need help-just can't eat

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sammies
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 493
   Posted 3/2/2009 7:30 PM (GMT -6)   
While I'm thrilled I came home from the hospital 3 days early and that the ostomy is working, I can't eat. I've got flowers galore, phone calls, gifts--i should be so thankful. I talked to both surgeon and GI today who were very kind--Trying to sort out the pain meds-- but said I must get some protein down. Can't really do dairy--tried pizza and got a bit gassy-- and was sick on ensure before the surgery so scared to do it again. Today I ate an eggo, a piece of deli meat, a little cracker barrell cheese (no lactose), a few baked potato chips, chix broth, and a lollipop. I am drinking lots . I am in such pain that I just don't want to eat. And it makes me so down.

I am skin and bones on the top but SWOLLEN on the bottom. My back is killing me and I just can't eat. What do I do?
24+ years with Crohn's/colitis; fistulizing crohn's; ileostomy and proctocolectomy; propranolol and xanax; been on a ton of crohn's meds; praying to get through each day.


peggy113
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1998
   Posted 3/2/2009 8:04 PM (GMT -6)   
You Must try to eat. Just a little bit at a time, protein is important. And you need to eat to help make your pain meds work - they won't get into your system very well w/o eating. Much better with food. Why can't you have lactose? Eating will also get that anesthesia out of your system, which will help you to feel better. Just keep trying little bits at a time.... and keep a positive attitude. We are here for you.
Peggy
      
Diagnosed with CD in 1979, many resections and meds
Perm Ileostomy July 1984 at Cleveland Clinic
Disease free since surgery 
 


psygirl6
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 268
   Posted 3/2/2009 8:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sammies,
I had my surgery back in aufust and it was hard for me to eat too at first. My doctor said because when you have a surgery like that, your stomach shrinks a bit especailly after not eating for a while so you have try to eat small and what you can. I know your lactose intolerant, and so am I, so I use an egg substitite because that is a great way to get protein, and it is lit, so it would be easier to eat. I to this day still have problems with appetite, 8 months later, so I just eat 6 light meals a day. rather than 3 big ones. Usually I eat mostly protein and a veggie, for my lunch and dinner. I also have numerous intolerances, like glutein, lactose, msg, and fructose intolerances (not related to surgery), so this is how I eat, and my doctor said this is perect because you get your protein and nutrients this way. Well, I hope this helps.
Maya
diagnosed with slow transit constipation: June 2008
total colectomy with ileo-rectal anamastosis: Aug 7, 2008
Numerous food intolerances (gluten,lactose,msg,etc)


2 RIS K
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 367
   Posted 3/2/2009 10:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I know exactly how you feel, I still have the same problem with my appetite. I can give you the same advice - eat small meals throughout the day instead of three big ones. I know it's easier said than done. You know what I ate today? 3 oatmeal cookies and a handful of tortilla chips...
I hope you can take the advice better than I did. I ate on Friday night, I had a piece of pizza and a smoothie and it caused a blockage, I'm not in much better shape than you, lol! At least I understand...
Amanda
35 years old
Chronic Lifetime Constipation
Diagnosed IBS - 1995
Rectal Prolapse - February 2007
Rectosigmoid Colectomy w/low anterior Anastomosis - March 13, 2007
Diagnosed with Colonic Inertia - June 08
Total Colectomy - September 22, 2008
Temporary Ileostomy due to small bowell perforation Septepmber 29, 2008
Ileostomy Reversal - December 15, 2008
Multiple Small Bowel Abscesses-December 22, 2008
Leak at original Anastamosis -December 25, 2008
JP Drain removed - January 23, 2009
 
The whole world is at your feet; so paint your toenails Red!
 


pepperann27
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 147
   Posted 3/3/2009 12:09 AM (GMT -6)   
can you drink Silk? soy milk? My appetite isn't very good either but my problem might be something different because its been a few years since my last abdominal surgery. :)
thanks, Dusti

Diagnosed with colonic inertia at 13 years old, had my colon removed.
Diagnosed with rectal inertia at 16 years old, had my rectum removed and had a jpouch made.
Diagnosed with small bowel inertia at 18 years old, and got an ileostomy wich I still have. I am 27 now.
If you want to know more, just ask me!
"Don't worry about failure, worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try"
 


Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 3/3/2009 6:43 AM (GMT -6)   
would "grazing" help? I little bite of this, a little bite of that....I've said before, I CRAVED one thing and one thing only and that was all I ate...do you have an interest in anything? It is still early in your recovery, and things will get better:)

what about scrambled eggs? What are you taking with your meds? Make sure you are taking enough....your back pain should be a discomfort, not PAIN...it is a result of the surgery....

flchurchlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 3/3/2009 8:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Please don't worry, this is normal right after surgery. I agree with everyone to nibble and eat small meals. Do you like chicken or fish? They are good sources of protein. Mashed potatoes are yummy, too, and easy to digest. It's good that you're drinking plenty of fluids. Hang in there and keep us posted on how you're doing.
Cecilia
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free, medicine-free, and very thankful to be healthy again.


suebear
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5691
   Posted 3/3/2009 8:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Be sure to get outdoors or to a mall and walk. Walking will increase your appetite not to mention speed your recovery.

