Severe Weakness after Bowel Obstruction Surgery

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TwoDimes
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/26/2012 4:52 PM (GMT -7)   
I am new here. I am writing on the behalf of my ninety-year old (90 y.o.) father.

My father had surgery to remove scar tissue about four (4) weeks ago. He now is in a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation. He has been there for about two weeks receiving ST, OT, and PT.

Dad continues to be EXTREMELY weak and very shaky. He has great difficulty in transferring from a bed to a chair or chair to a bed.

He works hard at his therapies and has had very mild progress. Now, after two weeks, he is beginning to miss home and to feel discouraged, (fearful that he will not recover and will not be able to walk again).

Do know that my dad was in great health until about 2-3 months ago. This is when he began experiencing abdominal and hip pain. He had been EXCEPTIONALLY active until that time.

I would appreciate those of you who read this telling me if it is completely normal to be EXTREMELY weak two weeks after such a surgery?

I will add that my father also is having much pain in his hips and is still on a soft food diet. He has lost much weight. He will be having a swallow test on Wednesday.

Will my father survive?

Thank you.

I look forward to your feedback.

TwoDimes

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Bay Area Guy
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 173
   Posted 3/26/2012 5:45 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm sorry to hear about your father. I had a situation with my Dad, also when he was 90. Like your father, mine was quite active, despite having emphysema. He also had quite a medical history, having had some 15 major operations, including ulcers, heart bypass and aortas replacement. Friends I worked with called him the bionic man.

In 2010, my Mom passed away. He continued to live at home nd was doing pretty well until he took a fall in the bathroom last November. He also contracted pneumonia, which may have contributed to the fall. He was well enough to be released to a skilled nursing facility. Unfortunately, he had an incident where his vital signs started to crash and his breathing became labored. He was being transferred back to the hospital, but coded in the nebula nice. As he had a DNR, they let him pass peacefully. It was the day before my Mom's birthday.

At that age, you can just can't tell what will happen. It is not unusual to be weak after any operation. I was extremely weak for about two weeks after I had my abdominal operation for twisted intestines. I can't tell you if your Dad will survive this or not. What I can tell you is that you need to be prepared for it. I was half prepared and it hit me like a ton of bricks anyway. In fact, four months later and my only consolation is that Mom and Dad are together again.

I wish the best for you and your father. If he is still on a soft diet, add in some Ensure Plus to give him the vitamins and protein he needs, as well as some calories to help with his weight.

summerstorm
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 3/26/2012 7:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I just had a surgery for adhesions about 3 weeks ago, the first 2 weeks I took a nap after a shower! I'm still tired out easily and I'm 34. I think that its probably normal, and also w ith his age on top of it. And he's lost weight and had some pain before the surgery.
I hope he feels better very very soon!
UC for 8 years, before finally kicking its butt and having a permanent ileostomy April 17 2007!
-I have gone to find myself, if i get back before i return, keep me here-
No matter what kind of day you are having, take five minutes to sing loudly and dance like a fool!

TwoDimes
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/26/2012 7:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Bay Area Guy,

Thank you so very much for taking the time to reply to my post. It was most, most, most kind of you.

Having your mother and father pass had to have been very difficult for you. I TRULY understand how your major consolation was that of knowing that they were together again. Often, I have wished that my parents could go together, as sad as this may sound.

I know that I am having a really rough go realizing that my father may go downhill and might die. How does one prepare for the death of a parent? There is no easy way to do so. I just keep going with the flow, continually hoping that my father will make improvement yet knowing that he might not. I grieve, (the anticipatory grief), and am quite scared. I have felt stressed in my life but this stress is the most I have ever felt. My mother, age 86, is coping yet I know she, too, is stressed. She, I believe, is mentally preparing for losing her husband of 64 years. Whew! Sigh!

Your words were wise. Thank you. It was good to learn that you, too, were weak some two weeks after your surgery. I know nothing about you. I surely hope that you have had a complete recovery and are being able to function quite normally.

Again, I thank you for writing!

Most sincerely,

TwoDimes

TwoDimes
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/26/2012 7:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Summerstorm,

THANK YOU! You have given me hope. If you are still weak, (at age 34), following your surgery of three weeks ago, perhaps, just perhaps my dad can start to get stronger.

I thank you for your well wishes. I thank you for reading and, then, responding to my post. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!

Sincerely,

TwoDimes


Alibee
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 286
   Posted 3/26/2012 7:52 PM (GMT -7)   
I am 25 and had my colon removed almost 5 months ago. I was very weak and exhausted feeling, and it took about 4 to 5 weeks until I didn't feel like I needed to lay down and rest after showering. I had a hard time walking upright and walked pretty slowly during that time as well. It seems pretty normal to me, especially considering his age. Please tell him not to get discouraged! Keep encouraging him.

