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colon resection- diverticulitis
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colon resection- diverticulitis

Hi.  I am curious as to how long people who have had the colon resection surgery- elective, no rupture, took to heal.  I am almost 12 weeks post op and feeling better but notice that I will still have episodes of pain. Especially related to certain foods, like spicy, too much fiber, etc. (I am still trying to track).  My stools have been "normal" - formed and sausage sized, but noticed some smaller ones today.  I remember my surgeon saying that my colon was starting to stricture ( close up ) and I was having these type before.  This is the first time I have noticed and am wondering ( 2 questions, I guess) can this be related to certain foods.  I appreciate any feedback, etc.  Thanks.  This site has been a blessing through all of this....


This discussion is related to Diverticulitis.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Sue - over the last few days I have placed comments on a similar posting on the "ask a doctor" part of the G.I. forum.  The patient was Patty 307.

Have a read through those comments which might help you.

A total colectomy is a "big operation" but you will recover.  Do experiment with foods that do not aggrevate your remaining intestines.  I found that plenty of fibre helped to "bulk up" my motions and reduce both the number of toilet visits and also the corrosiveness of the watery stools.

Good luck
Morecambe
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I had a couple of feet of colon removed a few years ago.  Recovery was complicated by a bad incisional infection, and it was a good 3 months before I could digest pretty normally.  Intestines don't like being disturbed in any way, and they tend to go on strike for quite some time while they recover.  Instead of moving the way they're supposed to, they just lay there and sulk.  Well, that's what it felt like at the time!  Fats were the worst offenders in my case, but I've never been a big fan of fatty foods anyway so no big loss there.  

Everyone is different when it comes to recovery, so there isn't any way you can really compare your own situation to anyone else.  So much depends on your overall state of health, nutrition, other medical conditions and medications, and smoking.  Anything that reduces oxygen intake will slow the healing process.  The body needs a whole lot of calories to heal from any surgery, and having abdominal surgery makes it difficult to satisfy the body's nutritional needs.  I ended up drinking things like Ensure to keep up with the calories during recovery.  Hang in there, and don't hesitate to ask your doctor if you don't see any further progress.
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433485_tn?1321816990
Thanks guys!  You are both so helpful.  I have, indeed, read through Patty's thread.  I am doing better but have a tendency to worry too much.  I am also being treated for clinical depression.  I had my first episode at age 9 then 16 and a total nervous breakdown( hospitalized for 9 days) when I was 38.  I am now 51.  So I am on 50 mg of Zoloft and take 1 mg of Klonopin a day.  I will say that as of today I am 3 months post op and doing better.  I am finding that certain foods...salty and spicy, really aggravate it.  Also, if I try to take in too much fiber.  Right now, I am drinking Ensure with fiber, almost daily, to supplement as I found that the fiber capsules cause pain.  I am also trying to eat foods with fiber, like beans for example.  One reason I think that I am stressing is that my surgeon ( who I go see next week for follow up) said 3-6 months and I think that I am taking too literally.  My hubby says that he also said "even up to a year" which I don't remember but I think it must have been when I was in the hospital in "Dilaudid a land " as I call it...haha.  Thanks so much again.  I am also finding that I have been under a lot of stress lately, both at work and home, and I think that that is causing some pain as well.
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433485_tn?1321816990
Hi there.  I have a question.  I went and had my surgeon follow up visit, this week but forgot to ask about lifting requirements.  I had been told ( after my surgery) not to lift more than 10 ( and maybe up to 25? ) pounds.  Since then, I have been lifting 10 poundish items but not sure how long you have to watch lifting, as I forgot to ask...Thanks so much for all of your feedback and help.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi - I recall that my surgeon said "no heavy lifting for one month".  What is heavy??  I guess anything that you have to think about lifting rather than a casual pick-up item.  I think that the limitation is suggested to avoid straining the surgery wound or the immediate inner organs.  If, when lifting an item, you feel that it "tugs" at the wound, then don't lift it. In my opinion, if you are in any doubt about the safety/weight of lifting a particular object, then leave it on the floor and ask someone else to lift it for you.  Do take plenty of time to recover from this operation.

