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   Open colon resection surgery...Help (Bowel Disorders board)

19th May 2004
Helen...SO sorry to hear about your numerous surgeries & so much colon having to be removed...was this due to diverticulosis or something else? I remember having lots of itching with the morphine which the nurses said was common, however, never a rash. It worked well for me in conjunction with turinol duting breakthrough periods. I liked the turinol...it didn't give me that twilight zone feeling and it relieved the pain and allowed me to concentrate more on my walking and breathing exercises. And then when it was time to rest I'd press my morphine button and it allowed me the sleep that I needed.
I will keeep you in my prayers along with Jen and Minnesotamom

Minnesota....HOw are you doing...working is good it'll keep your mind off of things. Now I will share with you my experience which was only 9 days ago, that I haven't felt up to until now....

I did my prep on Mother's Day...took 1000mg Neomycin & 1000mg Erythromycin at 1pm & 2pm. (I had been on clears for 2 days) I had a great time seeing "Mean Girls" at the movies with my family and returned home around 2:30pm. Around 3:30pm I got severe cramps and dry heeves and vomitted and was on the bowl with a bucket & it coming from both ends. I knew it was the antibiotics...it seemed like an awful lot to take only an hour apart from each other. I grew concerned about being dehydrated and the time was approaching for me to start my phosphsoda prep at 4pm. I called the surgeon & he said since I had so many watery BM's that morning plus more and the vomitting to only do 1 phosphosoda and skip the 11pm antiobiotics..that he would put them in an IV during my surgery. I stopped my cleansing about 9pm....and settled into bed at 11pm. I honestly didn't get more than a few hours sleep I guess due to the anxiety and Minnesota...I tell you it really wan't worth losing sleep over. I got up at 4:30am to give myself the fleets enema ad was a little concerned that it wasn't quite clear. There was yellow in it...so I went hubby to CVS to get another and did it again & it was clearer.

We got to the hospital at 6am as sceduled. The nurses aid that brought me to my room told me that she had an open resection with the same surgeon and spent over 1/2 an hour telling me everything to expect & how it wasn't bad at all etc. I truly believed God was intervening on my behalf...what are the chances of the person settling you into your room having gone through the same exact thing? I met with the surgeon, they started my IV, and met with anesthesia and OR nurse. They were very comforting...at 7:30 I walked into the OR...and when I waw the surgeon in his scrubs I walked over to him (which I think shocked the whole team) and squeezed his shoulder and thanked him for taking such good care of me. Before I knew it, I was o the table with blankets positoned under my knees for comfort and the anesthesist telling me she had put something in my IV that would make me sleepy....and the next thing, after having what I felt was a great night's sleep I was awake....in my room. The nurses instructed me on how to use the PCA putting the button in my hands. I wasn't uncomfortable or in any kind of pain...just amazed that it was over and my mind thinking "Where is Tom"....I was in & out and woke up with the same thought off & on. Finally I woke up to see his face & to get any info I can. (Apparently they failed to tell my hubby that I was transferred to a room despite his numerous inquiries)He didn't get to my room until I was there for over an hour!! :nono: I was out of it....everything moving in slow motion...but alert enough to uncover my belly to see the numerous small incisions & know that it was done lap and not open. I smiled knowing all the prayers that went into having it turn out this way and drifted back to sleep. :angel:

I woke up seeing my hubby at my bedside...& asked him to help me sit up & dangle on the edge of the bed. This was only 2 hours after getiing into my room. He did...it was a little painful but I knew how important it was to move around. I did the spirometer each time I woke up and took some ice chips & then settled back down to sleep. I have to say...I did wake up and when I did it was usually due to pain. I did holler a little at my hubby for not doing his job of hitting the button when I was asleep. Apparently my husband didn't see me moving & assummed I was pain free until he'd hear a moan or see some type of movement. After I told him that I was only waking when in pain he'd push the button every 15-20 minutes no matter what which helped. So Minnesota...share this with your hubby...it will help him to keep you comfortable. And even when I did wake up in pain...it wasn't really the type you can even remember or not control...once the morphine kicked in I was alright.

By the evening I was walking to the doorway and out to the hallway and all the way back to bed.. My nurse was also God sent...she told me how well I was doing and progressing way beyond what was expected. I did this walk with very little assistance...using my IV pole as an anchor/walker. Getting in & out of bed was the worst...oh Minnesota, one thing is that as long as you're on the Morphine they'll keep you on oxygen only because morphine lowers your breathing and they keep the oxygen going for the first 12 hours or so after surgery when you're on the highest levels of morphine.

