setback -- abscess -- sigh

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 3332
   Posted 3/9/2011 7:13 PM (GMT -6)   

I'm back in the hospital. I was out for a week after my surgery, and doing pretty well, but I felt lousy in the morning yesterday, and then by the afternoon I had a 102.9 temp. Called my surgeon, and she said to go to the ER. Got some fluids and had a CT scan. Long story short, my butt wound had become infected and developed an abscess. My surgeon came back to the hospital at 10:30 at night to take some of the stitches out and drain it. Fortunately, it was toward the outside, and she got it all, so that's pretty much done.

She said this happens all the time, but it's usually slower, and handled as an outpatient. I'm just so immuno compromised, that I spiked a fever right away with it. She didn't even want to wait til morning.

So, now I'm next door to the room I was in a week ago. It's disappointing, but doesn't feel like a huge deal. The wound hurts a lot less since it was drained, and I feel so much better than I did last time I was in the hospital. She said it's just going to take me longer to heal, because of the prednisone etc. They are going to keep me here for another two or three days. I'm getting blasted with five different antibiotics, and they've drawn 12 tubes of blood in the last few hours. They're having trouble sticking me .... five tries to get a good IV last night, sigh....

Oh, they also found a clot near my hepatic vein on the CT, and the surgeon and my gi doc are consulting on whether to treat or not..... I think I'm going to be on cumiden for six months after I get out of here. Apparently, this is a common complication in people with IBD, although I had never heard of it.

Trying to keep my eyes on the prize..... on the way here I was thinking about trying various restaurants we passed, saw a big conference outside a hotel and imagined being able to go to an interesting conference etc.....

So, that's what's up w/me.....

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 422
   Posted 3/9/2011 8:24 PM (GMT -6)   

Sorry you took a step least you are under control and getting much prednisone had you been on and for how long? Is that the reason for your immuno problems?

I would think you would start getting better, albeit, at a slower pace...once the antibiotics clear up your system and the prednisone is lower, your body should start kicking in like it used to before all of this started....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 3332
   Posted 3/9/2011 9:24 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm only on 10 mg of pred now, but I've been on it for most of the time since July and for three of the six months before then. Just couldn't get off it. I was on cimzia, but I haven't had that for a while, so I think it's gone. I think you can be compromised for a while from pred, even when you're done.

My doc says it'll just be slower but I will recover, and in a few months my immune system will be more in order.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 1054
   Posted 3/9/2011 10:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi blueglass,
So sorry to hear about your complications....that is not uncommon with such a big surgery unfortunately. We will be hoping for the best for you. It sounds like the worst is over. Remember, you are only a week out of surgery, and this is for THE REST OF YOUR LIFE! Try to keep your chin up. You've been through the worst and you will eventually feel WONDERFUL!!

Stephanie, 29 years old

March 2000-Diagnosed Crohn's Colitis
(Tried every drug imaginable, but lived 10 years with daily diarrhea)
March 18, 2010-Total Proctocolectomy and Permanent Ileostomy! :)
(Now med free, 4 subsequent procedures to correct blockages at stoma site)

Stoma named Zoe...She's my best bud!! :)

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 3/10/2011 8:53 AM (GMT -6)   
You got things taken care of early on...complications do happen:( But they are temporary:)

Send good thoughts your way!
formally known as OHIO76 ~ honoring my daughter's passion!
Crohn’s dx 1989
some terrible years before my temporary ileo in 2001
Proctocolectomy w/end ileo in 2008
...wish I knew then what I know NOW!

2b ColonFree
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2603
   Posted 3/10/2011 8:59 AM (GMT -6)   
glad it was taken care of on time. you'll do great, these little set back won't stop you yeah

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 3332
   Posted 3/10/2011 9:32 AM (GMT -6)   
I am hanging in. This is my third hospitalization this year, but I was way sicker in the other two. Mostly what's getting me is the needle sticks.... my veins are shot from the vancomycin I was on for a week during the first hospitalization. Yesterday it took three tries just to draw blood.... she wasn't missing the vein, just collapsed after it was in. I asked for a picc line, but I might switch to oral antibiotics after the cultures are in today, and the picc line has a risk of infection and blood clots, both of which I already have.... so, if I need to be on IV antibiotics much longer, they'll do it, but hopefully won't be necessary.