Good luck
Morecambe
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433485_tn?1321816990
Thanks for the response.  I am over 3 months so I think that I am probably safe to lift more than 10 pounds, but I like your suggestion about asking someone to lift for me.  I have my very first grandchild coming, in June, and tried to lift one of my student's baby and felt that she was too heavy.  She was 5 months and in a carrier and I immediately put her down and asked the mom to carry her.  
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588889_tn?1218865096
My husband is a very fit, no fat on him and still surfs at 45 yrs old. He too had severe pain in his lower left side and after two very painful attacks, he was finally told in ER after a cat scan that he had diverticulitis. He was given antibiotics and was sent home. He was told if he were to have one more attack, surgery is in the plans.
A month later he had another bad attack and started to see the surgeon for his upcoming surgery.

Surgery was done on May 6th 2008. Two weeks later I am driving him into ER and after sitting in ER all night and morning, he is rushed into OR with a perforated colon. The scan came back with air in his stomach.

After surgery, he is in ICU, on a ventilator and now has severe sepsis. I signed forms for the doctors to give him a study drug that stops the bacteria from continuing on to shut down his organs. His kidneys had already started to shut down after surgery.

Long story short, he was in ICU for 10 days, on a ventilator for 8. A total of 26 days in the hospital. He does have a colostomy bag. He will be put back together in the fall.
The doctors were pretty scared when he was in ICU, he would have died if he would have been in his 60's the surgeon told us. I had no idea this dreaded disease could do so much harm to a body.

We are blessed for all the care he received in the hospital. Sepsis is fatal and we will find out in two years if this drug Eritoran Tetrasodium  saved his life. He will be called every three months and asked 10 questions for the next year. The side effects he has experienced is pain in his left wrist, and that has lessened since his discharge on June 12, 2008. I was told before signing the forms he would have this pain.
Two families after us had severe sepsis and refused to sign the forms, and unfortunately, their family member died. There is only a 12 hour window from onset of organ shut down to receive this drug for the next 6 days every 12 hours. The families wanted this drug once they saw the family member going down hill, but it was long after the 12 hour window. And the window was closed.

I felt compelled to write on here and let you know how serious this can be.

Thanks and take care!

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433485_tn?1321816990
Hi.  Thanks for the post.  I had a colon resection ( elective due to multiple episodes of diverticulitis- 6 in 5 months that did not respond to antiobiotics.  I am 6 months out and still having some residual pain and am scheduled for a CT scan, this week.  More for my peace of mind, I think.  Anyway, thanks for sharing your story.  I hope your hubby is doing better.  One month after my surgery, my hubby's best friend was rushed to ER with LQP, which turned out to be a perforated intestine.  He spent one month in ICU and organs started shutting down.  He was kept medically sedated and never regained consciousness ( we think- family was very close mouthed about the whole thing).  They finally called in hospice and turned off machines.  He was transferred there and died 2 days later.  I know that they removed his spleen and not sure what else.  He probably developed sepsis but not sure.  The whole thing was very very sad.  He was 61 and I don't think he had seen a doc in over 7 years.  It was hard for me as I had fought the surgery but after seeing what Dave went through, I am glad I had it done as that could have happened to me.  I don't know what drugs they had him on.  I visited a couple of times and he had so many tubes with names I didn't recognize.  Too bad he did not get that drug ( I don't know if he did or not as I said, family got really "weird" at the end about releasing info to friends.  
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588889_tn?1218865096
Thanks for your response. I feel so bad for your hubby's friend passing away like that. He sure spent a long time in the hospital and then ended up losing the fight. Very sad.
Dealing with a sick loved one in the hospital is never easy and then you bring in people that don't know how to handle a very stressful situation. My situation was not that way, it was good, but very very stressful and you did alot of praying. It just made you think how fortunate my husband was to be in a good place. St Josephs in Orange Ca got him through that nightmare. Dr Teddy Coutsoftides is a wonderful man who is my husbands surgeon. Very warm and excellent bed side manner kind of man. He is flying to Greece soon and my husband prays he makes it back safe and sound to put him back together in the fall. Having a stoma sticking out from the middle of you stomach is something my husband wants to say goodbye too.
He had retention bars in him when he was released from the hospital and a home nurse would come to the house for a few weeks.

