Ostomies - 2 Intestinal Surgeries in 1 week

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Wendy88
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Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 12/10/2007 6:27 AM (GMT -7)   

My brother just had "open" surgery for a torn intestine.  He started to feel better after a few days, passed gas normally, etc. but still had a lot of pain and pressure 5-6 days later.  The doctors removed the NG tube on the 5th day and a little while later he started vomiting (which got rid of the pain and pressure but was a bad sign that something wasn’t functioning correctly).  The doctors had to re-insert the NG tube and finally did a CT scan which found there was another leak (probably from a tear in the original sutures). 

 

He has now been operated on again (1 week after the original surgery).  He had an ileostomy bag attached after the 2nd surgery too...which the dr. said he will need for a few months. 

 

It's been 4 days since the 2nd surgery.  He is finally trying to walk short distances a couple times a day but is still in a lot of pain.  We're mostly worried that the rest of the infection was not cleaned out.  His fever is gone but his white blood cell count is slightly elevated.  He’s also worried that the pain and pressure will remain and he’ll have the same problem again.

Does anyone have any experiences like this they can share? No one in my family has ever had any kind of surgery so I'm new to all of this.  Thanks!


Wendy88
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Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 12/10/2007 11:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Ash83 - thank you so much for your feedback!  I will definitely ask the dr. to do some blood cultures if things do not improve.  He had pain for a few days about 2 months ago and never did anything about it.  I wonder if the infection will take that much longer to get out of his system because he waited so long.  What is involved in an abdominal drain? 

Bionicman
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 12/10/2007 8:17 PM (GMT -7)   
 
  Hi!    I am not new .  Most of the time only listening  for all the pains . I am realy praud about  all of You young  boys and girls. As if was up to me  i would give YOU the purple
heart.  som of you realy desserv it.  In my boock you are the " Hearo"  
I am 82+  I had  litle  water on my lung  with 105 temperature. Doctors in hospital come to
conclousion to fill me up with untibiotic .  Did not help much  so it was more untibiotic and
more powerfull ($ 300) for a dose.  I am geting worst  and ended up in intestine infection
I have gained  32 lb water in my abdoment.  BUT  i was lucky.  This hospital have the best
specialist in Canada.  I have been told to have 20% chance to survive.  I did survived. 
     So   all i wanted to say  YOU YOUNG ONES You have my admiration  and I give you
          the PURPLE HART.     
 
   P.S.  My specialist caling me "Bionicman"  (I have 4 other operation) including Heart.
   But lost year i was up at Lake Mc Arthur inthe Canadian rockies.
             "Bionicman"

Wendy88
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 12/10/2007 8:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Ash83 - Thank you for filling me in on your abdominal drains.  Sounds like a good double check just in case.  My brother has periontinitis as well.  He was able to walk a tiny bit more today and even drink some ginger ale and eat an ice pop while the NG tube was clamped.  He felt pressure growing but it passed after an hour or so.  He didn't throw up which I'm assuming is a good sign.  He was very exhausted tonight when I saw him but maybe because they had to change his dressings.  His skin was left open to ensure they got all of the infection out so I'm sure that's causing him a lot of discomfort. 
Quick question...he feels like he needs to pass gas.  Can you pass gas normally with an ileostomy bag or does it go straight into the bag?  How can you tell? 

Wendy88
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 12/11/2007 9:21 AM (GMT -7)   

A singing stoma - now that's the funniest thing I've heard since all of this started!  It's good to hear personal experiences so we know what to expect. 

His skin is still "open" right now.  They "packed" the area but left the skin open to ensure all of the infection can get out before they tie everything off.  Is that a normal practice?  Does the tightening/tying of the sutures on the skin hurt?  Probably not any worse than what he's already been through. 


Wendy88
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 12/11/2007 10:33 AM (GMT -7)   

That makes sense in terms of healing.  I don't know for sure but I believe they left the incision open.  The sutures are there but they didn't want to stitch him back up if there was still infection and more problems.   Thanks for the tip on protein...I will add that to my list of items for the new diet.  We're still waiting to see the list of things you should/shouldn't eat and drink. 

