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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/19/2011 11:11 PM (GMT -6)   
My husband had surgery for rectal cancer, late Jan.  He lost his rectum, anus and has a colostomy.  He was healing well and returned to work for one day, 2 months later.  Then he went in for emergency surgery for a small bowel obstruction.  The whole thing was horrid.
They sent him home and I sent him back the next night in an ambulance-- this time, a bladder blockage caused the vomiting and made it appear to be another obstruction.
He's been home for a few days and had diarrhea yesterday morning (we thought it was from the probiotics we'd started him on).  He had more last night but has had no stool since.  He passed gas today but not much since mid afternoon.  He had cramps very briefly but not since.
He's had nothing but water since noon.
This is terrifying.  The idea of going back put back on an NG tube, more radiation and possibly more surgery is beyond horror.
And to think that this might be a way of life is, well, no life.
Can anyone relate and/or suggest anything?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 587
   Posted 4/20/2011 6:51 AM (GMT -6)   
I am so sorry. Does he have pain? I know when I had a partial obstruction it was incredibly painful and I couldn't pass gas. Hopefully someone else will post. I think the liquid diet is a good idea if you think he has an obstruction. I wish I could be mire helpful.
Diagnosed 2006. 1st step of 2 step j-pouch 1/3/11. 2nd step April 4, 2011. So done with this disease.

2b ColonFree
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2603
   Posted 4/20/2011 8:07 AM (GMT -6)   
keep the liquid diet for a while, see if it helps calm his system down. if it does, go back to soft foods slowly and small amounts every 2-3 hours. if it doesn't calm down and pain is increasing, take pain meds and keep only liquids. if even liquids cause pain, better be put on iv. hope everything works out soon. keep us posted.
06/05/2007 - STARR procedure
colonic inertia w/pelvic floor dysfunction
08/16/2009 - total colectomy w/ileorectal anastomosis
07/08/2010 - loop ileostomy

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/20/2011 9:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks folks.  Things are better this morning.  He started passing gas last night and then stool again at about 4 AM.
He was getting a little crampy yesterday but I suspect it was just because everything is still new (just had the retention sutures out yesterday and still has a catheter) and sore.
I suspect it was just that he'd had a lot of diarrhea (maybe from the acidophilus) and had cleaned out with nothing left for awhile.  Then the brain takes over and starts worrying, thus creating symptoms, especially when he went through what he did with the last obstruction.
It was truly horrendous-- horrible pain that was not controllable, that horrid NG tube (first time) in for 7 days, fighting with the hierachy of the medical system (me, not him-- I had to do the advocacy big time) and a 3 hour surgery only 12 weeks after the initial 5 hour one.  Plus all the drugs and nonsense that one has to put up with.
So, it was the last thing we wanted. 
He was starving (which is a good thing) so had some rice crackers at 5 and now just had a plain, small bowl of quinoa, which seems to be going down well.
Thanks for the advice.  Maybe in a few years, if all goes well, we'll be able to not look at twinges and anomalies with the same dread.

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 4/20/2011 10:46 AM (GMT -6)   
His colostomy is going to work differently than an ileostomy so hopefully someone with a colostomy will be along to give an idea what to expect. I do believe that once a patient is through their recovery period an obstruction is less likely with a colostomy.

Is he past his soft diet stage? Just remember when introducing new foods to do a little at a time until you know how his 'new' system responds to it.

Things do get better...but you've found a great place to ask questions!
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!

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/20/2011 11:29 AM (GMT -6)   
He had the colostomy on Jan. 21.  It was doing well.
The last surgery was for an obstruction-- 3 weeks ago Thursday.
So, he'd been on our normal, vegan diet and was doing fine until the obstuction happened (small bowel, many adhesions, tacked to pelvic floor).

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 318
   Posted 4/20/2011 5:36 PM (GMT -6)   
if adhesions caused the obstruction there really isn't much you can do about it from the outside. :( Where is his colostomy located? He may be a candidate for irrigation and that might help reduce the risk of obstructions. I'm not too clear on the specifics for it as my colostomy was not one that could do irrigation, but a lot of people at do it and they have info over there.

Since you follow a vegan diet, he may be more likely to get an obstruction since its so heavy on fruits and veggies and even the skins of beans, so maybe watch the raw stuff and stick to only cooked for awhile, skinning everything and no leafy greens at all. Get all healed up, 3 months or so, before trying more fibrous things. I know pineapple and melons in particular never seemed to digest and i could always feel them squeezing their way through. You probably know all this already though :)

And probiotics don't usually cause diarrhea. they are supposed to help prevent it. Sometimes it takes a week to get used to them but afterwords it should help. If he hasn't been eating very much and just drinking, that can cause diarrhea. I'd give them another try, but wait until he is eating and feeling a little better.

I hope he feels better soon and no more obstructions!! good luck!!
-diagnosed with UC Dec 2006 at 22
-allergic or intolerant to all 5ASAs, sulfa and 6-mp
-emergency transverse colostomy on 9/13/10 from perforated colon
-J-pouch surgery step 1 of 2 3/21/11

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/20/2011 6:48 PM (GMT -6)   
His colostomy is below the belt, left side.

We asked our surgeon and the stoma nurse about irrigation and they both nixed the idea. At this point, he isn't interested in doing it anyway.

We've been on the SC Diet for over a year-- he's had undiagnosed intestinal problems for many decades. We were extremely careful about cooking everything, watching closely for problems. As well, he has many sensitivities/allergies that we've worked around for a very long time. The obstruction came out of the blue and was caused by the small bowel falling into the space and being tacked to the floor by adhesions. Yeah-- not a darned thing we can do about that-- frustrating.

He used to take Primal Defense powder (to avoid all the junk in the tablets) with no problem, but it wasn't SCD legal so we tried the acidophilus that was. He had weird problems with it from the start. But I can't seem to find the powder any longer (we stopped the SCD after the colostomy with no problems) and since he'd had so much antibiotics, I said he needed to go on something. It was that evening that the diarrhea happened-- again-- so even though it's supposed to be so clean, something seems to affect him.

He's doing fine now-- we'll except for the whole exhaustion from so much trauma thing. ;-) Thanks for the info!
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