Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A visit to the silver-tongued surgeon

My surgeon has a strong Italian accent. His English is perfect, but his accent makes everything sound, well, really Italian. And as everyone knows Italian is the language of love, not bowel diseases. The way my surgeon says ulcerative colitis makes it sound so bloody sexy. It makes it difficult to gauge the seriousness of what he’s trying to tell me. It all just sounds like poetry to my ears. I don’t know if he’s trying to explain the complexities of the large intestine or attempting to woo me. So to avoid any misunderstandings at my appointment with him yesterday I decided to concentrate really, really hard on the actual words themselves, and ignore the honey-dipped accent. This is what I think he said:

• According to the pathology results I have ulcerative colitis
• Although some bacterial tests came back suggesting Crohn’s
• During surgery they found another ulcer in my large colon, which is also more common with Crohn’s
• The rest of my large colon is relatively disease free
• There’s a chance we may never determine whether I have UC or Crohn’s
• He is going to discuss my case with the gastroenterology doctors
• There are various options available to me
I can keep the colostomy bag for life (rather not)
I can have my colon reconnected and lose the bag (sounds good)
I can have an ileostomy and have my entire large colon removed, then later on have things reconnected (uh-uh, that’s 2 more ops)
I can keep the ileostomy for life (don’t fancy that much)
• We don’t have to decide anything just yet. He doesn’t want to see me again for 4 months

I came looking for answers, but frustratingly it feels like I don’t know any more than I did the day after my operation. It’s all a bit woolly. I’m hoping that when I see my gastro consultant on Friday he has a more fixed view on things. It would be nice to hear something positive and concrete for a change instead of a list of ifs, buts and maybes. Even if it isn’t delivered with an Italian accent. Ciao.