I can't believe what you went through....months of packing, bandaging, etc.  I'm sorry you had so much trouble but I truly appreciate you sharing your experience and advice.  This forum/community is so great!


Wendy88
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 12/11/2007 1:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Just when I thought he was getting better....turns out they had to run a cat scan since he was still in a lot of pain this morning.  They found 2 collections or abscesses.  The dr. said they will insert catheters into his abdomen under x-ray guidance to start draining the fluid.  I know you said you had abdominal drains...are the abscesses inside the intestine or just develop in random spots of his abdomen since he had periontinitis and all that bacteria was running wild through his system? 

Wendy88
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 12/12/2007 6:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Well my brother now has the two abdominal drains in.  The dr. said the absesses formed in his abdominal cavity...they can develop anywhere the bacteria wants to attach to.  So he's not out of the woods yet but they changed his antibiotics to something a little stronger to try and ward off any more absesses.  He's still in a lot of pain and is so weak from not eating, etc.  We're trying to keep our heads up but it's hard when it seems like he's taking one step forward and then two steps back.  Thank you for the support!

Wendy88
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 12/13/2007 12:23 PM (GMT -7)   
The drains seem to be working...he looks a little better today and was able to talk a pretty decent walk.  They have him on liquids right now and the dr. wants to take the NG tube out tomorrow.  My brother is nervous about that part since they last time they took it out he wasn't well yet and they had to stick it back in while he was awake.  He's apparently "infectious" now...he's in his own room since he's contagious with everything going on.  I guess it's just a precaution...his WBC is a little elevated still but the dr. isn't very concerned.  I'm not positive what a PICC line is but I he's got a bottle of milky liquid hooked up to him which is fat and another bag of stuff which is amino acids, etc.  Now that he's able to eat soup and clear liquids we're hoping it helps get his strength back.  Too bad the soup and pudding, etc. is so disgusting!  He doesn't really want to eat any of it.  Right now he'd much rather have ginger ale and gatorade.  So far it seems to be sitting well. 
 
Thank you for saying that!  It is so frustrating since my family and I can't really do that much other than sit with him.  He is so lethargic at this point that he's not really interested in talking, etc.  I guess just being there really does help whether any of us know it or not! 
I can't tell you how much I appreciate your words of encouragement and support!  This board has been a life-saver for me and my family.  Thank you!!

Gra151
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 12/13/2007 1:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Wendy,

Im really sorry to hear aqbout your brother, He's definately having a rough time of it at the minute. My expierence was very similar, with 2 open operations within four days due to a leak in the new join. Woke up from the second surgery plus an ileostomy (which I miss in some ways now its been reversed) and drains. I was stuck in bed for at least 5 days afterwards. Its good that your brother is making progress, and im sure his appetite will return soon.

As far as having your family around you I would say that it cannot be overestimated how much it helps. I was so grateful to my family for being there and spending time with me even if all I was doing was sleeping or semi concious because of the pain meds. As Ash said it makes it so much easier to stay positive.

Gra

PICC stands for Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter which is basically an access point for an IV drip that is going to be in place for longer than a day or so. (More info here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PICC_line )

Wendy88
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 12/13/2007 6:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Ash and Gra!  I read up on the PICC (thanks for that by the way).  He's got so many things stuck in him at the moment that I'm not sure which is which!  He does have a line that is sutured into his neck but I believe that is for the pain meds.  I will definitely let him know to try to stay calm once the NG tube comes out.  I think he's more tense than anything and scared to death that something else will go wrong...we all are.  I'm a little worried that maybe he's becoming too reliant on the pain meds every 3 hours.  I completely understand why he wants them on time though.  We visit twice a day for several hours each time so we can definitely bring him some ice pops and other requests when he's up for it. 
 
