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What am I in for after my small bowel resection?
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What am I in for after my small bowel resection?

I'm a 45 yr. old mom. Have had crohn's disease for almost 23 yrs. Been on just about every medicine-most recently 6mp and remicade for over 6 yrs. I've been having a lot more flare ups over the past few yrs. My last colonoscopy they found a fistula. My crohn's is in my small bowel(terminal ileum). They also found some signs of colitis in my large intestine(ascending colon). I've always been told that I would probably need surgery one day, and now that day has come. My surgery is in 3 wks. I will be having a small bowel resection, plus removal of the fistula and possibly part of my ascending colon. Is there anyone who can tell me what I'm in for - from hospital stay, recovery at home. I'm a stay at home mom. I don't really have a support system. My husband works 2 jobs (he's retired navy) and doesn't have a lot of time off - he will be home during the day, but not at night while I'm in the hospital but will go back to both jobs as soon as I get home. Luckly, my youngest son is 14, but I'm still the only one that does everything around here. My son plays inline hockey and that involves a lot of driving. So, what are my limitations when I get home?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi mom, I would like to be able to help you but cannot. I live in Australia, where are  you from? I am 54, living on my own and exactly know how you feel. Today I came back home from colonoscopy by taxi, the other day had biopsy of my breast (lost the count of the number of biopsies), had 7 operations in my life. Now I have been diagnosed with ul colitis/ Chron's (doctor put the question mark), wating for the results. Also waiting for the results of the biopsy of the breast.
I understand you perfectly. Ask your doc about recovery. I think it all depends on the operation how it goes and how your body can handle it. I wish you all the luck and hope you will be fine!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you Katarina for wishing me well. I live in the U.S. - Virginia. My surgery is 9 days away. I have talked to my doctor about recovery, but it would be nice to hear from others who have had the same surgery or a similar surgery. My oldest son, who is 24 and in the Air Force, is now able to come home and help while I'm in the hospital, but he has to leave 6 days after my surgery. So I still won't have any help at home afterwards. I also wish you good luck with your results and biopsies.
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203342_tn?1328740807
Hi hockeymom, I had a similar surgery almost 2 years ago, although it sounds like yours involves a bit more than mine. I had a mass in my small intestine, near the terminal illeum, that was constricting enough that I was getting a lot of pain, so they felt it should be removed before it could grow anymore. So, in August 2007 I had the surgery to remove the mass and a colon resection. I stayed two days in the hospital, although I could have left after one day if I wanted to. They did want to see me eating solid food first and have a bm. I couldn't do that the first day. I was terribly nauseous, probably more from the morphine drip than anything else. They gave me fluids the first day and soft foods the second day and I held that down. I never did give them a bm but they went ahead and sent me home. It took me probably at least another four days to have a bm. I guess our colons don't like being messed with!

I will be completely honest with you. The stay in the hospital wasn't too bad because I had some pretty good pain medication. I felt the pain more when I got home. My husband actually rented a hospital bed for me because I couldn't lie flat the first night I came home. I slept in our recliner. It was slow going and I wasn't a very patient patient, so to speak. I would try to hurry things up and feel it later. I had to learn to let my family help more. I hated that too, lol. But I think it's really important to let others help you out those first few weeks, at least. Don't try to do too much too soon or you could set yourself back. Don't forget, this is major surgery. Let others help! Our church brought over meals that first week or so too, which was great since my husband's not the greatest cook!
As for recovery time, I'd say at least a few months. I would think I was feeling all better, then start walking fast or sit down fast or something and really feel it. I had to pace myself. I would still feel like a stitch or something when I'd walk for a long time. It has now been almost two years and I feel great! I feel better than I did before the surgery but it did take a long time to heal, longer than I expected. Just be patient with yourself and let others help you when you get home from the hospital. That's the best advice I can give you.
Best wishes and God bless!
April
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you April. My doctor said my hospital stay would be about 5-7 days, but that it's different for everyone. I can't believe you only stayed in the hospital for 2 days after a surgery like that. I'm glad you had help when you got home. I won't have much help when I get home, just my 2 younger sons. But at least they're not little - 19 & 14 - so at least they can do some things for themselves. They might have to use the microwave alot more. Well, thanks again April and best wishes to you too.
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203342_tn?1328740807
You know what, now that I think about it, you're right. I did spend longer in the hospital for that surgery. I think I got that one mixed up a bit with my appendicitis surgery. Lol, sorry, I've been tired today and kinda loopy I think.
Anyway, I hope the surgery goes well. Just take it easy afterwards and let your kids help out. Take care!
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Avatar_f_tn
Well on June 22 I had a bowel resection, 4 strictureplastys done, and a jejunctoplasty (which is when healthy small bowel is looped to the stomach to make a better way for food to travel out of the stomach.  I am 55 and was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease during the operation.

My problem is trying to balance eating with taking the medicine which is for nauseasness (sp) and which causes diarrhea.

I am on reglan and zofran.  The drugs are to help the stomach to begin peristalysis once again (squeezing) so that food can travel down the small intestine.  

Food - liquids or solids seem to just sit in the stomach and ferment until either 1.  I vomit or 2. I have diarrhea.  I have been able to cut the dose of the pills to help with the diarrhea, but tonight I vomited and it is just really tiring.  

How long before my stomach will know how to function without medicine?  Are there any helpful hints that I can do that will help me eat or drink and not be afraid of vomiting and/or diarrhea?

PB in Kansas City
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Avatar_n_tn
Hope all went well with your surgery and you are back to normal.  If you had laproscopic surgery you should be doing amazingly well by now.  Also, if you had open you should be doing well by now.

I had surgery by lapro and was back at work in 2 weeks.  Feeling great.  It has been 2 years and I am still in remission from the chrons.  The the fisturlas have not reappeared.

Best of luck

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