My brother just had "open" surgery for a torn intestine. He started to feel better after a few days, passed gas normally, etc. but still had a lot of pain and pressure 5-6 days later. The doctors removed the NG tube on the 5th day and a little while later he started vomiting (which got rid of the pain and pressure but was a bad sign that something wasn’t functioning correctly). The doctors had to re-insert the NG tube and finally did a CT scan which found there was another leak (probably from a tear in the original sutures).
He has now been operated on again (1 week after the original surgery). He had an ileostomy bag attached after the 2nd surgery too...which the dr. said he will need for a few months.
It's been 4 days since the 2nd surgery. He is finally trying to walk short distances a couple times a day but is still in a lot of pain. We're mostly worried that the rest of the infection was not cleaned out. His fever is gone but his white blood cell count is slightly elevated. He’s also worried that the pain and pressure will remain and he’ll have the same problem again.
Does anyone have any experiences like this they can share? No one in my family has ever had any kind of surgery so I'm new to all of this. Thanks!
A singing stoma - now that's the funniest thing I've heard since all of this started! It's good to hear personal experiences so we know what to expect.
His skin is still "open" right now. They "packed" the area but left the skin open to ensure all of the infection can get out before they tie everything off. Is that a normal practice? Does the tightening/tying of the sutures on the skin hurt? Probably not any worse than what he's already been through.
That makes sense in terms of healing. I don't know for sure but I believe they left the incision open. The sutures are there but they didn't want to stitch him back up if there was still infection and more problems. Thanks for the tip on protein...I will add that to my list of items for the new diet. We're still waiting to see the list of things you should/shouldn't eat and drink.
I can't believe what you went through....months of packing, bandaging, etc. I'm sorry you had so much trouble but I truly appreciate you sharing your experience and advice. This forum/community is so great!
Hi All: My brother is still experiencing terrible pain and pressure all over his belly area. We're wondering if it's another absess or something worse with the luck he's been having. He's scheduled for another cat scan tomorrow so I guess we'll have to wait and see. He doesn't have much of an appetite but he's trying to eat puddings and drink gatorade and ginger ale. He's been up and walking around a bit but it isn't helping either. He is soooo tense and to the point of tears (as I am) because he's in such agony and the pain meds don't seem to help. His dr. didn't seem to think his pain was a big deal this morning. The nurses are great but they can only do so much since they need to wait for orders from the on-site doctors each shift.
I'm sorry to vent like this...it is just so frustrating to see him in this much pain when he should be starting to feel better. We can't seem to get any straight answers from anyone.
One catheter/drain was removed but the abscess on his right side still has a lot of fluid so it will stay another day or so. The cat scan didn't reveal any other abscesses so that is a good sign. I know you said you had trouble with one of your abdominal drains. My brother is complaining of a sharp pain on his right side (where the drain still is). Can that pain be related to the drain?
Hi Ash and friends! Happy Holidays!
My brother was told he may be coming home in two days. Unfortunately, they are going to insert a PICC line, leave the drain in for the abscess and leave the open wounds. The dr. said all of his numbers are normal and he's really ready to go home despite all of the stuff he's got coming home with him. A home health nurse will come every other day to change his packing/dressing. They want to leave the abscess drain in because they found a tiny pin hole in his large intestine that they think will heal over as the scar tissue around the drain forms. He still needs antibiotics because of the MRSA and all of the bacteria he has in his body from the periontinitis. I guess he can actually do that himself or we can help him.
Do you know how long it normally takes for an open wound to heal on it's own? I haven't actually looked but my brother says he's got two holes on his belly.
My brother came home yesterday finally. He's doing ok so far...is able to do his IV's on his own and the visiting nurse will come every other day to check the wound and re-bandage etc.
His biggest problem right now seems to be comfort. His tailbone and back are hurting from all the sitting and lying down. He's a back sleeper and it's tough to sleep on his side because of the drain and ileostomy bag on one side and the PICC line on the other arm. I did help him lie down on the couch today sort of on an angle with pillows behind him and his arm stretched out which seemed to help. When he lies on his left side, his left leg starts to hurt real bad.
I believe he has some protein powder in a large jar from when he used to work out a lot. I will find him some more and start adding those shakes with meals. He's drinking gatorade...is that sufficient to stay hydrated or can you recommend anything else?
Thanks for all your support! I hope you had a wonderful holiday with your fiance and family!
Thank you for saying that! It's always tough watching family members go through something like this. I figure the more I can learn the more I can try to help him.
He's doing ok so far but now he's got some numbness in the front of his left thigh. We think it's from laying slightly on his side...he may have pinched the sciatic nerve. The visiting nurse didn't seem too concerned but it's really bugging him.
He's able to do the IV's on his own but the nurse changed his wound dressing today for the first time. She would prefer to do it so she can keep an eye on it. But if he needs to do it every day she said it's ok to do it on the days she's off.
Hi Ash - Happy New Year!
My brother is drinking mostly gatorade throughout the day so I'm sure that is helping with hydration. The visiting nurse is coming today to draw some blood to see how the infections are. How long did it take you to recover from periontinitis? He got MRSA on top of everything else so he's taking one antibiotic every 6 hours and one every 12 hours (via IV) and then a pill on top of that. All that stuff makes him nauseous. His left leg is still bugging him too...it burns if his leg is straightened (when he's walking) but if he bends it the pain goes away and it stays numb. The nurse suggested a few ideas but it's a few days later and it's not any better. I don't know how to help him...he is miserable right now. It's hard to stay optomistic!
That sounds very similar to my brother's stay...he was in the hospital for 30 days and came home with high doses of antibiotics.
He actually went back to the ER tonight. He has been very nauseous for a couple days and just not feeling very well. He still has some pain and pressure in his abdomen that he says he's had the entire month since the first surgery. The infectious disease dr. suggested he go to the ER and do a ct scan just to be on the safe side. His liver numbers are slightly elevated again but we haven't gotten the rest of the results yet.