Thursday, May 9, 2013

bloated like a balloon...

You know how a balloon feels and looks? It feels like the latex has been stretched to its limit and it is hard to the touch. It looks as if it could literally pop and often it does. That has been my issue lately, bloating like a balloon (thankfully not to that size).
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

1 comment:

  1. Jennifer, My name is Arianna Crossland and i just turned 21. I was just recently diagnosed with gastroparesis and ibs. I know very little about this illness, except for the basics. I hate the medications that Im on, they make me depressed and there are days where I just lay in bed and cry. I don't know anyone who has this illness and i was wondering, if i could talk to you about it. My GI doctor is helpful, but i would like to talk to someone who isnt a doctor. I need to know that it gets better in time, or even somewhat better. i need hope. ive read some of your blogs. But i know nothing about the ileostomy. I know you probably dont have the time for me, but if you do could you please email me. My email is