all my nutrients been taken in, the large intestine (what i had removed) is 1.5 metres long, and its purpose is to extract water from your poo to make it 'hard'. so now since i'm only using my small intestine to extract water, i've got to drink about 8 pints of water or liquids a day -but i like water anyway so thats cool.
see in the picture there's a slight donut shape around the stoma, this is where the bag normally sticks to.
my mate asked me.. "how do they fit, are they like a matrix style plug in?"
-you can get types like this, but haivng a metal plate on your stomach means, if you were to fall over, the plate is likely to pierce your skin and cause you harm, the seal is 100% leak proof, and usually used for older people who need the ease of use. the type i've got are like this
"what happens if you get punched in the stomach?"
nothing special really, the stoma may bleed a little but won't hurt, if it works ok and stops bleeding in a short space of time i should be totally fine, but may want to go to the doctor (or call my stoma nurse out -they're all over the uk and can register anywhere for free, even for 1 day)
but please don't test this :)
"can you still 'pass wind'?"
not through the 'back passage', now and again the small intestine releases gas into the bag (very small ammounts -still makes that reassuring noise) and there's a small filter hole which releases this, it passes through a charcoal filter to ELIMINATE the smell, this is what i was most worried about. i think the ammount of wind you pass depends on what you eat, when i'm back to full health, i'll test this
"do you have a special diet now?"
i've been told i should eat three meals a day now instead of relying on quick lunch in work one large meal and then going out most nights of the week and getting my energy from drinking (its silly but thats how me and all my friends live in cardiff). they've said its good to have weetabix or wholemeal bread for breakfast because they're high in fibre and improve digestion -i love weetabix with butter on it and a cup of tea, so i'll just get up 15minutes earlier each day
i'll have to drink more water, and may crave salt and vinegar crisps (the large colon does remove salt at times apparantly), and i'm supposed to feed this craving
at the moment, i'm eating non-stop, but after my cut has healed, i'll be back to normal meals i think
"when are you going back to cardiff!? (and work)"
most probably the end of january, this is when the doctors have said I should go back, providing i'm strong enough -my dob is 30/01/1984, so this would be perfect! -and just in time for the christmas bonus (assuming i'm still getting that!)
"how do you change your 'bags' and how often?
i firstly have a shower (optional) with them on -they're completly waterproof and slightly oily so they dry real quick like a ducks back then, dry myself off likenormal. i then sit on the toilet with the seat down, (i've got a bag with all the stuff i need in it, like wipes, disposal bags, and sprays), i then remove each bag and put them into a disposal bag and tie them closed (my left bag really smells bad at the moment becuase the infection is still there), then spray the air with peppermint spray aww
i wipe around the holes with isopropyl alcohol -this totally cleans the skin removing any oil and stickyness from previous bags, then i spray this stuff on called Cavalon, its a liquid that dries on your skin in seconds to create a barrier (it feels like dried super glue) then you cut the bag to size (you can order them pre cut too) -my right hole is 45mm, left is 35mm -its as if all the skin tissue has been circular saw'd away, so it doesn't try to grow back (until they possible remove the intestines from the surface -more about that later)
you then peel off the label and stick the bag onto the cavalon layer -so its not sticking directly on your skin and causing irritation. when you want to change your bag you simply peel the bag off, clean the area and do the rest of the process again.
"why do you change the bags?"
the left one will hardly ever need changing as it gets next to no use, i may even be able to put almost a sticker over the hole with a very small collective pouch -when the infection dies down
i'll change the right one probably every day, but there's no real reason to change it until the filter runs low (prevents smell) -this happens if you pass a lot of wind through it and should be changed every 3-4 days
also, if i can't be bothered to empty the bag, its quicker to throw it away and change it, and feels kind of fresh -due to alcohol on skin
"can you still drink like you used to?"
YES, i will be able to drink just like a do in, it may be in a year or so -until my physical side of things builds back up, but digestivly alcohol won't be affected, so when i'm back to normal, if i'm plastered and unable to empty the bag (i wouldn't try it with my eyes close) i can just take the bag off, clean the area with a wipe and put a new one on :D
"how do you empty the bags?"
to empty the bags, you sit down as you normally would :) unravel the 'tap' and use your hand to massage the bag i guess until it all comes out the end into the toilet, you then wipe the end (only a tiny bit of it gets dirty) with toilet paper and its clean again, then fold it over itself a few times and do the velcro tags and tuck it away in its small pouch, then you're good to go -you don't get any mess on your hands (which was a big worry to me before i'd done it the first time)
in the picture tomato,tomato.jpg (i won't link to it incase some people don't like it) it looked like my lower staples might have had a slight infection and these bloomin hurt when they came out because the skin had swollen around them (I had 29 to remove), the nurse strapped iodene on it,and today its a lot less tender :)
i just took one tramadol today (i was taking 6 a day and 8 paracetamol to boost them! -doctors orders) and will stick to just paracetamol from today onwards -just taken another one at 9pm because i was in some discomfort, so i'll be up all night typing like a bat out of hell!
i went for a walk today outside, literally 50metre circle, its cloudy but i had to wear sun glasses (not been outdoors in the daytime since the 22nd Nov!) i was so tired, my back was aching and my stomach muscles felt really tired (as if i'd just run the school marathon) and was totally out of breath and had to sit down for about half an hour drinking loads of water.
thats quite shocking! (its amazing how unfit i am right now), but i'm really happy and more and more people are coming out to see me.
if anyone can think of any more good questions, throw them at me!
going to make a website now, because i'm bored.
have a good day in work, i'll reply to all the mails in due course
right, just been to singleton hospital in swansea for a week to have the first part of a reversal operation (not sex change)
basically, i'm having what's called a 'j-pouch' created from my small intestine, which acts as a large intestine, so i'll be able to go to the toilet normally again, but a few times a day instead of say once.. but will have full control of what goes on.
can't be bothered to fully explain it all, so here's a 1000 words
the first operation is to create it, so i get my left bag removed, then i wait 8 weeks for it to heal and they'll redo all my plumming and will have no bags, and no fake things inside me so should be set for life..
checkout the pictures page.. not for the faint hearted! HERE
to be continued...
4th October 2006 - just got home from hospital after my final op, all is well.. watch this space for updates