Why it is important not to close your eyes from complications, Tereza Nagyová

Photo by Jan Hrdý

Wound healing is a big issue for me. Since my Crohn’s started, I have consistently dealt with abscesses and fistulas. Septic wounds, which quite fundamentally complicate life, hurt a lot and curing them lasts a long time. Last year I solved a complication of 4 months with parastomal abscess that has become a fistula.

Doctors opened the wound and a drain was inserted inside, which helped evacuate the pus from the wound and prevent reencapsulation. As soon as the abscess became a fistula and the hole began to pass through the stools, the situation got pretty unbearable. I had no strength, I lost weight, I had already had several anesthesia during the year, and I did not know what to do next. The final verdict was the resection of the affected part of the intestine, the cutting of inflammatory tissue and the formation of a new stoma, from colostomy to ileostomy. The surgery helped me very much, and I quickly returned to work.

I was learning how to treat my new stoma, gradually cutting out the stitches around it. Everything was going great except one stitch, which cut open into blood because new stoma got smaller quickly at that spot. It was a small wound, which I did not pay much attention to. Every day I washed it well, disinfect and applied a new bag. In less than two months the stitch began to itch, blush, swell up. The wound had opened, and the pus began to flow out. They opened it up in the hospital, cleaned it and sent me home. Because the abscess in the stitch is quite a normal complication after surgery, especially for patients with IBD, who are like catchers of inflammation, I have been told.

In short, I eventually had to cure the abscess myself. Everyone advises something else, no one knows exactly what to do with it. For the first time I went to the specialized center of wound healing to get to the bottom of it. And my fears were unfortunately correct. The field of wound healing is in the Czech Republic not a popular medical field, not sexy enough for the staff or for the public administration. Ignition and dedication to patient assistance is not always to the extent, which it deserves. In my opinion, it is absolutely inadequate. The pathways of wound healing are a large range, so it is an individual field. A field that is essentially important for patient’s life after the surgery. In today’s healthcare system we only focus on how to save a person, quickly glue them up and send them home to take care of themselves, so they don’t occupy space. In a hospital, a person is under pressure, in fear, he’s not well, he wants to go home. And so, introduction to the post-surgery life is usually a short debate about diet and hygiene like “Do you understand what to do? OK, bye! Yeah, and come back in a week.”

Thanks to the short process with which most of us are struggling in hospital facilities, it is very easy to get unnecessary complications. Human nature is to avoid dealing with problems until it really hurts, burns, itches, pus. Retreating complications is then a lengthy affair. Try to cure something that is constantly taped by a sack and cheerfully passing stools right nearby. Sterility does not exist.

My dream is to help prevent these problems. Therefore, I decided to concentrate on wound healing in the future. My first step is organizing patients’ meetings with specialized ostomy nurses, where they will be able to freely consult their issues. I wish we will help them.

Nurture yourself with love my dears,