I do feel like this is just a glitch, and my trajectory is toward health. I was so so much worse when I was here a week ago. The nurses who I saw before can really see it too.

Thanks for your support!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 720
   Posted 3/10/2011 9:36 AM (GMT -6)   
So sorry Blueglass. I can feel your frustration. Two weeks after my surgery, soon after I got the staples removed, my abdominal incision started to open up. At first just a small bit, and then a deeper and longer section. I went back to my surgeon's office expecting him to tell me we were just going to have to pack it with gauze. Instead, after he examined it he told me I should head over to the hospital (next door to his office) and that he would meet me there in a few hours to go back into surgery. Apparently the opening went all the way down into my abdominal cavity and had to be surgically repaired. I was devastated as I had just started to feel better and this seemed like starting over. He felt it was also due to Prednisone.

The second surgery went great, though it set me back to square one pain and recovery wise. Then two weeks later, just as the staples were about to come out, my incision started to drain and open in another section again. It looked a bit infected and I had a fever. On top of this, I also had some stomach pains so I was sent over to the hospital again for a CT scan. Turns out, along with my incision woe, I had a bunch of fluid build up in my abdomen. They drained it by putting a drain in my but cheek. They thought it might be an abscess, but it wasn't. The fluid that came out was clear and not infected so I just stayed in the hospital for 5 days until the drainage stopped. We packed the new incision wound which fortunately didn't go through the muscle layer this time. Again, I was so disappointed that my recovery was set back.

My abdominal incision wound seemed to be getting smaller and smaller and healing nicely. Then, in the beginning of January it started tunneling under the skin and then a big, painful lump started to form. Boy, did it hurt! My surgeon and I were both pretty frustrated at this point, as I had been off of Prednisone for a while and it didn't seem like it should be causing this much trouble. So back to the hospital for a third surgery I went to see what was going on in the incision. My surgeon found that my body had reacted poorly to the dissolveable stitches in my abdominal wall from the original two surgeries. They had caused poor healing, the wound tunelling and an abscess to form. My surgeon was surprised, as he had used one of the least reactive types. He removed them, replaced a few with a different material and then left the huge wound to heal open, from the bottom up. I was on a wound vac for 6 weeks. Again... so disappointed that my body was being so stubborn!

Now, finally, the wound vac is off, my incision is healed and I feel great. Yes, it took four months to get healed to the point that most people probably get to after 8 weeks. Oh well. At least I have gotten to this point... finally healthy and loving life again. Hang in there You will get there too!
-Officially diagnosed with UC in 2006, though had symptoms since 1999.
-Had mild/moderate symptoms continuously until severe flare in autumn 2010 which required 2-week hospital stay
-Took Asacol, Rowasa, Canasa and Prednisone to manage flares but meds stopped working
-Tried 1 infusion of Remicade but had excruciating joint pain and discontinued
-Had permanent ileostomy surgery 11/8/2010

Post Edited (Blueheron) : 3/10/2011 8:07:58 AM (GMT-7)

2b ColonFree
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2603
   Posted 3/10/2011 10:21 AM (GMT -6)   
oh my gosh, blueheron, you've been through so much shakehead   i can only imagine how discouraged you felt during these 4 mons. so glad that even with all of these set backs, you made it through and now healed and healthy  :-)   you've come a looong way. you will too, blueglass. i have such thin veins and they were also having really hard time sticking an iv. it was horrible and painful. after 2 and half weeks in the hospital, there were NO viens left to use, so they decided i take the antibiotics oraly. things will work out eventually, even if it takes a little longer. hopefully soon enough you'll be amazed at how good you feel.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5975
   Posted 3/10/2011 10:22 AM (GMT -6)   
     WOW, sounds like a lot going on with many people following this surgery.  I developed a hematoma (thought it was an abscess) inside my anus.  Since it is not sewn closed, my surgeon was able to stick an anuscope up there and vacuumed it out shocked .  Not the most pleasant feeling in the world, but I survived.  He then placed me on two weeks of antibiotics, no hospitalization, thank God.  When I went back after two weeks, he suctioned more gunk but said it looked much, much better.  I was on prednisone at time of surgery too.  about a month after my operation, I was down the casinos and wearing one of those fanny packs around my waste.  Big mistake.  I suppose the pull on my abdominal stitches was a bit much for them.  A few lower ones popped and started oozing.  I went to the casino nurse and he (yep just my luck it was a man) just put some gauze and a bandaid over it.  Well, it just kept oozing, and a week later I had to be hospitalized for dehydration, but the doctors in the of these local hospitals in south Jersey...nincompoops...just looked at it and didn't do a darn thing.  Few weeks later, saw my surgeon for the hematoma.  He put some salve like material over the stitches, it burned a tad and that was that.  I do have a tiny bulge there, but no problem whatsoever.  Now why couldn't all those other doctors do anything about it?  Makes ya wonder.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 3332
   Posted 3/10/2011 10:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Blueheron, you've mentioned complications before, but not in so much detail. Wow, that was a lot. It's great that you're so much better and so active now.

Boy the difference between excellent medical care and mediocre care is humoungous..... I am so lucky on that score, I know I'm getting excellent care.

Got to go, bathing time, no shower sigh..... for a while.

Thanks for sharing and support. We do make it through a lot.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 1059
   Posted 3/10/2011 10:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Sorry you've had a set back. But think slow and steady recovery, you'll get there just might take a bit longer. I've always been lucky in that I've never had infection or complications with the wounds after surgery. Only problem I had was once I got pleurisy after one operation about one month later. It was in Jan and used to always get flu just after Xmas (before I received flu jabs) and this ended in the pleurisy.

Hope you start feeling better soon and can get back home in next few days.
Crohn's dx 1989, loop ileo 1992, end ileo 1992. Arthritis developed 1990 Stoma abcess 1995. Azathioprine started 1995. Panprocolorectomy 1999. Stillbirth 2000, antiphospholipid syndrome dx 2000. Flare up 2004, stoma abcess and strictoplasty 2004. Low blood pressure dx with impaired kidney function 2006, fludrocortisone pres. flare up 2010, steroids, Humira, codeine.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 938
   Posted 3/10/2011 11:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Hang in there, blueglass! It sounds like they got on top of this right away and kept it from becoming worse. I agree, you are receiving great care. I hope you're well and able to go home quickly and this will be your only speed bump on the road to recovery. Thinking healing thoughts for you! :-)
UC dx 2/08

Done with the drugs. Step 1 (of 3) J-pouch surgery scheduled 3/22/11

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 3332
   Posted 3/10/2011 6:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Well everyone says I'm doing great, and I'm scheduled to get out tomorrow. I need to take coumadin for six months for the blood clot ... could have been a blessing in disguise that they found it with the CT, or it could have been something that we never knew about and was no big deal. But it's in a hepatic vein and risky if it gets bigger. It's a whole new set of people to monitor things, but I'm used to frequent bloodwork, giving myself shots (first week or so), etc..... so, just is what it is, will go with it.

I need to have a visiting nurse every day to pack my wound, and she can also do the blood test for the blood thinners.

It'll be great to be in a place I can sleep. And three nights would be my shortest IBD hospital stay ever. Just a glitch..... prize awaits, still

Thanks for your support.

2b ColonFree
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2603
   Posted 3/11/2011 4:19 AM (GMT -6)   
glad you're going home :) sorry about the blood clot :( hopefully it will resolve soon. good thing the visiting nurse can do the blood work instead of you needing to go out to the clinic, cause you REALLY need the chance to rest and heal now. sending positive thoughts your way!
06/05/2007 - STARR procedure
colonic inertia w/pelvic floor dysfunction
08/16/2009 - total colectomy w/ileorectal anastomosis
07/08/2010 - loop ileostomy
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