Three weeks from surgery

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schrek-chewbacca hunk
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2666
   Posted 5/7/2009 4:01 PM (GMT -6)   
and I still feel not great, in fact I am in real rectal pain and soreness.  I also am really tired and yet find myself unable to sleep throough the night.  My back is very sore as well, and yet sitting up is also no day at the beach.  I am so sorry for the elongated pity party - but is this normal?  My doc said 4 weeks until energy and most of the pain was gone - but that was when he wanted to use the wound vac which can't stay on.
I am not trying to be a whiner, but dear God - this seems not to get better on a day by day basis.  But the 3 weeks since the surgery has seemed to fly by somehow - and I feel weird about that as well.  I would have thought this would be slow and slouggish.
My appetite seems to have increased - and am now eating three meals a day - a long time since I did that with UC.
So, any advice from people who have had the total with the wet to dry rectum thing instead of the wound vac.
I would rather have my MIL here than put up with this for another 3 weeks or so.  Blah!
sore bob

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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 5/7/2009 4:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh man Bob, now I KNOW you're in severe pain. You'd take your MIL over the pain. I'm trying not to smile here as I type.....

I didn't have my rectum removed, obviously, since my temp ostomy was reversed. But I did have a lot of surgery done to my lower rectal/sigmoid area. They removed 90% of my sigmoid and then 15 inches of my colon, pulling it down and re-attaching it to my rectum. I have permanent staples in this area. Also, the stapler malfunctioned during surgery I was told and they had to push my lower newer sigmoid area out, staple it and push it back in.

So all of that said? I was in SEVERE pain for 4 straight weeks. So in this small way I know the pain you are describing. The only way I felt relief for it was if I put pressure on my rear end. Meaning, sitting on a hard wooden chair or lying flat on my back to sleep. Or putting my hand on top of my rear end over my clothing as I walked around the house. Sometimes when I'd get up from a chair, I would feel as though I had left half my bottom behind. No pun intended. It felt like my bottom was not attached to the rest of me. If that makes any sense.

I was told this area of the body has many, many nerve endings. And they take a lot of time to heal. Until then, you have pain. I also took many sitz baths, with either baking soda or Aveeno added to the water. This did help.

But what helped the most? Time. Time truly was the best healer. They told me to walk and walk I did. It was painful, oh my gosh, very, very painful but I walked. First a loop inside my home, then outside (I walked the perimeter of our house about 5 times, several times a day). Eventually we bought a treadmill so I could stop it and use the bathroom if needed).

Ironically our Golden needed her anal glands removed about a year later. My Vet talked me into it and I agreed. Well, this poor thing whimpered in pain for 2 weeks. I kept a faithful schedule of her pain meds, so I would never miss a dose. I had to hand feed the poor girl in my hand, she couldn't bend over her food bowl, she had to sit on the carpet to eat. After her surgery, I had two experiences - this part of the human and canine body is very touchy and painful to have surgery on.

Based upon my experience, your pain sounds dare I say normal. My pain did eventually go away but it was there, 24/7. I would go to sleep praying it would ease and wake up with the same thought. It seemed to take about 30 days for it to begin subsiding.

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!

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 5/7/2009 6:05 PM (GMT -6)   

Bob, hang in there...Marsky is right, time is truly the gauge for this type of surgery...I, too, had a lot of pain/discomfort with my proctocolectomy.  I found that a heating pad placed on my lower back helped a lot with that pain.  I would use the lowest setting and sit more on the side of my butt so I took some pressure off the rectal area.

Don't worry about going to the wet to dry WILL heal that way...just might take a little longer (and it is SO MUCH easier to get around without that contraption).  I know pain meds don't work well for you, but take what you can to get you through this discomfort.  I will say that you will wake up one day and the pain will have diminished!!!  for me it was at about week 5, but everyone is a little different, but it DOES happen:)

I am so glad to hear you have an appetite!  You'll discover how good food tastes when you aren't feeling the effects of UC with it!!  Hang in there!

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 493
   Posted 5/7/2009 8:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bob-- My rectal wound started out at 10 cm long and over 7 cm deep--a cavern. We've been packing it with wet gauze since surgeon took the drains out. It has healed beautifully and so much faster than the surgeon planned. There is not much depth left and it's about 3 cm long--I hit 9 weeks from surgery today. The key for me was big time protein. My visiting nurse is a wound specialist and she really said get that protein down! They did not advocate sitz baths. I would ask your doc. When the wound was cavernous, it drained a lot of mucus and blood and it was difficult for the packing to stay in. I would sit sideways on the toilet to try to keep it in as I urinated or emptied the bag. I also wore 3 maxi pads--one up front and two in the back. Now, I'm down to two pantiliners that I don't always really need. i'm guessing you can do the same even though you're a guy--we won't tell.

YES at 3 weeks my back hurt like heck. I had the heating pad on constantly and I was walking hunched over. Does your insurance allow for physical therapy. Over the first 8 weeks, I had just 5 sessions but they were really helpful. I, too, had a difficult time sleeping and was sleeping sitting up for a while. Pillows to my left and right, between my legs (I was so swollen it hurt to keep my legs together) helped. Still, I am not sleeping through the night--I get up at least once maybe twice because I am uncomfortable, thirsty, or have to empty the bag. Don't worry about that. It will improve.

YES--the time has flown by and YES I still feel weird about it. I have this pile of books I thought I'd read and a ton of videos I thought I would have watched. But mostly, I concentrated on researching how to get well and spent a lot of time with my family. Even today, my brother visited and took me out to get a new comforter, pillows, can opener, etc.. I thought I'd be doing all this relaxing--well, I'm getting there.

My GI said that at once month, I'd feel a marked improvement and he was right. It wasn't total health but I started to feel more like me. Unfortunately, that's when I got food poisoning and lost bile for 4 days! HA!

Hang on ! Keep the MIL MIA and concentrate on hydration, protein, and you!
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.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 5/7/2009 8:24 PM (GMT -6)   
yeah that butt healing up hurts worse than anything! or at least that was what i thought, lol
I did find that keepign a clean maxi pad on at all times helped with it. I had a lot of itching as it healed.
There is some cream that you can get from the dr to put on it to help numb it, i cant remeber what its called though. It kind of numbs the area and it really helped me alot, especially with the itching.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 104
   Posted 5/8/2009 7:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Im 10 days outta surgery and every now and then I get butt burn depending on how many times in a row i go..My surgeon told me to get Desitin which is for babies diaper rash but omg!! go buy gma got it at dollar store for like $3 and its the best thing ive ever used! It doesnt burn or feel wierd on your butt like some do and you can use it as much as you want. Id highly recommend that =)
17, SENIOR in high school
Dx with Ulcerative Colitis on March 18,2008
Step1 Ileostomy on Nov.19,2008
Step 2 April 29th!!
"The past is history, the future is a mystery. Today is a gift, that's why it's called the present"

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 518
   Posted 5/8/2009 4:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Don't feel 3 weeks out I was in so much pain I figured I just made the biggest mistake of my life! It will get just takes a lot of time. Feel free to moan and complain--recovery is a b!#@*!! In the end it is so worth it!!
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