Gra - can I ask you how your reversal went?  I am not quite clear on what happens.  Did you have to go through the whole process all over again? 

flchurchlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 12/14/2007 1:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Wendy,
I'm sorry your brother is going through a rough time. You are so sweet to care about him the way you do! Please don't worry about him becoming too reliant on the pain meds. They are just there to help him feel comfortable during this time. Once he's not in pain anymore, the doctor will stop giving him the medicine, and he will be fine. I'm glad he's able to have clear liquids. Please keep us posted on how he's doing.
Take care,
Cecilia
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy & ileostomy in '06. Remission since surgery.
 
Pain-free, med-free, and very thankful to be healthy again :)


Wendy88
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 12/14/2007 10:11 AM (GMT -7)   
He has MRSA now...that superbug thing.  Unbelievable.  They are supposed to take the NG tube out today so we'll see how that goes (keeping more liquids down etc.).  I have no idea how MRSA will affect him since he's already so weak.  I know they are pumping him full of antibiotics but I would really like to know what's next.  It just keeps getting more and more complicated for him.
Thank you flchurchlady...he's a pretty strong guy so hopefully once the major pain starts to go away, he won't want much pain meds anymore.  I appreciate the support!

Wendy88
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 12/15/2007 7:12 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi All:  My brother is still experiencing terrible pain and pressure all over his belly area.  We're wondering if it's another absess or something worse with the luck he's been having.  He's scheduled for another cat scan tomorrow so I guess we'll have to wait and see.  He doesn't have much of an appetite but he's trying to eat puddings and drink gatorade and ginger ale.  He's been up and walking around a bit but it isn't helping either. He is soooo tense and to the point of tears (as I am) because he's in such agony and the pain meds don't seem to help.  His dr. didn't seem to think his pain was a big deal this morning.  The nurses are great but they can only do so much since they need to wait for orders from the on-site doctors each shift. 

I'm sorry to vent like this...it is just so frustrating to see him in this much pain when he should be starting to feel better.  We can't seem to get any straight answers from anyone. 


Wendy88
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 12/18/2007 8:12 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Ash,

One catheter/drain was removed but the abscess on his right side still has a lot of fluid so it will stay another day or so.  The cat scan didn't reveal any other abscesses so that is a good sign.  I know you said you had trouble with one of your abdominal drains.  My brother is complaining of a sharp pain on his right side (where the drain still is).  Can that pain be related to the drain? 


Wendy88
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 12/20/2007 5:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes, the sharp pain is on the same side as the drain...pretty close to the catheter.  The pressure and sharp pain makes it hard to breathe but he is using that inhaler device and is able to do really well with it.  He's up and walking around a few times a day which is helping but it hurts to walk because of the drain.  He still has the open wound...they wanted to wait to tie him off until all of the infection was gone.  Do they normally give you something for the pain when they close the wound? 

Wendy88
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 12/20/2007 12:02 PM (GMT -7)   
The dr. said originally that the sutures were already there...they just needed to tie it up when he was ready.  Maybe they can give him a local anesthetic.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he's home for Christmas.

Wendy88
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 12/25/2007 9:41 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Ash and friends!  Happy Holidays!

My brother was told he may be coming home in two days.  Unfortunately, they are going to insert a PICC line, leave the drain in for the abscess and leave the open wounds.  The dr. said all of his numbers are normal and he's really ready to go home despite all of the stuff he's got coming home with him.  A home health nurse will come every other day to change his packing/dressing.  They want to leave the abscess drain in because they found a tiny pin hole in his large intestine that they think will heal over as the scar tissue around the drain forms.  He still needs antibiotics because of the MRSA and all of the bacteria he has in his body from the periontinitis. I guess he can actually do that himself or we can help him. 

Do you know how long it normally takes for an open wound to heal on it's own?  I haven't actually looked but my brother says he's got two holes on his belly. 


Wendy88
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 12/28/2007 6:59 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Ash,

My brother came home yesterday finally.  He's doing ok so far...is able to do his IV's on his own and the visiting nurse will come every other day to check the wound and re-bandage etc. 

His biggest problem right now seems to be comfort.  His tailbone and back are hurting from all the sitting and lying down.  He's a back sleeper and it's tough to sleep on his side because of the drain and ileostomy bag on one side and the PICC line on the other arm.  I did help him lie down on the couch today sort of on an angle with pillows behind him and his arm stretched out which seemed to help.  When he lies on his left side, his left leg starts to hurt real bad. 

