Look, let me be straight up with you. I had two things that you need to be concerned about:
The first, and probably the worst in terms of pain: I had most of my colon removed and my stomach was a complete disaster. I contracted C-Diff, which is a very powerful infection that exists in hospitals (I was at a top-5 research university hospital for this, so this is not just an issue of good facilities). C-Diff causes serious diarrhea. I cannot tell you the hell that several nights were in that hospital. If you had put a gun at my bedside, I would have ended it then and there. Thinking back on it, I would not endure it again if I had another out. I thought I knew what physical suffering was from things like training and other various accidents along the way (football, etc.), but let me tell you that I had no idea what suffering was until I was in the hospital with C-Diff in my condition. I don't use the term "pain," because pain doesn't really capture it.
- The Abscess: this was something that completely developed randomly. I was out of the hospital. On the mend for a few weeks. Feeling like shit all the time, but at least I was recovering somewhat and not in the hospital anymore.
I got to the point where I could do what for me at that point was exercise. Let me preface this with the following: two days before I was admitted, I was squatting 430 for sets of 6. By the time I got out of the hospital, I'd lost 40-50 pounds or so in three and a half weeks and could barely walk up stairs.
So after a few weeks, I start going to our apt gym. Doing really minimal things, but things that for me were exercise: very light elliptical for ten minutes, curling on the machine with the lighter weights, etc. My stomach area was always sensitive after leaving, as hell--I'd been cut open from the bottom of my sternum to near my crotch, so it wasn't going to feel great. And I looked distended anyway because ......well....my entire GI system had just sustained the equivalent of running into a wall at 70mph--it was wrecked. Anyway, I notice that the pain I'm experiencing is more localized. I'm sitting on a machine and look down, and I note that part of the scar looks yellow-ish.
So I decide I need to do something about it. I go to the doctor, see a nurse. She says "Oh yeah, no big deal that happens sometimes, we lance it and it tends to resolve with proper medicine." Great, I think: time to nip this in the bud. I go in, a doctor images it and thinks the image looks a bit off. He lances it and realizes that stuff just keeps coming out. If you could imagine, my abdominal area had become something of a bottom-heavy hourglass of puss: I'd identified the top area that had puss/infection in it, but it had pierced down into my abdomen and developed into a massive (to use the term in their report "a very large") abscess, to the point where they could push down on my abdomen and incredible amounts of puss would come out. I ended up needing a tube and multiple surgeries over the subsequent months relating to it. It sucked and was very depressing, but nowhere near the level of acute suffering caused by C-Diff.