That evening...I really felt comfortable....comfortable enough to tell my hubby that he could go home and I would be okay until early afternoon the next day. I felt silly with him sitting there reading...he's not one to like hospitals and I really knew I was okay and comfortable enough to send him on his way. During the night I just pushed my PCA, took some ice chips, and did my spirometer each time I awoke. Oh...I failed to mention that you will have these boots on your legs that pump up like a blood pressure cuff off and on until you are getting up frequently on your own. You will also have a foley catheter tube in your bladder that catches your urine until you are able to go to the bathroom on your own.

During the night a little bulb thingy coming from my largest incision was leaking...I mentioned it to the nurses and they just put gauze over it...the surgeon explained that it was not a drain but a way of delivering xylocaine to the incision so as to help with the pain for the first day of so. I had started to develop a fever of 103.5 the surgeon felt that the main suture, although not reddened, but warm to tough, may be the culprit...and so he put me on an IV antibiotic and removed the bulb thingy in cae it was causing the problem.

The foley came out that day, day #2 & the pain management team changed my morphine to a continuous drip and told me I can have percocet, vicodin, and turinol dutring breakthrough periods when I needed something more to control the pain. I worked on walking and using the spirometer and got better with each day. For two days I was on clears we know what that's all about.

The third day I started on regular foods after tooting...exactly 72 hours after surgery and the fourth morning...Friday, I was discharged home even before having a BM!!!! It is all a blur right now as I am recuperating....and I can honestly say that it wasn't as bad as I thought. On my 9th day I am still very tired and in pain but all manageable...my body tells me what I can & cannot do and I try to listen.

I have a concert for my daughter tonite...I will check in later if I can and definitely tomorrow morning....Goody
19th May 2004
Minnie,

I am praying for you and the Kings, I, I, I, I, mean the T-Wolves. :)

That's it. I just wanted you to know I was thinking of you. The Xylocaine to the incision sounds like a handy thing. The Percocet support too for the pain. There are many stratagies. I think you will be fine. I was starting to get jumpy a little further into the night. I might have gotten up an hour or so too early. Goody is right. That is not helpful. I'll make a deal with you. We do the praying and you do the sleeping. Deal?

Epidural is probably overkill for most patients, besides it is more dangerous than the other. Try to manage through it with the others first.

Anyway, I am praying for you. Thanks for sending in your progeny to post while you are down, unlike that Goody2Shoes who left us all hanging for days.

:jester:

I am sure there are many people praying for you tonight.

RS
22nd May 2004
Minnie's daughter...Thanks for the update. So glad she's doing better & walking around. That's the best thing she can do. Mid that she's talking about is I believe, Toradol. It was great because it last up to 6 hours and didn't make you sleepy so you could do the walking and things that you need to do to get better. Tell her to take the Toradol during the day & the Percocet when she needs to rest/sleep. The only thing is that with the Toradol they only give you so many doses for your whole stay and you have to pace yourself & figure out when you need it the most. With me they started with only 3 doses(injections) but they ended up increasing it to 6 and I think I only ended up using 3 or 4 anyway.

Please give your Mom another hug from Goody and tell her I think she's doing a wonderful job!! And by the way...did she have the open surgery or was it done laproscopically? And does she still have the epidural in for pain? Just wondering....Goody
25th May 2004
Minnie's Daughter...Sorry to hear that mom is having a hard time of it. I had my resection done over 2 weeks ago and I'm still in considerable pain...trying to stay away from the vicodin and using tylenol and advil instead.

Percocet I believe is 3 times stronger than Vicodin and very rarely is one discharged home on it. So I guess they're trying to get mom on the Vicodin to handle the pain. I believe your mom had the open resection whereas I had it done laprascopically. The epidural numbs most of the incisional area so that no pain is felt postoperatively. Now the epidural is out and although the toughest pain period is over your mom is experiencing pain that is now felt by her and although most likely less than the first few days...it is more than she actually felt since she had the epidural covering up the pain. So although your mom feels that it's alot...it is actually less than what it originally would have been if she hadn't had the epidural. Explain this to mom so that she will understand.

