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what's a normal recovery?
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what's a normal recovery?

Hi my dad had a section of his colon removed 3 days ago. My mum has been distraught as he has not been able to drink much and is still quite sick. I have been trying to reassure her that this operation is quite a big one and that it has involved abdominal area and that will make him sick for a bit. They have only today attached a nasal tube and ofcourse this has made my mum even more tearful. I guess I am looking for some reassurance here that it is still normal after just 3 days to be quite tired and sleepy and sickly. His bowels have not woken up yet either -  is this normal after 3 days? As a result mum is asking nurses every minute they come in...if everything is alright and she is fussing over dad, which is not good for hi I am sure!!! Anyone out there able to tell me that we are ok after 3 days to still be unwell etc?
Thanks
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Avatar_f_tn
It normally takes 3-5 days for everything to start working again.  Doctors normally won't allow anything by mouth until they hear bowel sounds...I'm wondering if they put him on liquids too soon?  The NG tube will keep everything out of his system until things start working and I feel he should have had this all along.  This alone will make him feel better, just try to get your mom to relax, they are on the right track and things will start working at any moment...are they checking for bowel sounds?  This is a big surgery and things can't be rushed.  He'll be okay, he just needs a little more time.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Mammo,
Thank you so very much for answering me so quickly. The op was on Wed afternoon. He was not given the NG tube until LAST night as he was vomitting a fair bit. He has only been drinking water and can't manage to keep much of that down either. Today we got him out of bed, after a discussion with the nurse last night who told us that 'he is actually refusing to comply with my instructions as I have been telling him to get out of bed!!!!'. (no need as my mother is already planning what she is putting in her letter to the health minister). I feel there has been a little bit of reluctance to even try to get him out of bed. Today we went in and demanded that they at least sit him in a seat and make sure he does some breathing exercises etc. He did manage this. But he is so sleepy and the tube is making him feel very sorry for himself. They are checking to see if he has any bowel movements or gas, but none so far. I do appreciate this is a big surgery, but to be honest the nhs has not impressed me too much this week, which is a shock as normally I could not fault them. The docs are great but the nurses seem far from impressive (well some of them anyway).
I am hoping tomorrow that when we go in he might have some sort of improvement. We also still need to wait and find out what the pathologist lab results come back with and this is worrying us very much too.
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree, your dad has not received the best of care.  He should have had an NG tube immediately because his colon isn't working and anything he takes in will make him sick without it. It all just lies in his stomach. It's so good for your dad to be out of bed and walking, it will speed up his recovery and make him stronger.  Ask if they are giving him something that would make him this sleepy...because he shouldn't be.  I would never leave a loved one alone in the hospital, I lost my son to negligence and have seen so much within the hospitals and doctors I have worked for.  Ask a lot of questions and tell them when your father isn't complying with their wishes to let you and your mom know.  Question everything, even if it means having them call his doctor so you can't speak directly with him.  I wish your father a full recovery and do let us know how he is doing.  Take care.
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Avatar_m_tn
It sounds as if your Father has acquired an ileus (the medical term for the reluctance of the intestines to restart following their manipulation during surgery).  This is quite normal and will pass in a few days.  The NG tube although "unsightly" is a better alternative to having to expel the stomach contents via vomiting.

Presumably your Father is being fed intravenously with nutrients?  

regards
Morecambe
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello Mammo and Morecambe,
Yes Mammo, you are quite right, in hopsitals you do have to pester and make the staff aware that YOU are aware of what is being done or isn't. My mum has made it quite clear she has not been happy with the level of care he has had so far. But we phone regulalrly and we are in at every single visiting hour. My mother is NOT to be messed around!! Today we went in and he was much much better. He was sitting up and talking properly and not quite as sleepy as he has been in the last few days. He had also been given a bed bath and no more vomiting. So mum was much much happier by the time we left.

He is going to be given some soups tomorrow and oatmeal. I do have to say that his actual wound looks extremely good. The guy who did the op was the professor in the hospital and app extremely excellent at these ops. I don't ever doubt the docs in the nhs, but the nurses sadly are no Florence Nightengales. They simply do not have the right attitude or level of bedside manner that they had years ago.

But all in all he is looking much much better and is getting his NG tube out tomorrow. I think once that is done he will be much happier. Still waiting for the lab results...should be back in few days. Hope there isn't anything bad there!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh an also, excellent news is that his bowels moved 4 times today ...haha....and the nurses had to change the bed...teeeheee so serves them right lol
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