I believe he has some protein powder in a large jar from when he used to work out a lot.  I will find him some more and start adding those shakes with meals.  He's drinking gatorade...is that sufficient to stay hydrated or can you recommend anything else?

Thanks for all your support!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday with your fiance and family!


Amey
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 942
   Posted 12/28/2007 9:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Wendy,

I have been following your posts for a while. I have to say that you are a wonderful sister. I hope my son and daughter have this type of relationship when they are adults. I am glad your brother is home and progressing toward his recovery. Has he been able to do any of the changing on his own?
Amey
 
 
Ileostomy 8/2007
Revised Coletomy/ Reset Anastimosis 2006
Revised Colectomy/ Obstructions 2005
Sub-total Colectomy 2001
 
Prov. 16: 20 Whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.
 
Zelnorm, Colace, Motilium, Citrate of Magnesium, Nexium, Amitiza, Potassium, Magnesium, Miralax, Milk of Magnesium, Corgard, Glycerin Suppositories, Sorbitol, Bentyl, Senokot


Wendy88
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 12/29/2007 3:07 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Amey,

Thank you for saying that!  It's always tough watching family members go through something like this.  I figure the more I can learn the more I can try to help him. 

He's doing ok so far but now he's got some numbness in the front of his left thigh.  We think it's from laying slightly on his side...he may have pinched the sciatic nerve.  The visiting nurse didn't seem too concerned but it's really bugging him.

He's able to do the IV's on his own but the nurse changed his wound dressing today for the first time.  She would prefer to do it so she can keep an eye on it.  But if he needs to do it every day she said it's ok to do it on the days she's off. 


Wendy88
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 1/2/2008 6:05 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Ash - Happy New Year!

My brother is drinking mostly gatorade throughout the day so I'm sure that is helping with hydration.  The visiting nurse is coming today to draw some blood to see how the infections are.  How long did it take you to recover from periontinitis?  He got MRSA on top of everything else so he's taking one antibiotic every 6 hours and one every 12 hours (via IV) and then a pill on top of that.  All that stuff makes him nauseous.  His left leg is still bugging him too...it burns if his leg is straightened (when he's walking) but if he bends it the pain goes away and it stays numb.  The nurse suggested a few ideas but it's a few days later and it's not any better.  I don't know how to help him...he is miserable right now.  It's hard to stay optomistic!


Wendy88
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 1/2/2008 5:57 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Ash,

That sounds very similar to my brother's stay...he was in the hospital for 30 days and came home with high doses of antibiotics. 

He actually went back to the ER tonight.  He has been very nauseous for a couple days and just not feeling very well.  He still has some pain and pressure in his abdomen that he says he's had the entire month since the first surgery.  The infectious disease dr. suggested he go to the ER and do a ct scan just to be on the safe side.  His liver numbers are slightly elevated again but we haven't gotten the rest of the results yet. 

I'll let you know what happens.  Thanks for staying in touch...it means a lot that there is someone out there I can talk/vent to!

peggy113
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1998
   Posted 1/2/2008 6:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Wendy,

I have been following all of your posts and just wanted to let you know that you are a wonderful sister. I sure hope all works out for your brother and the ct scan doesn't show any surprises tonight. Please let us know what he finds out.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you & your brother,
Peggy
      
Diagnosed with CD in 1979, many resections and meds
Perm Ileostomy July 1984 at Cleveland Clinic
Disease free since surgery 
 


Wendy88
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 1/2/2008 9:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Peggy - thanks for the support!!
The ct scan didn't show any surprises thank goodness.  They actually think his infection is doing a bit better.  They also prescribed him an anti-nausea medicine...didn't even know that existed!  The dr's think all of the antibiotics are to blame for the nausea. 
What concerns me is that his liver enzymes are slightly elevated again.  It's amazing how many pills, antibiotics, etc. a person in his condition can take on a daily basis.  I wonder if any of it can do more harm than good.
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