Sorry to hear about the hospital food . Perhaps you can get your mom something and bring it up to the hospital for her to eat. A lo residue diet is not too restrictive. Speak to her doctor or nurses about it and see if you can bring some food in for her. Most soups, chicken/turkey sandwiches, pancakes, eggs and toast etc. are things she can have. Applesauce, ripe bananas, soft rolls are also good choices. Ask your mom what she feels like eating....I found that my stomach was attracted to the right foods and definitely turned off by the wrong ones.

Tell mom that she is in my thoughts & prayers each day. I am hoping that she will be home soon. Eating & walking will lead to her first BM. It should be any time now.....Goody
28th May 2004
Welcome Home, Minnie!!!~ :bouncing: Yes....we're thrilled to hear that you're in your usual surroundings...home. Yes...I too got the diet contradictions between dietician and surgeon. So I'm doing what my body tells me to do...it only makes sense to not stress out the healing bowels...so soft things, easily digestible things is what I'm doing. Tell Minnie to take it easy & not rush back to the computer...we'll all be here to greet her when she's ready...however, I'll be away at our summerhome for the holiday weekend...which has no computer...so I'll probably check in Monday night.

Hey Jen...what's up with you...you sorta left us hanging with your incision healing!!! Is it all better...sure hope so and that you're healing well yourself!!

As for me...I landed in the ER last night from 8pm-3pm. The burning/tearing sensation in my lower abdomen just didn't feel right & was getting so severe that it actually had me crying out in pain each time I got it...usually with movement...however, yesterday it came just while I was sitting down. They did a CAT Scan which showed some inflammation but nothing to worry about. I feel better having had the CAT but exhausted from the entire process. No meds were helping...they sent me home with toradol which worked best in the hospital and won't make me sleepy like the percocet and vicodin. So I'm on my way out to fill the scripts...and then to pack up for our weekend which I'm looking very much forward to.

Glad to hear everyone is home and healing themselves...please know that my prayers are still offered for my dear friends here on the board....will check in before leaving this afternoon and again on Monday evening. Where's Resection...did he take his Supreme Colon away to the beach again. Hope all that stress is down and that he's on the mend...Goody
1st June 2004
Hey..Minnie!! con grats on your first day alone...now don't over do it ;) Sounds as if you're recuping well...wow 26 staples & 8 inches that's quite an incision you've got!!

Don't know where Resection and his Supreme Colon went...hasn't checked in here for sometime now. I hope all is okay...last time he was overwhelmed with work which can take a toll on anyone's colon.

Minnie...I'm just over 3 weeks since my resection and still having pain in my suprapubic area...just above my bladder/uterine area. There is no external incision but my surgeon says there are internal incisions where I feel the pain. It's not a pain like I had in the hospital or even when just out. It's a severe burning that comes & goes but is quite painful. I have been doing some research on my own & wonder if I have adhesions. And from what I'm reading...it's not good news...that I can have this pain forever :eek: I think Jen has had adhesions...I never have despite having had abdominal surgery before. It does feel as if something was sewn or glued together that isn't suppose to be and keeps tearing apart. I ask that everyone pray for me...I'm really trying to be brave and my next apointment with my surgeon is in 2 weeks on June 14th...that will be about 5 weeks after my surgery & by then I should not be feeling this amount of pain. I will insist that the surgeon look further into it for me. Until then...I will be optimistic and rest and allow the healing to take place.

You sound like you're handling the pain like a champ...ibupropen by day and pain meds at night sounds like you're doing great :D :D The meds I find don't really help my pain....so I only take percocet for sleep at night if I need it.

As far as the stomach feeling deformed...I too felt that way...am still in sweats mosly for comfort...it will go down eventually and probably alot quicker for you because there is less CO2 used in the belly in open versus lap if any at all. They need to inflate the abdomen in lap in order to see everything and they begin lap in open and use some CO2 but not nearly as much as in lap. So you should see less swelling in the next week or so.

I'm so glad that you're home & healing well...keep us posted and know that you continue to be in my prayers for a speedy recovery....Goody :wave:
14th July 2004
Resection - thanks a lot for your words of wisdom. I will definitely follow your advice. I am a Christian but honestly have not been active in my church for some time. I have a very large group at work that are Christians and belong to the same church and have offered their help as far as meals etc. I have to admit I did feel a little funny with that offer because I have never been comfortable accepting help - I'm very independent and somewhat of a perfectionist - you know how that goes. Well I think I'll let them know that it will be welcome and appreciated.

In the meantime, I'm going to continue reading the pages of this thread that I haven't gotten to yet ... I think I had gotten to around page 14 or so, and if I have any more questions I'll post again. So far I've learned more from you guys that I have from all three of my doctors put together. FYI, my surgery will be open, I guess due to it being cancer and all, they want to make sure they get to everything. I'm no stranger to pain, I've had several surgeries in the past, but I do want to ensure that I have relatively good pain care and most importantly I don't want to get sick after the op because that has been a problem for me in the past. I get sick on Percocet and codeine, and I got violently sick after my C-section (I had a spinal and morphine so I don't know which was to blame), so I guess I'll have to have a heart to heart with either the Anesthesiologist or surgeon preop.

Thanks again.

Ftlaudmom
17th August 2004
Well, 2 weeks post-op and 5 days home from the hospital. All is going well. My drain sites have just about closed, with very little spotting on the dressings, and the soreness there on the lower left is getting better every day. I never did have any real pain at the actual incision site, and am due to have the staples (clips) removed tomorrow.

My main foci of concern have been BMs and pain/strength control. For the first three days home, I did not have any BMs, just passed gas. Because I passed gas, I knew I didn't have a blockage or anything that nasty, but I really wanted the plumbing to demonstrate that it was patent, if you know what I mean. Just act normal, I kept telling the tummy. Do your thing. At last, on the third day, it did. In retrospect, I should have remembered that I had not been eating very much and the gut can only put out whatever is put in. In any event, the reappearance of proper bodily function greatly reassured me and things have been just fine since. BMs do hurt a little, but on the scale of things have not been a problem. I have not needed stool softeners or anything.

Pain control is an interesting area. I have high pain tolerance and could probably tough it out without pain meds, but the doc told me to keep myself comfy, that my body would heal faster and better if unstressed by pain. So I let myself get just to the verge of feeling crampy, uncomfortable and then pop a Percocet. I hate doing it because the drug (and most any pain pill) makes me sick to my stomach. I have to sit in the recliner or lie in bed for fifteen minutes, staying very still, waiting for the queasy sick feeling to pass. In the next fifteen minutes, the pain completely goes away and I often doze off for a half hour or so. And then for several hours after that, I have no pain at all and can go about my business at a pretty good energy level. After four or five hours, though, my energy fades quite a lot. Anyway, the point of this is that everyone will find their own pattern of pain control and energy levels. I've read all the posts about this and it really is amazing how differently each person bounces back and handles this at-home recuperation period. From what I understand, it isn't exactly a linear progression, either. Kind of two steps forward, one back, two forward kind of thing.

My first follow-up visit to the doctor comes up tomorrow. I will have a load of questions for him. For one, I wonder if these hard lumps in my lower left side are normal. They are under the skin, absolutely painless, and I suspect related to my sutures or drains... but I would like to know for sure.
15th November 2004
Shep...Verset is a twilight sleep med they give ya during colonoscopies and such....rather than general anesthesia...Rex the man that he is probably got it to relax him prior to the surgery...my guess, but he'll chime in here to correct me if I got it wrong ;) As far as the epidural....my surgeon and anesthesiologists recommended that only for open resections....laps got the morphine pump. If you have the epidural there is no need for the bulb lidocaine thingy because you'll be numb and not feeling the incisonal pain...and they remove that thingy after the first day or so. If you have the morphine pump you can either have it set to self administer (have someone with you the first 24 hrs since you will be too sleepy to push the button yourself or if somebocy is not with you have a continuous drip running) and the next morning you will have percocet, toradol and other meds to have in conjunction with the morphine pump. This is good becuase the morphine really knocks you out so I used the other meds whe I needed to get up out of bed so I could do a better job of it...the morphine I pushed when I wanted to sleep. You'll see what works best because everyone responds to different meds differently. The toradol is only ordered for a max of I believe 4-6 doses throughout your hospital stay because it tends to interfere with your platelets and could lead to bleeding if used more often. So...it's your ace in the hole as they say...so use it when absolutely necessary....it tends to last about 6 hours and is a great thing in terms of alleviating pain.

So there you have it....pain relief 101 by Goody :D :D Hope it helps you out. As far as when to discuss this...be sure they show you the morphine pump you'll be using and my hospital had a pain management team that met with me each morning to assess and modify my pain needs. It worked out well for me.....Goody :wave:
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