Chewing Gum aids in healing after colon surgery!

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simmadown
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 8/18/2008 2:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I think I'd heard this somewhere before but this was in the news today: I'll have to remember it when/if i ever go back and get re-connected.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26270852

Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 8/18/2008 4:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Wish I had know this. I had a temp ostomy 9 years ago and it took forever for my colon to wake up. I also had severe gas pains from my colon resection (due to rectal cancer, 15 inches removed, 90% of my sigmoid as well, along with my gall bladder). I clearly remember the night I was in so much discomfort, a kind nurse sat up with me (had dry heaves at 2 in the morning!). I joked I had wished I had packed a few saltines. I said if I had, they'd never know I had them. LOL She joked right back - oh we'd know, they'd come right back up. I wanted to chew something in the worst way! But perhaps since I did have the ostomy, gum was a no-no? I don't know....that phase is a blur at times then something like this topic takes me instantly back to that very rough night. What a kind nurse she was. She just sat with me for close to an hour. How nice.

Other than walking, I hadn't heard of anything to get the colon to wake up. Gum - who knew? LOL

Mary/marsky

simmadown
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 8/18/2008 5:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Mary, that was rough but that was nice of her to sit with you. Me, when I was throwing up and called for the nurse, one came in and said, 'oh honey, you're being sick' and walked back out of the room. hahah. Oh, she did pull my top back down over my waist because I was bent over the bedside potty hurling in it and it had ridden up in the back. Decorum at all costs, eh?

As far as chewing gum, I think we were told not to 'take in air' by chewing gum or sipping thru a straw! That it would build up and make us more uncomfortable. I haven't been reconnected and have no plans to so I don't have to worry about that yet, but I'll try to remember all the advice to walk walk walk walk to start things moving if I ever decide to do it.

Marsky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 8/19/2008 5:58 AM (GMT -7)   
I recall being told not to take in more air, straws were out, as well as gum. I also recall an ET nurse saying "you don't want gum getting stuck in your tract!". I pictured more surgery, so I didn't chew gum for 8 weeks! I was petrified back then of straying from that ostomy diet.

Yes my first surgery was a doozy, I was in the worst pain of my life. Worse than childbirth! And I swear but I never thought anything would be worse than childbirth (I had an epidural wear off with my first delivery in 1987, so I had hard, active labor until the Anesth. could leave a C-section to give me another shot). Even though I didn't have natural childbirth, I did know what women felt w/o drugs! So when I first came out of the anesth. fog from my first colon surgery (5 hours), it hurt to just take a breath. If I wanted to fluff my pillow, more intense, gripping pain. So anything they told me not to do, I paid attention. Now of course the flip side to this is they also said to get moving - ie, sit up in bed, swing my legs over the side of the bed, sit upright in the recliner/chair and eventually venture out into the hallway and walk. I thought they were just absolutely crazy! I know I said - hey I just had surgery! LOL But eventually I realized they were correct - the sooner you move out of that prone state and move, you begin to feel better and healing can begin. For my second colon surgery - the takedown - I had the best experience (except of course when the bm's began, I was raw!). I was doing double slow laps around the entire surgical floor. An older kind nurse saw me late one night (my last lap for the day, my oh 5th or 6th of the day). She asked - are you going for a record? I laughed and said - oh no, I just want to get better, ASAP. Suddenly she realized - ah, you've had colon surgery before haven't you? I do think nurses love repeat surgery patients - no lectures needed! I was doing those breathing exercises too - the device you blew into each hour, 10 repetitions each time. The nurses soon stopped coming in every hour to remind me to do the exercises and ask if I had walked yet.

But that first surgery was a major shock. I will just forget how hard it was to recover from! Yes that young nurse was very kind to sit up with me. I kept apologizing. She kept saying - this is what I am here for. And it was around 2 in the morning. I probably was helping keep her awake on her night shift! LOL

What my entire experience told me was I wanted to give back, then and there. I wasn't joking with my doctors and/or nurses, I promised them I'd come back and sit with other colon patients, listening to them, gently encouraging them to walk. I said I'd even show them my scars (the women) if they didn't believe what I was attesting to.

None have taken me up on my offer though. I've only been able to find online forums/support groups for colon surgeries, ostomies, IBS (what I essentially suffer from now), etc. Nothing in person. People tell me - start a support group yourself. But I just don't think I am healthy enough to do that. My life revolves around a toilet now. But I do not want any more surgery - I am adamant. No more. Unless necessary. Our medical insurance leaves a lot to be desired for one thing and we are putting 2 daughters through college currently. So our budget is stretched tight-tight. I am just maintaining what I've got - less colon, 10% sigmoid. I do okay. Enough that I can manage a part time job! So that's something.......

I did chuckle at how little privacy you had. Me too. Between my temp ostomy, my two incision sites (colon, gall bladder), 2 grenades/tubes they gave me on each hip AND jump starting my period by 10 days (yes I had to wear an old sanitary belt!), the nurses were always lifting my gown. I eventually asked them to keep my door closed.

Now when I hear someone is in the hospital, I ask two questions - 1. do they want visitors and 2. what can I help them with? So many people think you want visitors who will sit beside you, eating, drinking (esp. when you can't!), blabbing on about their busy lives (while you're stuck in that bed), or help you with what they think you need. Instead of just asking.

I always, always ask the patient what they want. You learn the hard way don't you? Boy did I ever learn the hard way what it's like to have major surgery! And be in the hospital for days......and I mean days! LOL

Mary

spasman
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 361
   Posted 8/20/2008 8:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Somebody said...As far as chewing gum, I think we were told not to 'take in air' by chewing gum or sipping thru a straw! That it would build up and make us more uncomfortable.
The "sugar less" will most likely cause bloating dosen't it?Personally regular sugar gum like Juicy fruit is more tolerable.
 
Thanks Mary for the explanation.Do you think it is the resection that cause the colon to be asleep?


-IBS induced by NSAID
-IBS-A,C with meteorism(trapped gas) and pubic burning-
 

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