Sue
dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free


ddd45
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 572
   Posted 3/3/2009 3:48 PM (GMT -6)   

I've had the same problem. Eat little bits lots of times. A few bits of something counts. I would also recommend trying to eat things with better nutritional value and less chemicals than you have listed. Try mashed potates, rice, applesauce, scrambled eggs, peanut butter on crackers, Omit things that are full of chemicals like potato chips, eggos, and deli meat. If you wake in the middle of the night, have a little snack by the bedside to eat. After my first surgery - emergency colon removal, it took me approximately 3 months until I could eat more than a bird's portion at a time. And I had been very ill with a UC flare and not really ate 6 weeks prior to my surgery. In fact, with my most recent surgery - jpouch creation... I have had the same problem. My husband would cook me ONE scrambled egg and it would take me three meals to eat it. But I eventually would get in all down. So just remember every bite counts and try to make each bite of good nutritional value.

Also get outdoors if you can and get some fresh air, even if it is just sitting or lying outdoors. And have someone take you for a car ride, bring along pillows. Anything to move a bit or just give yourself a change of scenery will help you.

good luck.


Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 3/3/2009 5:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I echo a lot of the advice given here. I too had a difficult time returning to solids after my first colon surgery (returned to food too soon and was put back on a liquid diet, all total I hadn't eaten in almost 14 days, it was an awful period...). Once I did return to eating I had to eat small portions and simple food. I stocked up on Stouffer's meals, the smaller sized portion varieties. This amount was perfect. Also, bananas, applesauce, scrambled eggs, plain bagels or english muffins, even simple toast and chicken noodle soup were enough to keep me going and get me back to eating more food in the long run. I also hard boiled eggs 4 at a time, they were chilled and ready to eat if I was hungry. I walked the inside of my house in the early days, we have a circle that you can walk thru 4 rooms on the first floor of our house, I would try to walk this path for the count of 10. Then sit and rest for a while. And do it again. We have a school nearby and I would walk around it once when I felt up to it and when school wasn't in session. Just pick a short path like this and try to do it several times a day. Once to get fresh air I walked around the house, in the yard. I know it looked goofy but I also didn't want to be far from home if I needed the bathroom and if I got dizzy. So I just walked around the house about 5 times. At some point I said I didn't care what my neighbors thought, I wanted to feel better! We eventually bought a treadmill. There was one day my husband just said - go outside, sit in the sunshine and soak it up. I dressed warm (since it was April) and did what he suggested. Just feeling the sun on my face brightened my day. I did feel better later. He was right. You could try sitting in a sunny window.
Marsky/Mary's story.....
- Diagnosed with rectal cancer, April 1999 - Stage I, no treatment necessary
(5 hour colon resection: 90% sigmoid removed, 15 inches of colon removed, gall bladder removed, given temporary colostomy)
- Colostomy reversal, June 1999
- Left with IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's every day
- On a low residue diet at least 75% of the time
- Takes Colace 50 mg each evening

All in all I do okay, I just use the bathroom A LOT! But I survived and beat cancer!


sammies
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 493
   Posted 3/3/2009 6:35 PM (GMT -6)   
thanks for all the reassurance and suggestions. I finally calmed down and realized I need to stress less about eating--took everyone's advice about eating small. It is so reassuring to hear that other folks could get just a bit down. I love ddd45's story about 3 meals to eat a scrambled egg. Thanks for the thought that I need food for the pain med to be absorbed--makes a lot of sense. My folks were here today --i'm 37 but I needed them big time! My mom made a ton of food and they had a tea, soup, bread, food brigade coming at me. Got the pain a little more under control and it made a HUGE difference in my well-being and my appetite. Hopefully, tomorrow will be even better. It's so scary. I'm just coming to terms with how malnourished I had become before the surgery.

Also, the gas is so bad. When will that stop?
24+ years with Crohn's/colitis; fistulizing crohn's; ileostomy and proctocolectomy; propranolol and xanax; been on a ton of crohn's meds; praying to get through each day.


kimlin08
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 3/3/2009 7:09 PM (GMT -6)   
i also hated ensure...gagged me badly....try instant carnation with ice cream in a blender.....works much better...get well soon....maggie

Maggie in tennessee....coping


flchurchlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 3/4/2009 10:02 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm glad you were able to get the pain under control and eat some food. Yes, the gas will end soon. Gas-X really helped me with that.
Cecilia
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free, medicine-free, and very thankful to be healthy again.


Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 3/4/2009 1:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Walking helps get rid of the pent up gas. One trick I learned is if I go up and down our staircase, this hurries the gas along and out. Either end, it works both ways - LOL I still have trouble with trapped gas sometimes so I do up and down our steps. Go slowly since you're recently post-op but I find that gravity helps get rid of gas too.

