Discussions that mention vicodin

Bowel Disorders board


Monday, April 26, 2004

OK. There is a little more clarity in my head. I came off of the IV this AM. Basically, I am a guest here in the hospital. The doctor does not count surgery day and his policy does not allow a resection patient to leave before three days. So, I am just hanging out. I feel good.

I circled back and am taking 1000 mg Vicodin every four hours. Probably 500 every two to three hours would have been better, but since I cannot prescribe, I am taking the more comfortable dosing.

I had a spooky experience early, early this AM. Oh, I almost forgot.

I poop, therefore I am.

I have had two BM’s today. They were quick D as expected, but no pain or discomfort, and everyone was pleased with my performance. Anyway, back to the spooky part of my diary. I passed gas through my penis and then produced foam instead of urine. I tried to remain calm and called the nurse. She was obviously agitated. Since, she has been a nurse for 33 years it was contagious.

She let me know she would contact the doctor immediately. As it turns out, it was a non-event. It sometimes happens as a result of the gel used with the Foley cath. I think my pulse got up into the mid-100’s for a short time while the nurse was figuring it out (about 1 hour).

Now you know. BTW: It was not painful. I think I might have gone into cardiac arrest if it was also painful.

I guess that is it. As far a resections go, I have had a dream experience.

I have to get passed the D, build up my strength, figure out what I can eat, and then go about the business of developing the knowledge required for a predictable bowel pattern. Once that is in place, hopefully, I will have a life as “normal” as anyone.

I did speak with one of the two surgeons about the perforations. She told me that after they had closed me up and I was on my way to recovery, they took some time to study the removed tissue. She described it as having several to many “micro-perforations”. That was no doubt the cause of the scarring and inflammation. That would also have been the lump or knot in my gut that made driving painful. Really, I only noticed the lump developing in 2004, but they said this was in the works for quite sometime. I should have had the surgery one to two years ago.

The lump had “cemented” itself like a barnacle. The adhesions were on the cavity wall, but … also a large artery that supplies my left leg. So, that is why the surgery took so long. I am really very fortunate. I was putting the surgery off, and in doing so, creating unnecessary and extremely high risk for myself.

Despite six CT scans over a four year period, w and w/o contrast, 4 IVP’s, one Barium enema, one colonoscopy, and cystoscopy, I had a very, very dangerous situation brewing in my body. A fistula between my intestine and the iliac artery could have brought down the curtains on my life.

Readers of this thread may be trying to determine whether or not the surgery is warranted. Think about it. Trying to cheat the Devil can cost you your life.

My story has had a happy ending thus far. Just think about it.
Gatormom,

Thanks for the fan mail. I have only read a couple of mainly picture books in my entire life, while my wife is a book worm. Oh the sweet, sweet irony that I might get requests for a book. And, good critique on my style. Wow !!!

I would have to disavow my nom de plum, Resection Man, and start over though. Not that Resection Man isn’t mysterious and interesting, but the whole story of a medically necessary surgery is a wasted prop. And, I would have to cover my tracks. The truth behind Van Gough’s ear is that he slipped on some of his own spilled paint and ended up ripping his ear off on a wall scone. Everyone would have thought him a jackass, so he came up with the chop-my-ear-off-for-love-and-inspiration spin and look at his market cap now.

Maybe I can put a love spin on my intestine surgery. It might do wonders for my currency. Here I am struggling to get views on my posts. CNN would pick me up for sure. “Man removes own intestine as sign of love …”.

Actually, this is my first time to participate on a board much less write on anything larger than a napkin. You can read my early work on the same board, thread: “A little tense need some reassurances” where I even muse about titles. Well, I did keep an adventure journal from a big camping trip 25 years ago. It is very funny.

I told my wife she had a fan and I got that soft Marge Simpson groan, “mmmmmm”. I could see the wheels turning: “What’s your angle man?”. She was not thrilled with my discharge papers. No work, plenty of rest, no lifting over 10 lbs, no taking out the trash, mowing, no driving (the kids to school) etc…

I must get foot and leg massages to help prevent DVT, and the cherry: Sexual Activity may resume when comfortable. I am comfortable exactly 73 minutes after taking the 1000 mgs of Vicodin every 4 hours. Yeah Baby!!!

My wife is a saint and I love her dearly. Her nom de guerre can be Santa X. I am six years older than she (she was only 12 when I was 18 !!!) and we have been married for almost 10 years, together for 12. Oh, she is a real keeper too. Brings home bacon, quite useful around the house, and she is my perfect soul mate. This has been much harder on her than on me. I will think about what to write and lay down a post later on (it has been 71 minutes since I took the vike, and I need to freshen up). I think it is important for the unresected to think about how this is all going to affect those that love them. Also, you don’t quite feel so bad yourself when you think about others. :jester:
The pain caught up with me today. I took one Vicodin 500 at 2:00, and 750 at 4:00. I will get back on the 1000 mgs when I go down for the night and stay on a new cycle somewhere closer to the original prescription.

More or less, I was just as interested in seeing how much I have healed, and the underlying level of pain was. Now I know. I won’t need to know again for three or four days.

