Discussions that mention vicodin

Bowel Disorders board

ok. here goes my story:
I first started having bleeding episodes when I was 19 yrs old. I am 42 now. I was in college then and the doctor said it was because I was physically active (I was in gymnastics, fitness, tennis and soccer). I paid no attention to the bleeding and it eventually stopped. I've gone on with life and had 4 kids, sometime during which I developed hemorrhoids. My father had them and they would bleed, so I suspect I inherited the risk for getting them on top of having 4 children. Plus, I have a job where I sit at a desk all day. I am 35-40 lbs overweight as well. I think all of these factors contributed to my hemorrhoids. Well, I had the surgery on 12/7, Thursday. I am in agony and like ericollin, wish I could go back and undo what I have done.
I had spinal anesthesia and didn't feel pain when I was still in the recovery room. I was able to pee and walk around, so the nurses said I was "bouncing back" really well. At 5:45 pm, before I was to be released, the nurse had me take a percocet. I threw up everything in my system about 10 minutes later. She said she couldn't tell whether I had thrown up my pill or not, so to take another one two hours later (at home). I did so and threw up again. And again. By this time, 9:45 rolled around and I was without ANY pain medication in my body and the spinal anesthesia had completely worn off. I was in terrible agony. I had my husband drive me to Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio (military facility) emergency room. I was in tears and in horrible pain.
When they finally took me in which seemed like hours (it was only about 20 mins), they put an IV on me and gave me some morphine. That only helped take the edge off of the extreme pain I was in. The emerg room doc spoke to my surgeon who happened to be on call that night in the medical center. My surgeon told him to give me anti-nausea medicine and switch my pain killer to vicodin. They gave me one vicodin and watched me to see if I held it down ok. I did. I went home and began taking 1 vicodin every 4 hours.
I will post this and continue my story in another post.
My story: Page 2
I had to go online to educate myself on all the drugs I was given to take. I am not knowledgeable at all when it comes to medication since I've never had to take any. I think all doctors assume people know all about drugs. Long story short, I talked to a helpful nurse online who told me that I didn't have to wait 4 hours in between each Vicodin, but that I could take one every 2 hours if I was experiencing bad pain. So, I am now taking 8 - 10 Vicodin per day to manage my pain.
My bowel movements are the problem. Every time I go, it's like mc said: I feel like I'm having a baby. I am using Colace (two gel-pills each morning). I am seeing now that that is probably not enough, however, no instructions were given to me by my surgeon nor the pill bottle on how to use it. It only says take 1-2 pills with 8 oz water, but doesn't say how often. (Hello?)
I am taking metronidazole (2x day for 5 days) and levofloxacin (1x day for 5 days). I am also taking Zofran (anti-nausea) when I need it.
I feel like I am living on Vicodin but if I don't take it, my rectum throbs and throbs and hurts so bad. Sitting in a tub of warm/hot water helps, so I've been doing this about 7-8 times per day.
Before I had the hemorrhoidectomy, I was using Metamucil (two tbsps in a 16 oz glass of water). It made my stool large, soft and formed. That was what I needed since I had my gallbladder out in March 97 and have had diarrhea ever since. (I think this also contributed to my getting hemorrhoids). However, I'm afraid to use it now post-surgery. I read Harry's comment about using it so that my anus doesn't get too narrow, but will that happen? If I don't pass large stools now, will my anus get small and stay that way forever? Does passing large stools make it stretch bigger so that I won't get anal stricture?
The day after surgery, Friday, 12/8, I had 3 BMs, but they were mostly liquidy and hardly any at all. This is because I only ate Campbell's chicken noodle soup twice that day. I was afraid to eat because of fear of my first BM. All 3 BMs that day were very painful. I was shaking.
On Saturday, 12/9, I had 2 more BMs. They were gassy and hurt really bad to pass. The stool was more solid but still broken up into little chunks that looked like wet dog food. Sorry to be gross but I'm hoping this will create a picture you will understand.
Today, I took Milk of Magnesia because it was so hard to pass the stool from yesterday (Sat). That was a big mistake because my abdomen was gurgling for hours before I was finally able to go. I went 3 times in a 30 min period. It hurt bad. I practically stayed in the tub of warm/hot water because of the pain.
What can I do to manage my bowel movements better? The problem with me is that my bowels tend to be diarrhea anyway. But I guess since I'm on so much Vicodin, that could constipate me. I would appreciate your views, Marilyn and Harry, since you both seem to be so knowledgeable.
(I wish I had never had the surgery. I could have managed my hemorrhoids without it!) Thanks all.
Thanks so much for replying to my post. I am so excited to hear from you since I feel I know you after reading all your postings.
I’ve been having problems with my internet, so I wasn’t able to answer you back this morning. I wish I could have since now it’s midnight. Today was not a good day. I woke up at 6:18 and left a message for my doctor or the nurse to call me back. I wanted to ask about how many times I could take the Colace they prescribed to me. I called again at 2:30 and they never called me back.
Long story short, I thought I started out my day pretty good. But then 4pm hit and I had another “episode” of several bm’s. This happened yesterday when I took Milk of Magnesia because I didn’t want to become constipated. That was a horrible experience because it left my bottom in pain and throbbing and I kept having spasms that were sharp. The after-pains feel like crunched glass is poking inside my rectum. Each time I would use a bm, I would go straight into the tub and soak until the throbbing calmed down and it didn’t burn. This happened about 7 or 8 times. (bm’s).
Today, it started at 4 again (my body must be programmed to go at 4). I had several bm’s because for some reason they don’t all come out at once. I can only pass a little bit at a time. The bm looks like small pebbles but are not hard. They are soft. However, I have to push to get them to come out. Is this constipation? I hate these bm episodes because I spend a good three hours going back and forth between the potty and the tub. Eventually, I end up emptying my bowels but it takes so much effort (and dread).
I am trying not to take as much Vicodin so that I won’t get constipated but the pain is too great. Today is the 4th day after my surgery. I’m so tired of looking at my bedroom and bathroom walls. I just lay on my bed all day unless I need to get up to go to the bathroom or prepare something for myself to eat. My kids are at school all day and my husband goes to work, so I’m alone during the day.
I’ve been documenting what I eat and what meds I take, bm’s, etc. Today I had Bran Flakes with a lactose-free milk in the morning followed by 2 Colace pills and a lot of water. I used a bm and was ok. I didn’t feel fullness pushing on my bottom afterwards. I was happy because I thought that was it for the day. Nope. I went on to experience today’s 4pm episode. Only, it left me with a lot of gas rumbling around in my stomach. This is because I ended up taking a sip of Milk of Magnesia after I vowed that I would not because of what happened yesterday. However, I was afraid of being constipated.
Thanks for the info about the Metamucil. I was afraid to take it because it makes my stools large and formed and soft, but since it’s so hard for me to pass even the small pebbley stool, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to pass large stools.
I have an appt with my surgeon for a follow up on Wed. Boy am I gonna let him have it.

