Laurie Syverson

On December 21, 2015, I went to Mayo Clinic to have a temporary loop Ileostomy created. This was done to mask the pelvic floor dysfunction I battle with my abdominal muscle, and have for the last twenty-two years, in hopes that I could get the muscle to budge. I was given the idea that this would be a relatively simple procedure, which is the case for some, but did not work out that way for me. Because of the time of year, good care was hard to find. Following the creation of the stoma, I was in the hospital until Christmas Eve. Then, I headed back home, which is when fourteen weeks of pure medical, and emotional chaos began for me. I was sent home with no after care plan, no stoma nurse, and no social worker put on the case. It was not until I was home for three weeks that I found an excellent stoma nurse, only to have North Memorial close her practice. Additionally, I was hooked up with an abusive counselor, who played mind games with me. She told me that this is how my life was going to be, and I would not see rosier days. I did not go back there either. After I began another pilgrimage to find a stoma nurse, for weeks, my sleep was ruined. I had to get up every two hours, and could never get any solid rest. I had so much back, and abdominal pain, I could hardly function. With the luck of the draw, I got hooked up with one of the best stoma nurses in the Twin Cities, at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. She found me a sleep solution, as well as told me that my counselor was wrong, and nobody would leave a body in a loop Ileostomy. While my spirits were lifted about that, it did not stop me from feeling sick all the time. Eventually, I lost my appetite completely. I would live my days on only tapioca pudding, and a protein shake. During the week of St. Patrick's Day, I had a lot of issues with bleeding from the stoma. On March 18, I saw my stoma nurse. We were unable to find the source of bleeding, so she called Mayo Clinic, and alerted them. On that Saturday morning, I continued to bleed, so I called the on-call resident at Mayo. He sent me to the local emergency room, to get a hemoglobin count. When told the numbers by the local emergency room, it was determined that I had to go to Mayo right away.  So, after dusk on a Saturday night, I headed to Mayo Clinic with my mother. We arrived quite late at night. I had a serious talk with the resident, and told him all the burdens I had face those 14 weeks. I spent the weekend at that hospital, and they performed multiple tests to try to find the source of bleeding. Still, no source was found, however, with my hemoglobin level dropping the way it did, I did not go home. That Monday, we met with the surgeon at Mayo. After a long talk, we determined that the best thing to do was to reverse the ileostomy. My surgeon said she would do it the next day, and I was game!! That Tuesday, March 22, I went back to the Mayo Clinic Hospital, and had the stoma closed. I can honestly say that to say I am thankful for that, is an understatement. That said, however, I am now facing new challenges. For one thing, I battle low potassium, something fierce. The potassium supplement costs an incredible amount of money: almost $800. Also, my colon may turn out to be at the core of the problem with the pelvic floor dysfunction. Because I have had so many flu symptoms lately, I have not been able to have that test done, as my physician say it would not be a good time. All of these issues are causing me a great deal of distress, and what I need more than anything is people to join me in prayer, and acknowledge some of this. Your support as my friend makes so much difference to me, it is incredible. I will try my best to update the journal each time I am able.

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