I also took a little nap. Just like this AM. The pain was much worse getting out of bed. Keeping active must really be good advice.

We are having chicken and rice. It will be an American version to take it easy on my body.

Also, I started a broad pro-biotics supplement twice a day. Hopefully, it will help me get into the swing of things.

My wife is into Arnica for bumps and bruises. I think I will start that when I go to sleep for the surgical healing. I have heard good things about it, and we have used here for years.

I have gotten pretty tired as a result of the pain. I am also back in the compression stockings just for good measure. I don’t want to go through all of this only to die of a blood clot.

No BM today. That is kind of a bummer.

Later on …

Resection Man
UPS finally got here with my birthday present. It was a fine present indeed. I am a joyous man. This took longer than the birth of our first baby, although there wasn't any work involved. The waiting and pacing was very similar.

The need for this thread as an outlet for my peace of mind has almost come to an end, but I am going to make at least weekly posts for the next six weeks regarding food and the nature of my habits for the sake of the unresected until I am “predictable”. Boy, it would have been a must read if I could have found a diary.

Thank you all so much for holding my hand, for praying with me, and helping me laugh at my situation even when I was really scared.

If you are here for the limited entertainment value, you can come back at another time. If you are waiting for your resection and want to know more details, then keep reading below.


*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*


The good news is that there was no pain, no blood, no discomfort or anything like that. I had a hernia repair about 20 years ago and got corked up like the Hoover Dam. When that ship came in, it caused some serious pain and damage. So, I know what can happen after general anesthesia. If your bowels are asleep for an extended period of time, you can produce a brick. They warned me at the hospital and offered me some laxatives. If you are a guy and under the age of 35, then you know that you would never take a laxative on your own. That was a mistake. I was a bloody mess. After giving birth to that hockey puck, I thought my rear-end would never be the same.

Wifus called the doc's office this morning since I still had not gone and there was no indication that anything was on the way. Wives do that for husbands. They told her to just give me more water to drink. They did not want to chemically stimulate my colon and rectum this soon after surgery. Phew!!!! I am so relieved UPS got here. The thought of “non-chemical” rectal stimulation would have started to put the freak on me ... even after everything else I have been through.

Also, I had very good control and had plenty of biofeedback. I guess there has not really been anything going on for a couple of days so there was nothing to report to my brain. Interestingly, my train came in at about the same time as my next pain dosing was due. Probably not a coincidence. Aunty has had me wondering what was wrong with me for a couple of days. If she figured it out quickly, then why hadn't I. I guess we are all different. This is one man's story. I hope all of my good things happen for you too or even better, and none of the bad ones.

Of course, one of my main concerns was about the nature of the poop. Really from a social perspective. I want to have man-poops that do not negatively and drastically change my lifestyle. Glad to report, that while it was a little more firm than I would have considered comfortable, it was certainly livable. And with the proper diet, if this is my natural status, quite manageable. Wife will load me up with fiber. This AM, I got a ton in a single glass of Ogadawalla juice this morning. Of course, she did not tell me I got five days of fiber until after I had already tossed the juice back. It was quite tasty though.

Here is the odd part, and the part that might be changed forever. You might remember that the doc widened the freeway so to speak. There where the intestine meets the rectum, he removed the bottleneck that he believes causes the high pressure which in turn aggravates the diverticulosis. The part that went in one ear and out the other. Since I still cannot “bear down”, I had to sit there and wait to finish. Giving a little push, pinching it off and getting on the road was not an option, at least at this point in my recovery process. By nature, I am not a patient man, but I will have to get used to it I guess. I can't run around with only half a poop out of the way. Naturally, my wife thinks this is good.

So far, my recovery has all been good. My doc has far more people in my situation than not. Believe me I checked. Between the surgeon and the anesthesiologist, a lot can go wrong. They can starve your intestine of blood and oxygen during the procedure thereby leaving your intestine paralyzed or gangrenous etc. etc.... Cut vital nerves. It is not like a garden hose. This is a system. Systems have relationships with interdependencies. And, it is possible to damage the system either through the procedure and/or the disease. If I can escape the IBS on the backside, then I should be home free. My doctor told me on several occasions to stop being a “worry-pot” (he is a foreigner), his benign patient's have normal bowel habits after his resections. That's one of the reasons I picked him.

Obviously, I can't live on the Vicodin forever. The real test will come a couple of days after I get off of the meds. I think the vike definitely slows down my pipes. Between the slowness and the mind numbing effects, I have been in absencia when it comes to the general digestion business down there. If I had my wisdom teeth pulled out I would not care, but since it is the plumbing, I am eager to know what is going to be my new “normal”. Plus the boards are full of the bad things that can happen.

If this were Goldilocks, I was somewhere between Papa Bear and Just Right. Going forward, I will not file a report on every visit to potty unless something is “newsworthy”. However, I will make a point to make at least one BM report per week as a look-back comparison for the next month or so. By the end of the six week, I should have settled into my new poop-groove.

