Pouch that is! That's right people, we went to see SD dr this morning and much to all of our relief and excitement he says I'm a perfect candidate for a Koch Pouch -- the continent ostomy (meaning I won't have an external bag! Yippee.)
My mom, the hubs and I trekked on down to San Diego last night since our appointment was early this morning and stayed in a hotel. And it was all worth it, SD dr was everything we had hoped for -- kind, knowledgeable, straight forward and seriously the man when it comes to the K-pouch on the west coast. He studied under the people who developed this procedures and has performed more than 450 of them!!
Like UCI guy, although he had clearly read through my records thoroughly, he asked me to explain my journey in my own words and he really listened. He then did an exam on me, noticed my poor raw bum and my still active and inflamed pouchitis and then had us come back in his office to talk.
He seemed excited and said that he sees the most success with this procedure with young woman who are incontinent! What, he was describing me. He also explained that what most likely happened during my initial surgery is that because of my small frame, it's easy for some less experienced doctors to go to0 far down the rectum when attaching the new plumbing, and what happens is it basically eliminated the sphincter muscle. ** Sidenote, if my original surgeon had just figured this out and then just admitted it instead of making me feel like a nut job, we wouldn't have gone on so long with all this junk!**
But moving on, SD dr had visual aids, including real pictures of the actual K-pouch outside of someone's body...it was stinking awesome (if you know me, you know that I got all excited when he showed us this stuff. I'm a sucker for medical crap.) He had his success statistics, possible complications, everything all laid out in a power point presentation. He even gave me a booklet that he'd written with information and diagrams about the K-pouch to take home. Um, swooning, LOVE this guy. I'm not ashamed to admit that I hugged the man as we were leaving! I'm a hugger what can I say.
Bottom line, he said for us to book a surgery date for October. That hopefully by then my stupid HMO will have approved this out-of-network request. Both SD dr and UCI guy said that insurance would have to approve this since nobody in-network performs this procedure. Both said they'd write letters to the insurance on my behalf. So the battle with the insurance begins again, but that's ok because I'm ready. I will get what I deserve!
So how am I feeling about all of this. Well, I feel relieved that what I knew in my heart all along is going to come true. I feel excited at the prospect of getting my life back to the new normal I've been hoping for, for so long. I feel a little bit irritated about the battle with the insurance, but what can you do. And I'm feeling a little nervous about taking on the actual surgery, learning how to manage the next advancement of my anatomy and all the physical and emotional baggage that comes with me.
Don't get me wrong, this is awesome news, the news we've been waiting for, truly the answer to our prayers. But as you can try to imagine this journey has been long and bumpy and just because we finally know doesn't mean it's all smiles and rainbows from here on out. But it's nothing we can't handle, I'm ready for the work, I'm ready to be as close to normal as I can possibly be and I'm excited to finally see that the hubs and I somewhere in the actual forseable future will get to move on with our life and accomplish what we really want.
That's it for now. I've already left a message with UCI guy to get working on this letter and insurance stuff. SD guy's office is going to call this week to get me on the schedule and also on some new, more powerful meds for my lovely pouchitis. In a future post, I'll detail more about the actual procedure, for the squimish, you can just skip that one;)
Thank you all again for all your support, love and prayers, they have all worked, been answered and we are finally on our way to getting me well. Yahooo!