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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/15/2007 8:24 PM (GMT -6)   
My son, who served in the Army National Guard, developed Ulcerative Colitis while in Iraq in 2005.  He is currently in the VA Hospital recovering from surgery - his entire colon was removed & he has a temporary (we are told) illeostomy.  We are waiting for his small intestine to "wake up" - it's going on 2 weeks & I'm getitng concerned since the docs don't seem to have any answers.  Anyone have any comforting words?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 7/15/2007 9:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Wake up? Like start making out put? I am not sure I know what that means...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 7/15/2007 11:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a temp colostomy after a colon resection, for cancer, in 1999. The nurses used this phrase, while waiting to hear bowel sounds with their stethescope. I resisted exercise since I was in so much pain but they kept telling me to get out of bed, sitting upright in a chair, walking several times a day, walking further each time. I eventually did but it took my bowels a while to wake up. Not 2 weeks mind you, but about 6 days.

Later I realized these nurses were right. What I needed to do was get moving and walking. Please encourage your son to walk, walk and walk some more. Even if the steps are very slow and tedious at first. He'll feel stronger and able to walk much further over time.

Even walking up and down steps helps get the intestines moving again. But make sure he isn't dizzy or light headed. You wouldn't want him to stumble. Wishing your son my best in his recovery.


New Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/16/2007 7:44 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks for your response, Marsky.  He's been walking 3/day - he's pretty weak since it's been over 2 weeks with no food.  I'll encourage him to keep walking.

In response to your question, Cattieos, the doctors are waiting for waste to come out of his ostomy - a little has come out, but not much.  He has a ng tube which is keeping him from vomiting.  (The ng tube is the tube that goes in the nose, down the throat, into his stomach.)  The ng tube is draining the fluid from his stomach that should be coming out of his ostomy.  They are going to inject dye & scan his small intestine today to make sure there is no blockage or obstruction, but I'm wondering if anyone else took this long for waste to come out of the ostomy. 

Thanks for the responses!

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 127
   Posted 7/17/2007 8:19 PM (GMT -6)   
My husband had his colon removed on June 11th at the Cleveland Clinic and now has an end ileostomy.  My husband needed an NG tube twice while he was in the hospital (13 days) because he developed an ileus (his system was not waking up).  They took him for a Ct-Scan to see if there was a blockage and they didn't find one.  They then inserted a Foley cath into his stoma to help get things moving along with the NG tube.  Once the Foley cath was inserted, he began to have more output from the stoma and he was on his way to recovery.  I made sure he walked and walked every day whether he liked it or not.   They kept telling us that everyone is different when it comes to recovery and things will get better.  They were right.  It took my husband a good 10 days before he even began to eat soft food.   My husband is doing really well now.  We return to CC on the 26th for a post-op visit.  Hopefully things will start "moving" for your son soon.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 629
   Posted 7/18/2007 12:25 AM (GMT -6)   
it took my guts 2.5 weeks to wake-up after surgery. i wouldn't be overly concerned, the docs are probably monitoring the situation quite closely. if he's on a lot of pain meds (ie dilaudid/morphine) it will take significantly longer for those things to wake up, as it did with me.

Dec 2006: Proctocolectomy/permanent ileostomy
Since 1991: Indeterminate crohn's/ulserative colitis

Glad Bag
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 699
   Posted 7/25/2007 12:07 PM (GMT -6)   
my stoma starting having output within one day.......and I was on dilaudid in the hospital......

i am confused though how the ileostomy could be temporary in they removed his entire colon?
Save something crazy! download videochat from
my id is: natglad1 i'll see you in cyberspace..also find me on aka Ned Flanders
****oh, illness/symptoms/ sucks....let's just say I put the "Bag" in "GladBag" ok! / diagnosed at age 15, i have made it to 30 now (yeehaw), temp. ileostomy 4/20/07 due to multiple, persistent fistulas of the worst imaginable variety....any fistula sucks if you ask me..but now that I had surgery....I am loving live..for the most part..if I could only find a new girlfriend

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/7/2007 7:12 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm sorry for the delay in responding to the messages posted in response to my message concerning my son's stoma not 'waking up'.  The doctors made a mistake.  They were able to fix their mistake going through the stoma (thank God they didn't have to go back through the incision!).  His stoma is now functioning and my son is home and doing well.  In response to the question asking how it could be a temporary ileostomy when they removed the whole colon, my son has a J-pouch and we are told after 3 months he will have another surgery and they remove the J-pouch & the stoma and he will have a normal BM - although not as solid as before.  I know a couple people who have had this done & they are operating quite well!
Thank you all for your input & advice!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 8/7/2007 9:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Actually the next and final surgery will be to close the temporary ostomy and his j-pouch will remain and will learn to function as a colon/rectum. I encourage you to have your son visit for support and education about his new plumbing. That website discussion board was a godsend to me following my surgery.

dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998
1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics
2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic
2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free

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