Surgery number 5

Like Mambo number 5 but with more general anaesthetic!

So if you follow me on Facebook, twitter and instagram, you may have seen that I have been under the knife again.  I have had two hernias develop since my last op in January and I was on the waiting list to get them fixed by Mr Brown but last week, out of no where, I had a huge, sharp pain in my stomach and my incisional hernia (that runs through my belly button) had popped out and got stuck.

I was sick with the pain and knew immediately that I needed help, I never go to A&E as I hate the waits and the people in the waiting rooms (I know that’s judgemental, sorry!!) But I called Timm from work and asked him to come home and take me to hospital.

incisional hernia with ostomy

I was vomiting with the pain, sweating, crying and a general mess but was seen quite quickly and taken onto a surgical assessment ward where doctors thought I would need surgery as soon as possible.  I stayed in overnight and had a CT scan as they thought that there were loops of bowel stuck through my hernia and were worried they would be damaged.  The scan showed that the hernia was very large and there was fat and tissue stuck through it but luckily no bowel.  I was very relieved as I don’t have that much left, so I can’t risk losing any more!! The other thing it showed though was that my parastomal hernia was worse than imagined and the two were almost joining up with only a centimetre between them, so surgery was the only option.

It was all such a whirlwind, the next thing I knew I was being prepped for surgery, and then I awoke in recovery!  It was a big surgery, almost 5 hours long and a lot more complicated than the doctors had first thought.  They had to open me up and pull in the muscles from the sides, remove the tissue that had been stuck and fix the two hernias with two types of mesh.  One was made from pig skin, so you can officially call me Miss Piggy!

incisional hernia with ostomy surgery

After a few days in hospital, I asked to be discharged home on Monday and have been recovering at home since then.  It has been really painful, a lot more painful than my last hernia op, than in comparison was extremely simple. I feel like a punchbag, I am pretty much bed ridden and really struggling to do much at all.  I am feeling quite emotional and sad about it all, I think it is just the shock of everything happening so quickly, it is taking a bit of time for my head to catch up with the rest of me.

It’s all a bit sudden to be honest and has thrown things up in the air as I am due to start a new job and also because I am about to fly to India in a couple of weeks and so I was in a real panic going to surgery as I had no idea how it would affect these things.  But after talking with Timm, we are on it.  To be honest, it is good timing for the job, I’m not due to start till after my hols and so it means that it is done and dusted before work starts.

Regarding India, it is a bit scary.  If this were just a holiday, I would cancel.  But we are going to our family’s home town where they are honouring my grandfather who passed away this year in a football match and commemoration where we are scattering his ashes.  It is so important to me to attend and so I am fighting through.  Doctors are backing me on this as they understand how much it means and I am under instruction to wear surgical stockings, have daily blood thinning injections and a whole list of other things to keep me healthy.  We are getting a wheelchair to help me whilst we are away and Timm, my mum and the kids are all going to help support me too.

incisional hernia with ostomy surgery staples

So the next couple of weeks is all about rest and healing.  I am doing nothing other than concentrating on my health and getting fit and ready for what I hope is the start of a new chapter in my life.  The past three years have been so difficult, with surgeries, anxiety, illness, fatigue and depression, but now I feel I am turning a new page (ALLLLLL the cliches are coming out now!) and with a surgery to fix all the hernias done, my ileostomy settling in and a new job, I hope life is going to be brighter.


Thank you all so much for all your love, support and care


You are awesome


Sam xx

7 replies
  1. Laura
    Laura says:

    Oh Sam I’ve tears in my eyes reading this. What a horrid year it’s been! You’re a fighter and you’ll fight through this too I have no doubt. You’re an inspiration to many, mainly because you rock! I know the emotions you’re going through all to well but trust me better days are coming!

    For now rest up and be loved

  2. Kate Douglas
    Kate Douglas says:

    Hi Sam hope your feeling better soon. I was like you had an ileostomy fitted and then five operations after it, still not a 100% yet. Take care.

  3. Sue Sykes
    Sue Sykes says:

    Good luck with everything In the future Sam. Wishing you a speedy recovery. You really are an inspiration. Much love. Sue

  4. Jude
    Jude says:

    Good luck with your recovery Sam. I know it takes a while to get back to full strength after abdominal surgery. I had my colon removed about 2 weeks after your initial surgery, 3 years ago. I personally have had only one other surgery in Jan 2015 following a blockage which wouldn’t shift by itself and was very painful. I got a mesh repair at the same time for a parastomal hernia. It’s unfortunately bigger than ever now and no plans for further repairs for the parastomal or incisional hernia. I’ve got pet names for my stoma and hernia.. George & Mildred! Ya gotta keep a sense of humour I feel. Hope you can make the most of your trip to India. Xx

  5. Vicki
    Vicki says:

    You deserve a health break more than anyone I know. Good luck with everything and I am keeping everything crossed for you that you can make the trip to India.

  6. Dave Pawson
    Dave Pawson says:

    Wow Sam. Enough staples there to set off the metal detectors at the airport!
    Thoughts are with you on your India trip, I hope you get what you want from it.


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