He is on his 6th day of kicking morphine from his system. The palliative team who got together and figured what meds to send my husband home with sent him home with alot of morphine pills. He had very deep wounds. Thank god for the meds, but he could not get off of morphine and is just now almost to the end. He has done it without any meds. Just pot. I read on a post of a nurse who has never smoked it, but saw what pot can do for patients with cancer patients with HIV. Her husband got off of morphine smoking pot. She wanted to share this with the readers.
So there you go. The detox doctors took awhile to call us back. They called on his 6th day (today) and told him he is through the worst part. Keep doing what you are doing and take a sleeping pill. He has had very little sleep since Friday.
I never knew morphine would be so hard to stop.


I hope your CT Scan comes back good for you Sue. I agree, peace of mind is a wonderful thing.

Keep me posted. I will go back to read your posts to fully understand your situation. If possible, can you write me back and in a nutshell catch me up please?

I'm curious to know how others are doing once they have been put back together after having a bag.
We  both figure he has been through the very worst of things and this next surgery will do the trick. My husband from the previous surgeries, has had a total of 20" (inches) of colon removed. This time, the colon has gotta stick.
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433485_tn?1321816990
Hi.  I pray that your hubby is able to kick the morphine real soon.  I was on morphine, in the hospital, but then was switched to Dilaudid.  I found out that I have a low pain tolerance and a high med tolerance.  Funny as I am not a big woman....They sent me home with Oxycodone then switched to Vicodin.  Right now, with the pain still get, I take a small amount, at night, and Ibroprofun during the day.  Have to watch that last one, tho, as I also have GERD.  I did not have a bag.  I had an elective sigmoid colon resection, 7 inches, and my surgeon( whom I also love) was able to re-attach right away.  Take care.
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588889_tn?1218865096
Hi Sue,

You are one of the lucky ones who's surgery went well with no bag. My husbands first surgery seemed to go well too. Just a small incision and sent home 5 days after surgery. All week when he got home, he would go out for a walk to get his strength back. It was 6 days after he was home, he wanted a 2nd refill of the vicodin. The doctor on duty would not refill as he said, at this stage of the game, he should not be in any pain. His stomach felt tight and he could not get a deep breath. 8 hours later we are in ER. We will never know what caused his colon to perforate. He was told not to lift anything that was 5 lbs for 3 weeks. He did what he was told, and it still back fired on him.

Yes, I pray he can make it off of Morphine too. He is on his 7th day today. The detox doctor called him yesterday and said he has been through the worst of it and he should start to feel better soon. The pain in his stomach is sore and clear mucus has been running out of his rear end since he started getting off of morphine. He says it is just gross. We find it strange as he is tied off down there. It's all normal we have been told. The mucus is getting less and less each day. It's only when he walks around that this happens. So he has been either sitting or laying down for days. Not alot of energy with the withdrawals.

From reading some of these posts, it concerns me that my husband may never be the same inside as alot of people are saying they still have pain and their bowel movements have completely changed. I pray he is not knocked down by this. He is very athletic and after being in the hospital his body lost so much muscle. He was buff going in and a bean pole when he came out. He lost 30 lbs.Amazing how a body atrophies in such a short period of time. He has gained 10-15 lbs. The doctor wants to make sure he is healed on the inside before he goes back in him. After the emergency surgery, they had to go back in him a few days later because his stoma was turning black. They had to cut more colon off and reroute his colon up to his middle of his stomach.

I do know that before the surgery, diverticulitis would have him on the ground in extreme pain. I felt helpless watching him. After he was on the ground in a fetal positon, I begged him to let me take him to the hospital. He finally agreed. This was after he spent the whole weekend on and off the living room floor.
I will keep you posted on his progress and you do the same!
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433485_tn?1321816990
Yes, this surgery seems to take a while to recover from and it seems that everyone is different.  I have heard from people who, after 2 months, are doing great and then people who are 1 year or so out, and still experiencing problems.  I am having a CT scan, this aft., to check on why I am having pain again.  I think it is because I switched fiber and now am back to good old Citrucell.  Metamucil tore me up..... I will let you know how the scan goes.  Take care.
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588889_tn?1218865096
How did the CT scan go?

Have you ever tried Perfect7? I have been on that stuff for years and I am 50 yrs old and I do have colon cancer in my family. I had a colonoscopy a few years back and had good results. I think that perfect7 has helped keep the food moving along for years.

I don't take it daily, only about once or twice a week. The key is, to drink water after you take the stuff. Also, I drink it with a favorite juice, not water. Yikes, water it would be awful.

