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To make a long story short, yesterday my husband was sent home from his work because he was having a dull, niggling pain that was focused in his lower back on one side, just above the hip bone. The discomfort was also in the front of his body, to a lesser degree. We were worried it might be kidney related (he has a history of kidney stones), so he ended up in the ER because our primary physician wasn't available. After many blood tests, urine samples, and abdominal x-rays, it was determined that there was "nothing wrong with him." The ER doctor seemed competant, and she assured us that all emergency conditions had been ruled out. We enquired about possible obstructions, kidney stones, hernias, etc, and she said that there was no indication that any of those issues were apparent.
The doctor did mention that my husband might have some abdominal adhesions as a result of the colectomy he underwent a little over a year ago. When I got home, I did some reading online about adhesions, and learned that these are a very common effect of open abdominal surgery.
This isn't what scared me.
What frightened me and sent me into a serious panic attack, is when I also learned that one major complication of internal adhesions is the chance of a small bowel obstruction occuring. I read that small bowel obstructions are a medical emergency, and can result in death. What worries me to no end is the fact that in some cases, small bowel obstructions can have seemingly minor symptoms to begin with; nothing more major that what might appear to be an acute case of gas.
Since my husbands operation, I have gone out of my way to ensure that he is well hydrated, and chews his food carefully in order to avoid obstructions. Now I learn that he may develop an obstruction regardless of any precautions we take, just because he may have internal adhesions. This is terrible. Not only that, but now I'm terrified that he might experience ongoing discomfort and pain of a chronic nature if it is in fact adhesions that caused the issues he experienced last night. What am I to do? I know I have a tendency to overreact to these things, and last night I couldn't stop bawling my eyes out even though I wanted nothing more than to appear strong and confident for his benefit. He ended up comforting me, and telling me that all this worrying was needless. According to him, his output has been normal and is still normal this morning, and he feels just fine.
But still, I am obsessing over what adhesions could mean for his quality of life.
Does anyone here know anything about post surgical adhesions? How worried should I be about this possibility? How common are small bowel obstructions due to adhesions? Am I planning his funeral and my life without him for nothing?
We are making an appointment to see his primary physician ASAP, just to put our minds to rest and have some questions answered, if nothing else.
I don't know how I'll get through work today. My heart is depleted and I could cry again at any moment.
I have had 4 adhesion surgeries to free up my organs. DON'T PANIC!!!! Some people's bodies create adhesion's after a surgery on any place of their bodies. I am possibly where your hubby is right now again. I am making an appt. with a GI Surgeon to talk about my ostomy doesn't have the output it use to, and I have the same type of pain your husband does in the back and the front. What they will do is order a Laparoscopy (tiny hole and put a camera in his tummy to look and see if he has "any adhesions that are blocking his intestines". It is extreme easy to have this done and he will be asleep and then if they see any adhesion's they will give him surgery to remove them all and he will be fine. But, you need to go to a GI Surgeon to ask about this. If your ins needs you to have a referral then get one from your primary to that specialist. Now, understand if this is adhesion's, he could in a few years go through it again. So just watch carefully that his ostomy output is normal any change in the output or abdominal pain, check as soon as you can with a GI Surgeon! I have found that once I got my ostomy, GI docs send me right to GI Surgeons for any help anymore. He is not going to die from this, just get him in to the doc I told you to and tell them about " the pain and you both want to rule out possible adhesion's that could cause obstructions in the bowel" and do yourself a favor, ((((I am am a very high anxiety person too)))) Don't be that way when you go to the GI Surgeons office with your husband or stay out in the waiting room! I am sorry, I am trying to save you a huge problem as I have experienced. I get really OMG! over everything as I have had 44 surgeries and I have 4 auto immune diseases. I live with Chronic Pain everyday of my life. I use to be a Nurse in my early 30's. I started getting ill and I have been through a lot and I have become a very nervous person and it comes across to others "wrong", we end up looking like we are "Hypochondriacs" And we NOT!!!! But, by us not speaking calmly, and being all hyped up from our nerves when we talk to a doctor ..... They don't take us seriously!! I am not judging you here as I am saying I am very Panicky and Nervous person myself and many doctors listen to me before I take a Valium to calm myself and think I am a nut case and throw me some anti-depressants which I am not depressed, just overly concerned about your husband or yourself :) I love ya kid, you sound like we could be sisters!
My caretaker, love of my life, is fighting head/neck cancer right now!!! So My NERVES have been on HIGH for 8 months!!!! So I understand what your going through personally. I just want you to succeed to get your husbands help and keep you calm. I had to finally, go ask my doc for some lowest dosage Valium to just calm me down because EVERYONE I came in contact with I over reacted to everything and I was Hyper as heck!!! Maybe, you should think about talking to your primary about taking some to calm you down a bit and believe me, you will be a much better help to your husband if your calm. I hope I haven't offended you in anyway at all here!!! I wrote this as you are part of my family. Please, let me know how you both are doing. I care ;)
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