Ali

Bay Area Guy
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 173
   Posted 3/26/2012 7:56 PM (GMT -7)   
"Going with the flow" is exactly what you have to do. I tried to make sure that I didn't get too up on the days when my Dad was doing well and, likewise, I tried not to get too down on days when he wasn't doing all that well. With my Mom, it was different. She went into the hospital because she had been having gas pains for a couple of weeks. When they ran some tests on her, she was severely anemic, so they had to give her a couple of pints of blood. The next morning, they ran some other tests that determined she had colon cancer that had spread to her liver and a little to her lungs. She declined to get chemo, preferring to spend her last days more comfortably. She went home to hospice and passed away a day and a half after she got home. From the time she went to the emergency room to the time she passed away was about a week and a half. So that, at least, reduced the pain the family had to endure. What's so tragic about my Mom is that she had asked her primary care physician, on a number of occasions, to refer her for a colonoscopy, not because she didn't feel well, but because she knew she should have one for "preventive maintenance". Her primary refused to refer her, saying she didn't need one. I realize that having a colonoscopy might not have saved her. Depending on the timing, the cancer may not have formed. I don't know. I do know that by NOT referring her for one, that doctor condemned my Mom to die from colon cancer. I just will never understand why he didn't see fit to refer her. I was going to write a formal complaint to the State Licensing Board, but since he had retired, it didn't seem to be of much use and it would have just hurt my family more to have to constantly think about it.

about me.....I had my surgery in 2010 when I returned from an extended trip overseas. For whatever reason, I had developed a volvulous, a condition where the intestines twist around on themselves. In my case, my Sigmoid Colon twisted 540 degrees, effectively shutting me off. They tried to untwist it with a colonoscopy, but they eventually had to operate and take about a foot and a half of my colon out. Because of the inflammation, my surgeon couldn't reconnect me right away, so I had an ileostomy for about two and a half months. The first week out of the hospital, I developed a small bowel obstruction that put me back in the hospital for another week. Then a week after that, I developed pneumonia (likely from the tube that was put down my throat). That plopped me back in for a week and a half and, during that time, I had a prolapse that had to be remedied surgically. All this time, my surgeon was trying to get me to gain weight, which further delayed the reconnect. I finally did get reconnected in July. My recovery went quite well and I was back to working out in the gym like nothing had happened by late August, right in time for my Mom's situation to hit me square between the eyes.

Everything is pretty much fine now medically. I'm still not over the loss of my parents, and I doubt I ever will fully be over them (at least I hope not).

Your folks have mine beat. My parents were together for 62 years. I truly do hope your parents have more years together.

TwoDimes
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/27/2012 8:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Bay Area Guy,

Thank you for sharing your accounts about your parents and yourself.

My reading about what happened to your mother was saddening and angering. I will never understand inferior doctors and their misjudgements. I am so very sorry that you had to lose your mother because of the possibility of a doctor's incompetency. Her death had to have been MOST difficult for you and your family. It is a blessing when a person dies quickly and without a long, drawn out period of suffering. All the same, it is so shocking and emotionally painful. I know that the memories must be difficult. I know you must miss her, (and your father) tremendously. I don't believe that we ever "get over" the loss of a parent or the loss of our parents. We miss them until the day it is our turn to "pass on". I know I am not saying much that can comfort you. I reason that the best we can do is be eternally grateful for our parents and have to cherish the memories we have of them WITH GRATITUDE! I still miss family members of mine that died, friends of mine that died. The grieve lessens, but, on some days, when reflecting on my life and my experiences with these most valued family members and friends, I become greatly saddened. I am not alone. Everyone who has ever lived has had to experience such losses. We all do the best that we can to continue to live, don't we?

I cannot imagine what you have gone through, personally. You have gone through hell. It is hard for me to put into words what I am thinking and feeling as I re-read your health history. All must have been so shocking and so very difficult for you. This is an understatement. I am so glad to know that you have fully recovered. What a most unusual set of medical conditions you have had! I AM GLAD YOU SURVIVED!

My Dad, by the way, is doing a bit better. As of today, they determined that he could start having a normal diet, (solid foods). The SNF is hoping that he will be ready for discharge before Easter. He remains weak and shaky; but, the staff believe that once he has solid foods he will begin to strengthen. This was good news, today!

That is all for now. I am beat and am heading to bed.

Thank you, again, for sharing with me and for your interest.

Most sincerely,

TwoDimes

Bay Area Guy
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 173
   Posted 3/28/2012 7:43 AM (GMT -7)   
That's great news TwoDimes. Your Dad sounds like he's a strong man, and probably too obstinate to let a "little surgery" keep him down for long. It sounds like he'll start chasing the nurses any time now.

summerstorm
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 3/28/2012 7:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Glad to hear the good news! Please keep us posted
UC for 8 years, before finally kicking its butt and having a permanent ileostomy April 17 2007!
-I have gone to find myself, if i get back before i return, keep me here-
No matter what kind of day you are having, take five minutes to sing loudly and dance like a fool!

Bay Area Guy
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 173
   Posted 4/6/2012 7:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Two Dimes. Wondering how your father is doing.
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