So in closing, if you are waiting to get your resection, take heart that the possibility exists for a relatively normal guy-life. The real bad pain, the kind that cannot be controlled with meds, does not last forever. While IBS and diapers are a risk, they are not a certainty. And, although I have not gotten to the trial and error part of the diet program, you should still be able to eat and drink many of the things you love. Maybe all of them in moderation. I was really frightened about losing all of the things I love to eat, but I have spoken with so many people that assure me you still can eat many of the same things that I am not too worried about it righ now.

On the dumping syndrome problem. I studied the management strategies around that too prior to surgery. I still considered my surgery “elective” in the sense that I had a choice about the procedure itself not just the timing. Of course, my surgery was not elective, but I was in denial, like you might be, almost up the last ten days. You really cannot get ready for surgery without acceptance. You just have to get past it.

Anyway, in my opinion, dumping syndrome is one of the worst possible outcomes after death. We are not talking about IBS. This is a constant flow with serious and frequent complications. You can still lead a kind of a “normal” life, but it takes extremely careful meal planning (both in terms of timing and menu selection). You might have to take daily meds for life to be able to work somewhere other than your bathroom. You might want to consider easy to remove and clean garments and yes, diapers. And, dehydration and malabsorption is a real concern. You have to consume more water than you lose, however much that is, and you might have to supplement your nutrition IM (through shots). The primary lifestyle management strategy seems to center around timing. Only eat when it is also a convenient time to poop. Obviously that impacts social consumption. Most people eventually opt out for a bag. That solves many of the social and hygeine problems, but still leaves the malnutrition issues. Nevertheless, it is a life strategy. Again, next to death, that is one of the harshest outcomes. I think it is less than single digit risk. By comparison, the bag does not seem to be that big a deal to most I have spoken with. Yes and no. Two out of many that I have come across are still missing their old “complete” selves. The rest are so glad to be past the pain, or the dumping syndrome or the knowledge that the sieve would lead to death without it, that the bag is a welcome alternative. Everything else is an improvement and somewhere North of these worst outcomes.

I want to close on a high note. So, if that is as bad as it gets, and everthing else is an improvement, and many people resolve completely, and I appear to be one of them, then there is certainly hope for you too.

So far I have had a great outcome with significant health, spiritual, and marital benefits. The downside is there, but with careful surgical and facilities selection, you can statistically minimize that risk. I believe with prayer and faith, you can further minimize the risk. My doctors tell me that any goofy problems and pains will most likely resolve on their own in the next couple of months. Also, I should be able to eat and drink anything I want to. Not that I should. Just that I could.

If you are a worry-pot like me and can't live without scaring yourself silly and knowing how bad it can get, then that was it. All of the scary stuff I could think of. At least you can quantify and measure the fear, and then deal with it. I hope you also get relief from the fear by reading my posts.

It would have been horrible to keep a journal for others that had a “bad” outcome. That would not have been very encouraging to others. What if I died last week. What a bad thread that would have been. What to expect .... death. Actually, very few people die on the table during elective procedures. If you are reading this, then you are probably not an emergency case.

Good luck,

Resection Man
[QUOTE=resection;978597]Gatormom,

Thanks for the fan mail. I have only read a couple of mainly picture books in my entire life, while my wife is a book worm. Oh the sweet, sweet irony that I might get requests for a book. And, good critique on my style. Wow !!!

I would have to disavow my nom de plum, Resection Man, and start over though. Not that Resection Man isn’t mysterious and interesting, but the whole story of a medically necessary surgery is a wasted prop. And, I would have to cover my tracks. The truth behind Van Gough’s ear is that he slipped on some of his own spilled paint and ended up ripping his ear off on a wall scone. Everyone would have thought him a jackass, so he came up with the chop-my-ear-off-for-love-and-inspiration spin and look at his market cap now.

Maybe I can put a love spin on my intestine surgery. It might do wonders for my currency. Here I am struggling to get views on my posts. CNN would pick me up for sure. “Man removes own intestine as sign of love …”.

Actually, this is my first time to participate on a board much less write on anything larger than a napkin. You can read my early work on the same board, thread: “A little tense need some reassurances” where I even muse about titles. Well, I did keep an adventure journal from a big camping trip 25 years ago. It is very funny.

I told my wife she had a fan and I got that soft Marge Simpson groan, “mmmmmm”. I could see the wheels turning: “What’s your angle man?”. She was not thrilled with my discharge papers. No work, plenty of rest, no lifting over 10 lbs, no taking out the trash, mowing, no driving (the kids to school) etc…

I must get foot and leg massages to help prevent DVT, and the cherry: Sexual Activity may resume when comfortable. I am comfortable exactly 73 minutes after taking the 1000 mgs of Vicodin every 4 hours. Yeah Baby!!!

My wife is a saint and I love her dearly. Her nom de guerre can be Santa X. I am six years older than she (she was only 12 when I was 18 !!!) and we have been married for almost 10 years, together for 12. Oh, she is a real keeper too. Brings home bacon, quite useful around the house, and she is my perfect soul mate. This has been much harder on her than on me. I will think about what to write and lay down a post later on (it has been 71 minutes since I took the vike, and I need to freshen up). I think it is important for the unresected to think about how this is all going to affect those that love them. Also, you don’t quite feel so bad yourself when you think about others. :jester: