Hi Surviving - I may not be able to answer all of your questions, however, I can give you some tips while telling you a little about my recovery.
First, there are a few people here who recently posted about their body temps being up and down - I didn't have that problem and I hope they will respond to your post on this situation. Everyone here is so willing to help others who've gone thru this surgery and their experiences!! I've noted that everyone is different and no two are alike - what may work for one may not work for another, while some things do help!!!
I had the same surgery as you on November 9, 2006 and it was a good 11 or 12 weeks before I was feeling anywhere near 100% - the last three weeks I've been able to do most of what I could do pre-op - however, I still have tenderness in my lower belly region - it's better, but the tenderness is still there. I've noticed that if I have a "slower" than normal day, the tenderness is more noticable. I'm contributing this to the body readjusting to the empty area from the removal of the colon.
Was your surgery open or laparoscopic? Mine was laparoscopic. My surgery took longer than expected due to a loopy colon (it was supposed to be a three to four hour surgery but took them 7 1/2 hours to complete and remove 5 1/2 feet of colon). My hospital stay was four days, however, I was readmitted 10 days later for pain (I have a very high tolerance for pain thankfully, but what they were giving me after I was discharged just wasn't strong enough). After doing tests to confirm there wasn't any blood loss where the small intestine was connected to the rectum, then and only then, would they prescribe me something stronger for pain to take when they released from the hospital the second time (this stay was three days). I ended up taking these pain medications for an additional two/three weeks.
I will tell you that during the fifth or sixth week post-op, I was very sick to my stomach and it was hard to keep anything down. I knew that I had to try and keep something down, especially water, to keep from getting dehydrated - I think that week was the worst week that I experienced post-op. All that dry heaving and my body literally bearing down to poop when there was nothing to poop was awful!! I had internal hemorrhoids pre-op and ended up with outer hemorrhoids that week. I too contacted the surgeon and he referred me to my primary saying it wasn't surgery related. I was too sick to go to my primary but they recommended Pepto for the nausea and it was the ONLY thing that helped (Pepto causes the stool to be blackish in case you try that but it's OK). I wouldn't change who did my surgery for anything, however, these doctors are specialists in this field and they are basically "surgeons" and anything else is referred to our primary - sad but true, so don't get discouraged. My primary was kind of taken back when I told her what the total colectomy consisted of and connecting the small intestine directly to the rectum.
I too had a hard time getting comfortable and couldn't sleep more than two or three hours at a time (I still don't sleep all the way thru the night and I don't know what's causing it, but my primary said it could be caused from being under for so long during surgery). I personally think my body wasn't used to laying around so much and this caused my back and hips to hurt and ache. You just have to take it slow - get up as much as you can bear - this helped somewhat for me. Don't go and wash down walls again though!!!!!
Have your tried eating things like instant mashed potatoes (Hungry Jack is the best), pudding, jello, broth, etc.? I noticed that I don't do dairy anymore. Also, have your tried drinking Ensure for the vitamins/proteins? Please don't fear the unknown - it's a learning process to say the least. Things do get better, it's just hard to see right now - I felt the same way while going thru so much so quick. We do have to learn how our body will react to things, like what we eat. Transit time also gets better with time. I've noticed that the length of time between eating and going has really improved. I still haven't ventured too far out of my "comfort zone" - I will go out to eat, however, I go right home before I attempt to go anywhere else. If I do plan on going out shopping, I don't eat anything before leaving. (Oh, I did lose about 25 pounds the first month but have regained eight of those since I've been able to add to my diet).
We must remember that we have a new lease on life - We went from NOT going to GOING all the time. I know I'm down from eight or so to five or less a day. Everyday is different, however, it's improving!! I suffered with colon problems and constipation from a baby and I'm now 44 - so for the first time in my life - I'm NORMAL (at least in this area LOL)!!!!
I hope this information helps in one way or another and maybe can help someone else who has questions or concerns.
GOD BLESS!! ROBIN
Post Edited (STUCK42LONG) : 2/28/2007 9:09:00 AM (GMT-7)