I was recently in the hospital for 10 days to treat my small bowel obstruction. My last surgical resection was in 1997 and I've generally been in great shape since then, but I made a blunder recently with my diet - I'm an avid broccoli consumer, but recently read that to get the most nutrients from broccoli, it should be "lightly cooked". So I asked my wife to cook my broccoli lightly, and she did. It was an enormous plate of broccoli....OOOPS! So, I ended up in the ER with a gut full of rock hard broccoli clogging up my guts. My sense is that my Crohn's is probably not doing too badly, I think the problem was more to do with a little fibrosis at my anastomosis, so it was just too hard for the broccoli to get through there. For normal food, I never really have an issue. But it took 10 days before the regimen of ng suction, rest, followed by enema, followed by muralac, followed by golytely, before I got fully opened up. And then my gi went in and balloon dilated my anastamosis, which he said was a a real short little stricture, so doesn't sound too bad.
My question though is whether anyone has some brainstorming ideas on how I could treat this type of scenario at home, should I ever be faced with this issue again in the future. This time around, the hospital bills = $40k, and my insurance policy is not the best so I'm having to pay a good chunk, and I'm not sure I'll have insurance much longer, so I'd like to be prepared to treat this more cheaply if possible in the future. I've been through the routine numerous times, so it's basically a matter of the following:
1) ng tube placement (I have my existing ng tube from the hospital stay with the markings, so I know the exact size of tube and proper placement).
2) ng suction pump on low suck, intermittent suction setting.
3) Dalauded pain medicine & zofran for nausea.
4) corticosteriod infusion.
5) round the clock sodium infusion.
6) bloodwork, including checking potassium levels, and sometimes requiring potassium infusion.
7) Enemas to clean out the colon.
8) Muralac to soften things up a bit above the obstruction.
9) golytely prep to flush everything out.
10) take vitals every few hours.
11) Listen with stethascope to heart, lungs, and bowel tones.
12) Measure urine and ng output to enable calculation of fluid requirements.
I could conceivably purchase the ng tube and the suction pump or maybe rent the suction pump from a health company. Once the tube is placed and suction begun, it's a no brainer, nothing to do. The only real expertise required is for the administration of the iv's, the calculation of the iv fluid requirements including potassium, and the bloodwork. I just wonder whether there is such a thing as a home health care firm that would rent me the equipment and provide nursing to come to my home periodically. I'm not sure how it would work exactly, as I imagine a doctor may need to have some role in authorizing the fluids, etc. Anyhow, I've never had to contemplate the financial aspects because I've always had good insurance, but I'm concerned about the possibility of losing my insurance, so I'd really like to thorougly investigate the possibility of treating this problem from home in the future if anyone has any suggestions for me.