Ever since I posted my surgery report
a few days ago I've been getting a lot of questions about what lies ahead for me and my health. I thought I'd take a moment to answer some of them here in the daylog for all those out there who have been following my story and might have similar questions. Don't let these answers stop you from /msging me with any other questions you might have, and as always I invite anyone to just say Hi.
1) So, what's next for you? Back to school and work and such? Yes, but not right away. I cancelled my summer courses at the college this year to spend time recovering. I'm planning to start back at work at the end of this week, but only for an hour or so. I'm planning to ease back into daily work as I continue to feel better. On the whole I really want to do things again. I've spent the past five months asleep in bed for the most part. I miss going to malls and movies and hanging out with friends and stuff. I've had to turn down chances to do some neat stuff for a while, but not for much longer. I'm going to spend my time recovering primarily watching movies (I moved my DVD library to the bedroom to watch on the computer while I lay in bed), catching up on some writing (both E2 things and other projects I have going on), and cooking.
2) Wait, cooking? You're eating again so soon after strange men and women rummaged around inside your innards? Yes. From February to May I lived on only liquids because I lost the ability to digest solids. Before I left the hospital the doctor had me back to eating scrambled eggs and Jell-O. Now that I'm home again I've arranged for my kitchen to be filled with my favorite foods and ingredients so I can rediscover delicious meals. I am primarily eating sliced chicken and ham from the local deli (Boar's Head brand; demand the best). These two meats are in every meal in some fashion. Sandwiches (on rice bread), baked with melted lactose-free cheese on top and served with a side of mashed potatoes or baked french fries, made into an omellette, etc. These are very soft and easy-to-digest meats and, best of all, they have flavor! I'm so sick of vanilla.
3) So how soon until you're ordering pizzas and eating bacon? Or ordering a pizza with bacon on it? Or eating pizza-flavored bacon? Not for a while. While I do have working intestines again, I'm still not able to digest foods that I lost when I was initially diagnosed with Crohn's Disease nine years ago. At that time I lost things such as dairy, fruits, vegetables, and sausage/bacon-type meats. Chances are that those won't be in my diet for a long time, if ever. The foods I am probably going to be able to recover safely are wheat products (breads, buns, pizza dough for homemade pizzas, etc.) and beef (hamburger, steak, etc.) because I only lost the ability to digest those in 2001. I plan to work backwards through the order that I lost the ability to digest things. I do plan to take this progression slowly though.
4) Well, good luck to you. I bet you can't wait to eat all that stuff now that you're cured. Ah, but I'm not cured. The surgeons removed the portions of intestine that were causing the most problems, but there is nothing that can be done to cause slightly effected tissue to revert to full health or to keep healthy tissue from becoming all Crohnstastic. While I am in good health again now, that could last a week or a decade. There's no way to know. All I can do is continue taking care of myself and hope for the best.
If you'd like to learn more about Crohn's Disease please check out the Crohn's/Colitis Foundation of America at http://www.ccfa.org or my own website at http://pages.prodigy.net/mattgreen/. You can also ask me; I'm very open with my illness and am always happy to answer questions.