I was introduced to it by a lady who ran a health food store years ago. She showed me pictures of deceased peoples intestines with all this fecal matter. I told my friend who is a flight attendent and he loves i, he told many other flight attendents and they even lost weight being on it. Anyway, I just wanted to share this with you.

Hope you are not having much pain. My husband Bobby is on day 8 of being morphine free!! His voice even sounds better. He has been through the worst of it, but still experiencing the leakage from the rear end with the clear mucous. We think it is so strange that the body is doing this, due to being tied off down there. It only happens when he walks around. His sister has offered getting him depends, but of course he won't have any of that. :-)
He said it is getting less and less each day.
We are so proud of him. The pot, drinking beer in the evenings and taking the unisom has helped him get through this h--- he has been living the last week.

Have a great weekend!
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433485_tn?1321816990
Hi.  I think the scan went well...except for the nasty barium I had to drink...lol... plus I had iodine as well.  I am feeling a little better today.  I think that I just need to watch what I eat and never switch to a psyllium husk fiber again.  No, I have never heard of Perfect7.  What is it?  After my surgeon reviews my scan, he is giving me a referral to a new GI as I am never going back to my old one.  He turned into a jerk, during all of this.  Funny thing is I have had him since 95.  Oh well.... I will look that stuff up on the internet.  Also, glad your hubby is doing well weaning off of the morphine.  Do they know why he is leaking from the rectum?  Have a great weekend yourself....
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588889_tn?1218865096
Here are the ingredients to Perfect7
Psyllium seed and husk
Buckthorn Bark
Cascara Sagrada Bark
Alfalfa Leaves
Rosehips
Lactobacillus bifidus
powder
Bentonite Clay
Cayenne Pepper
Garlic
Goldenseal
Contains no: yeast, sugar, starch, artificial
colors, flavors or
preservatives
This is a water-soluble fiber which encourages natural elimination generally within 12-72 hours. It takes water to function, so please drink plenty of water throughout the day. A feeling of fullness is common, but if minor bloating or gas occurs, reduce the amount taken and increase the amount of water intake.

DIRECTIONS FOR USE: For adults and children 12 years of age and over mix one slightly rounded teaspoonful in 8 ounces of water or juice, stir or shake briskly to blend and drink at once. It is important to drink additional liquid throughout the day, preferably 6 to 8 glasses of water. Take at least ½ hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Use for 5 to 7 days for optimum benefit. Not for children under 12 years. We suggest using Perfect 7 psyllium herbal combination 5 to 7 days every 3 months. More often if you have slower elimination. (Less than twice a day).

This is by far the best stuff I have found for years.

Not sure why the mucus was leaking. What Bobby has done is take a little of the morphine and it stopped all the leaking. He thinks his colon was going through the withdrawals by having diarrhea and the body was secreting the mucus instead of the actual diarrhea. No diarrhea was coming out of his stoma. He looks years younger from getting off of Morphine. That drug is a wonderful pain killer, but a bad drug to be addicted too. His eyes at times reminded me of Charlie Manson. We laugh about it now, but not fun to be around someone who is addicted to the drug. I never nagged him to get off of the stuff due to the serious wounds he had to overcome. Who am I to tell someone who nearly died, to get off the bloody stuff. I knew he would take care of this when needed. He did it all on his own.

This is the second day of no leaking. He could feel his colon having spasms. Weird when it is tied off. He has spoke with his surgeon when he had old blood come out that end months ago and he said it's all normal and don't worry. Surgeons do not talk about what to expect. Their job is to cut you open and do their job. We still love his surgeon to no end.

So Bobby is doing better each day. Eating really good too. Putting on most of all the weight he lost.

I hope your CT scan has good results and no more surgery needs to be done.
Stacey

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433485_tn?1321816990
Thanks for telling me about the Perfect7.  The first ingredient stops me in my tracks...lol.  I found out that I can not take psyllium, at least right now, as it irritates my already sore colon badly.  I found out the hard way, by switching from citrucell( found out doesn't have the husks) to metamucil.. bad mistake.  I am still a little sore, after switching back. Anyway, glad Bobby is doing better.  I had to laugh about the Charles Manson eyes. I also agree with you about surgeons.  Mine is great but you are right....my bf is a nurse and she says the same thing.  Their job is to do the job.  Mine continues to see me, but if this last CT is normal, then I am returning to seeing a GI.  God bless  Sue
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