what does a partial obstruction feel like?

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sfgiantsjo
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 420
   Posted 9/22/2007 8:33 PM (GMT -7)   
A couple of nights ago, I felt like I was going to explode, nothing was going into the bag, and eventually I had dry heaves. I had eaten dinner about  Two hours before that, so I should've had stuff in there to come out, but all the dry heaving, and NOTHING. It lasted from about 9 PM until 8 AM. I didn't sleep, and it hurt sooo bad. I don't know if it was a partial obstruction, or just gas. I took Gas-X, but it didn't help. How do you know if you have an obstruction?
UC diagnosed: December, 1999
Asacol: 1600 MG daily
Immuran: 150 MG daily
Prednisone: 4 MG daily (Woo-Hooo! Getting lower and lower!)
Remicade: Infusion every 7 weeks
Probiotics 4 billion CFU Daily
Glutamine 500 mg 2x Daily
 
OFF all meds!! Liver failure, and emergency surgery as soon as liver levels return to normal. ACK!
 
Surgery August 24, 2007. Home now!


peggy113
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1998
   Posted 9/23/2007 7:06 AM (GMT -7)   
sf --  If you think you have an obstruction, be very careful.  If you are not having anything pass, ie at the very least liquid stool, and you are nauseous, having severe pain, and possibly fevered, you need to take it seriously.  
 
However, if you are passing liquids and just have pain, no nausea - then that usually will resolve itself.....  obstructions are a "pain"!!!  Sometimes massaging the abdomen helps.  Sometimes taking a hot shower helps.  I use my "bed buddy" heated in the microwave for moist heat.  Also, moving, walking, whatever you can tolerate helps.  For me, since I have stopped drinking caffeine, a good strong cup of caffeinated coffee stimulates things too.  AND most importantly, only if you are passing some sort of stool - push liquids.  NO solids.  And I always have RX's for pain killers here just in case.  But they can slow the process down....  sometimes you just have to take something tho to help relax the abd a bit.  That is the suggestions from my dr. and what has worked for me.
 
Obstructions, even partial obstructions, can be VERY painful.  Everyone's experience with them can be different.   And IF you are not passing anything, you probably should have gone to the ER..... I bet you will never forget that pain, huh?!
 
Judy, Shaz - what do you guys think?  2 hrs with nothing passing seems a little long to me - I probably would have sought help at the ER.  How 'bout you?  Esp. for a new ileostomy..
 
SF - do you remember what you had for supper?  It's not always what you eat, but sometimes a kink in the intestine can cause the obstruction.  Or a stricture.  It's hard to tell the difference tho.  
 
It seems like most of my obstructions have occurred in the middle of the night - and I really think mine are kinks causing them.   Esp when most of my last meal has digested.  Not always tho.  I have to watch eating fibery foods late in the evening when I am not going to be very active after my meal.   
 
Hey Gladbag - a whole bag of popcorn in the evening before bedtime?!  Yep, I woulda had a serious problem with that!!
Peggy
      
Diagnosed with CD in 1979, many resections and meds
Perm Ileostomy July 1984 at Cleveland Clinic
Disease free since surgery 
 


sfgiantsjo
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 420
   Posted 9/23/2007 2:53 PM (GMT -7)   
I had veggie lasanga, it had a white sauce, no red sauce. and garlic bread for dinner that night. I definitely won't be forgetting that pain anytime soon!!! I hope it doesn't happen often.
UC diagnosed: December, 1999
Asacol: 1600 MG daily
Immuran: 150 MG daily
Prednisone: 4 MG daily (Woo-Hooo! Getting lower and lower!)
Remicade: Infusion every 7 weeks
Probiotics 4 billion CFU Daily
Glutamine 500 mg 2x Daily
 
OFF all meds!! Liver failure, and emergency surgery as soon as liver levels return to normal. ACK!
 
Surgery August 24, 2007. Home now!


JudyK89
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 1986
   Posted 9/24/2007 7:15 AM (GMT -7)   
A partial obstruction is usually a lot of pain, nausea, but still having some bowel movement, with minimal bowel sounds. A full obstruction is a lot of pain, nausea, and no movement at all, not even gas, with no bowel sounds. With both, you may throw up continually, even when there's nothing left but bile.

I don't automatically go to the ER when I feel like this unless things don't resolve on their own. I give it a few (many) hours since most obstructions do reslove on their own with pain meds, and time. Yes, an obstruction can be dangerous, but you will be in so much pain there will be no question that you have to go to the ER when they get to that point. At the ER, they make sure you haven't perforated and give you pain meds and fluids and have you wait it out.

The last time I went, it was fathers day and I had a house full of people. I took something to knock me out (Fenergan knocks me out quite nicely and helps with the nausea) and waited as long as I could so as not to mess up the party. Of course my father-in-law has stage 4 Melanoma and we knew it would be his last fathers day, so I didn't want to ruin it. I finally went to the ER after everyone was done eating and things were winding down.

Anyway, I'm not saying wait forever, I'm saying when you start asking yourself if you should go to the ER, it probably means you should go, because by then it's an issue of not being able to deal with the pain. Hopefully, if not on a holiday, you can call your doctor and let him know, and he may be able to call ahead and grease the wheels a little so you don't have a long wait. I'm very lucky, I go to a very small ER, and they're always able to get me in right away (and they know me now).
Judy
49 years old, CD since I was a child.    
Six resection surgeries, permanent ostomy, adverse reactions to Remicade finally off of Prednisone, hoping for a long remission from this last surgery. 
 
 


Shaz032
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1250
   Posted 9/25/2007 9:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Having never had an obstruction I don't know, personally, what it feels like but from what others have told me, you will know. As Judy said, there's cramping, nausea, very little or no output.

Some home-remedies include: Relax (if you can through the pain!) - if you can tolerate wine, have a glass - it helps relax the intestinal muscles, massage your stomach, take a hot bath or shower - this will also help relax the muscles, take a dose of Milk of Magnesia, drink some hot tea. Some people find it beneficial to go down on all fours and position your self so that your bottom is stuck up in the air (an undignified position but apparently it does work ).

If none of the above work, then seek medical attention. Go to the doctor or to the ER department. A blockage can become serious if left untreated.


I have had an ileostomy for 31 years now due to UC.
 
Moderator of the Ostomy Forum
_______________________________________________
 
I'm not a complete idiot - some parts of me are missing!

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