Thursday, May 9, 2013
bloated like a balloon...
When making the decision of whether to have the ileostomy surgery or not, I never really considered bloating. I thought about bloating as in the sense of pain but nothing else. Whenever I bloat, it usually is accompanied with some abdominal pain. I had considered this in relation to my stoma. Would it hurt and how bad would it hurt? However I never really thought about prolonged bloating from being "backed up". It has been three years since I have dealt with constipation without having to clean out.
I have been extremely cautious with my diet since coming home from the hospital. The idea of having a blockage/obstruction just isn't a pleasant thought I want to entertain especially the NG tube. Who wants to be held down again by nurses because they're fighting the tube and trying to pull it out? Not me but I did have my reasons at the time for being such a difficult patient. Anyway before surgery I would bend my GP diet rules to my liking within reasons. I did however never touch meats, raw fruits or raw vegetables. If I ate something that was a bit much for my system, I just flushed it out the next day with my clean out routine. I felt fairly comfortable. Now however that is not the case.
Over the past few weeks my output as slowed way down. My GI doctor and I discussed the idea of me going on a mostly liquid diet and eating one solid thing a day like mashed potatoes or Special K chips (I love those!). Since then, I have found that I am okay if I stay on the liquid diet for the most part but I need substance. I need flavor and something to crunch on! Whenever I introduced a solid food back into my diet after being on liquids for a few days, the same thing happened that I had been experiencing before we changed my diet to mostly liquids. Whenever I eat a solid food, my GI tract just slows way down and my output drops significantly. This is just with air chips or mashed potatoes; can you imagine what a regular meal would do to me?
Last week I started feeling bloated and full inside. I waited to see if the bloating would go down but it never did. I had that "backed up" feeling. I finally just decided that I needed to clean out. This was my only solution to get things out of me and moving in the right direction in the event that I was possibly getting a blockage. I had already discussed with my surgeon on how to clean out with an ileostomy. Could it be harmful or cause any damage to my stoma? I had several questions but he explained to me that there was no difference between me cleaning out into my ileostomy bag or my cleaning out into the toilet. However if I was having to clean out again, it would mean that I was in total GI tract failure and I would need to go see a transplant doctor. (As of right now, I haven't told my surgeon or my GI doctor about cleaning out. I don't feel that I'm there yet. My family had mixed emotions about me cleaning out which I can totally understand. I wasn't even four weeks post-op at the time when I started cleaning out. Today I am on my second clean out. If it was my loved one, I would feel the same.) I couldn't figure out which laxatives to take and how much to take or should I just take the same amount as last time? I knew I didn't want to gag down another bottle of magnesium citrate so I decided to start small and go from there, what could it hurt? I took four Dulcolax tablets and four tablespoons of Milk of Magnesia. (This was such a tiny dose compared to what I use to take.) Several hours went by and nothing was really happening. I was beginning to feel edgy because the dosage obviously wasn't enough. I don't drink anything with carbonation anymore so I didn't have that additional push that I use to have. Finally after what seemed like forever, things started working and they worked well. I went to bed and during the night I woke up really nauseous. After going to the bathroom, I went and took my strongest nausea medication. I needed to take care of the nausea. I woke up around five and attempted to go to the bathroom but I went back to bed. Before I have nearly passed out trying to make it back to my bed. I was trying to be a step ahead this time. Since this was my first clean out in a while, I didn't really know how my body would react. I sat in bed for a few minutes feeling extremely nauseous and sure enough, I got sick. I am not sure if I threw up because of a possible small blockage (it bought back hospital ileus memories) or simply because my body wasn't use to cleaning out. Who knows?
Luckily cleaning out helped. I was no longer bloated and feeling full inside. I have talked it over and over with Jacob and my parents. Have I really gained anything from this surgery? Yes, I now can take way less over the counter laxatives to clean out but I can't really eat anything. I don't struggle as much to use the bathroom compared to what I use too. My energy has kind of bottomed out because I live mostly on liquids. Before I took an insane amount of laxatives to the point I had maxed myself out but I could eat more. Maybe my small intestines were this bad and I just didn't know it because I was cleaning out every other day. I didn't have any energy from doing so many clean outs. I am perfectly fine with the surgery. It is going to be what it is going to be. There is nothing that I can do to change the organ damage. It is just a question that I have wondered about many times.
"Balloons" by http://james-miller.deviantart.com/art/Balloons-203543694