Monday, August 4, 2008

Health Update

I received an email from a lady in England Saturday thanking me for my blog on Bowel Resection Home Recovery. It is a rather earthy blog, one that is quite descriptive and meant primarily for those who may go through what I went through. The blog has now made it to midway down P.2 of a Goggle Search which I believe indicates it is getting some hits. It makes me feel good that some may find the information useful.

I would be remiss if I did not relate some of the recent events surround that abdominal issue. So here it goes.

Monday, June 23 I began to develop a stomach ache. It is what I characterize as a "green apple" stomach ache. No nausea, just pain. It seemed to diminish some, however it kept me up much of the night. It felt like a gall bladder attack, only I had my gall bladder out in November, 2007. So that could not be it. I finally did get to sleep, but it was fitful and I kept waking up with some pain. June 24, Tuesday morning it had abated quite a bit and I took my long walk. However, after I had breakfast it started up again and became quite painful. I lay on the bed hoping it would subside. I took some ant-acid tablets and it seemed to quiet down. I was hungry about lunch, and while I thought perhaps I should not eat, I did have a grilled cheese sandwich. Ho Boy!

The pain was a sharp pain right under my belly button. I found out that is a key symptom. I could did not pass any gas, I couldn't even work up a burp. I tried drinking some diet soda and it just felt worse, and a small burp not worth mentioning. I also had not gone to the bathroom for two days, no BM. Finally I got real sick, I mean break out in a cold sweat, perspiration dripping off me like I had an internal hose turned on, pain that put me on the floor and finally throwing up like I had the dry heaves. Little relief from vomiting.

We did call our Family Dr. and they had me come over right away. It took a little while to get in the waiting room, but not long. I ended up getting sick in the office. Unfortunately I do not throw up quietly, I'm sure I bellowed like a lovesick Moose. They sent me to the ER, I requested I go to Jonesboro as I had been treated there for my surgery and felt they would be in a position to know best.

Our Family Doctor gave me a shot of phenagren for nausea, and a pain medication that really put me in LaLa land. We made it to Jonesobor, more X-rays, and a CT Scan. The Family Dr. hit the diagnosis, he felt it was a small bowel obstruction. That scared the hell out of me. I did not show it, but all I could think of was a recurrence of the cancer, but now in the small intestine. Yet my prognosis from the sesection was excellent, I was told by several physicians that the polyp while malignant was so confined that there should be little or no risk of recurrence. However, once alert to the possibility you can't help but be concerned.

I did not let on my concern, but I was scared. Perhaps a ulcer. Then again, maybe just what the Dr. said, an adhesion or piece of scar tissue causing the bowel to kink.

I was admitted to the hospital Tuesday evening. A nurse ran a hose up/down my nose into my stomach and started draining the fluid build up. It turned out the surgeon who had done my two surgeries was on duty that night, and was I glad to see him. I've gotten to trust him very much. I quietly asked him if there was a mass there and he said no. He said the X-ray indicated a kink on my right side, near where my gall bladder was removed and he felt that was the problem.

About four hours after the hose was inserted into my stomach all hell broke loose in the form of BM's. I could not control myself, soiled my gown, my bed, several times and filled the portable commode a couple of times. Ah, relief!

In the morning the tube was removed by the surgeon. I was put on a liquid diet for two days to see if I tolerated the food movement. I did. I was sent home on Thursday. It turns out that a large percentage of people with abdominal surgery have an obstruction. It is not unusual. Since that time I have been fine. In fact, my system's tolerance of fat in my diet has improved. Maybe something really got unkinked. In addition, the key symptoms for a small bowel obstruction are a pain through the belly button area, and light colored to green vomit.

It is behind me. However, my surgeon told me it could recur at anytime. There is nothing I can take for it, nothing I can do. It may not every occur again, or it may occur in two weeks. I hope not. It was most unpleasant. However, if that is the least of my worries, I'm a lucky fellow.

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