Probably riding in an elevator would do it too.
Marsky/Mary's story.....
- Diagnosed with rectal cancer, April 1999 - Stage I, no treatment necessary
(5 hour colon resection: 90% sigmoid removed, 15 inches of colon removed, gall bladder removed, given temporary colostomy)
- Colostomy reversal, June 1999
- Left with IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's every day
- On a low residue diet at least 75% of the time
- Takes Colace 50 mg each evening

All in all I do okay, I just use the bathroom A LOT! But I survived and beat cancer!


flchurchlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 3/4/2009 6:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Laying in bed on your left side helps expel gas, too. I don't know why it works, but it does! :-)

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 3/5/2009 6:51 PM (GMT -6)   
sammies--how are you doing today?

Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 3/6/2009 6:44 AM (GMT -6)   
I second the lying in bed or on the couch, on your left side, that expels gas. It really works!

I will share a tip a nurse gave me once, yet again (sorry to those that have read it). She said to stand up, picture the large intestinal tract on the outside of your stomach (look at diagrams to be sure, I had to, before cancer I didn't know where things were internally!). Take your right hand, begin on the lower right side, down near your groin, and push down gently and move your hand up (this is where your appendix would be located). Massage going up to the navel area, pushing down gently but moving up, then go horizontally over to your left hand side on your hip, then keep pushing down but massaging across and then down on your left side. To the groin area. This helps move gas along that may be stuck in a pocket or something.

I've done this a lot, and it does help. Either it tricks my mind into thinking I am moving the gas along or the massaging helps the stomach muscles or maybe it's psychosomatic (sp?), whatever it is, it does help.

Hope you're feeling better today sammies.
Marsky/Mary's story.....
- Diagnosed with rectal cancer, April 1999 - Stage I, no treatment necessary
(5 hour colon resection: 90% sigmoid removed, 15 inches of colon removed, gall bladder removed, given temporary colostomy)
- Colostomy reversal, June 1999
- Left with IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's every day
- On a low residue diet at least 75% of the time
- Takes Colace 50 mg each evening

All in all I do okay, I just use the bathroom A LOT! But I survived and beat cancer!


sammies
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 493
   Posted 3/6/2009 3:39 PM (GMT -6)   
thank you for the tips and care. i'm getting a little better with the gas. Gas-x really does help but I think i need more of it than allowed on the package. Thoughts?

Yesterday was tough--I cried a full hour from the pain. It's so strange. I had such a high tolerance for "inside"/tummy pain but this muscle, tenderness is rough. I hurt in a band around my waist, navel, and back. The incision doesn't hurt but maybe the stoma does and so does left to right. The pain makes me nauseated and irrational. It lasted 5 hours yesterday--percoset and alleve just didn't help. However, today, I am a bit better.

Having trouble sleeping though. So uncomfortable. Ideas?

THANK YOU FOR ALL THE HELP!
24+ years with Crohn's/colitis; fistulizing crohn's; ileostomy and proctocolectomy; propranolol and xanax; been on a ton of crohn's meds; praying to get through each day.


flchurchlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 3/6/2009 4:30 PM (GMT -6)   
You can take more Gas-X than the recommended dose. If the Percoset is not working, then you should call your doctor and ask him for Vicodin or some other pain medicine that will work, because you should not have to go through this. Maybe take some Nyquil to knock you out, so you can get some sleep. Hang in there. This will soon be over.
 
((hugs))
Cecilia
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free, medicine-free, and very thankful to be healthy again.


peggy113
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1998
   Posted 3/7/2009 3:04 AM (GMT -6)   

Gravity works in funny ways -- here is what I mean.  Now that you have some extra space in your abdomen and things have been disturbed and moved around from your surgery, it will take some time for everything to find their new home internally.  Do be sure to tell your dr about not being able to control your pain -- it kind of sounds like spasms to me.  Maybe a Xanax type of drug would be more beneficial.

I'm not sure how accurate this is, and hope that someone else will chime in on this one if I am totally off base, but I think I remember being told that the nerves in the abdomen area  grow horizonally.   Like in a band from the spine, around your sides to the abdomen.   So the banding of pain you are feeling may be nerves repairing themselves and "growing back".  Just a thought. 

I had some really awful back pain after surgery as well.  Be sure to continue to keep moving, walking, even thru the really painful days.   Remember forcing yourself to walk right after surgery?

And do the deep (as you can tolerate, slow, inhale-thru-the-nose/exhale-thru-the-mouth) breathing exercises to get thru the pain.  Most of us tend to hold our breath when we are in pain, or take really shallow breaths.  The deep breathing really does help the pain but you have to make a conscious effort to do it, even tho it may not be comforable to do so.

Good luck to you.


Peggy
      
Diagnosed with CD in 1979, many resections and meds
Perm Ileostomy July 1984 at Cleveland Clinic
Disease free since surgery 
 

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