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Three Straight Days in Bed.

Three Straight Days in Bed

I had some crazy procedures done during my 371 straight days in the hospital. I would argue that the doctors really wanted to try everything they could to send me home. So lets revisit a time where I had to literally lay straight in bed for three days.  I was not able sit or stand up.  It was a very hard thing to do.

Here is what happened:

When my surgeon went to reverse the ileostomy, so that I could use the bathroom normally, he had to open me up again.  When he got to my intestines, he noticed that there were lots of lesions.  The small bowel looked funky still, and he didn’t feel comfortable doing any more surgery as the intestines looked like paper mache. Also he noticed I had big holes called fistulas that were eliminating tons of bile.  He didn’t want to close me, and wanted me to heal.

So my surgeon left my stomach open. Literally.

I had to wear a wound manager over the big opening so that the bile would not touch my skin.  Bile is very acidic, and it would usually burn if it touched the skin outside the wound.  The other reason for the wound manager was so that no bacteria got into the wound causing infections.

About three weeks after leaving me wide open, my plastic surgeon had an idea for skin grafting.  He did explain to me that this was experimental.  I agreed that we should try it, because why not?  If I could avoid another surgery to close me back up, that would be great.

Here is what the grafting involved:

The plastic surgeon would use foreskins from the penises of babies.  Yep I said it. Hundreds of pieces were brought into my room.   He was going to place them on my wound, and hope that my body would graft them together.  Yes it sounds nasty but when you are in dire need, you try everything!

The procedure was painless, and it was basically strategically placing the foreskins on top of my wound.  I was actually very interested, and watched the entire thing.  Many medical students joined the surgeon as they were taking notes.  I saw out of the corner of my eye that one of the medical students was sheet white.  He was going to pass out.  I yelled to my mom who was in the room, “Mom, he is going to go!”  They had to carry this gentleman in the hallway and gave him orange juice.

For the skin to take, I had to lay straight in my bed for three straight days.

How hard could that be right?  Oh it was very hard.  The first twelve hours were fine.  I had to use a bed pan to use the bathroom; that wasn’t bad.  But by the second day, my body was so stiff.  My legs started to lose feeling, because of the lack of blood circulation.  I remember my parents rubbing my feet to gain feeling back.  It was bad!  I was going crazy! What was I going to do.

The doctors did all they could to keep me calm, but I was really losing my mind.  To lay straight for three days was torture.  I remember crying myself to sleep for two straight nights.

Finally the day came that I would be able to sit back up.  The doctor had come to remove the bandages and to see if our experiment worked.  I know that the whole graft was not going to take right away, but as long as we started to see some progress I would be happy.  To my disappointment, the experiment did not work.  Luck was not on my side that week.  Even though I was upset, it was good to know early that something wasn’t going to work.

We had to resort back to waiting for my intestines to heal so that the surgeons could do reconstructive stomach surgery.  Laying in bed for three straight days was torture.  I never want to go through that again!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    12 months ago


    What you have gone through with your diagnosis is unreal! I am so sorry that you’ve had to deal with such severe complications and I cannot imagine having to lie in bed for three days straight! Your story continues to shock me and inspire me at the same time because you are alive and thriving today to tell your story. You are a warrior.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

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