I am sorry to hear about the circumstances of your weight loss. In any other situation, it would have been great news. But it’s sad that this is what the surgery has done to you. I believe I am also going to lose weight. I don’t eat much at all because I know it will have to come out later. I’ve gotten a lot of high fiber foods and I just mostly have small snacks all throughout the day. I would prefer only drinking juices and sipping soups, but it’s not good to be on a liquid diet when you’re on medication. I found that info on the internet. It can interfere with the absorption.

I think I AM having problems with constipation if I can’t pass the small pebbley stools that are soft very easily. Do you think that I am healing up too small? Will the doctor be able to tell when he examines me on Wed?

I hope you are managing ok with your baby and all. Your story is incredible. I am praying for you as well. That is our only hope.
You sound like such a kind man and genuinely worried about your wife’s well-being. If only surgeons were like you, this country would have great health care!

Well, I called the general surgery clinic again at 7:30 this morning and the nurse finally called me back at 9:00. We had a good conversation about what I felt about my surgery and the non-support afterwards. She said she was 59 years old and had the surgery twice when she was younger and that back then they didn’t have today’s technology. I asked her to share more of her experience with me and she didn’t give a single detail other than saying it is very very painful. I wonder if she was lying about having had the surgery.

In any case, she told me I could take 400 – 800 mg of Advil in between my Vicodin so that I don’t have to use as much Vicodin. I asked her if it took the pain away the same. She said no, because Vicodin is a narcotic, but that it would help some. And this way I could avoid taking so much Vicodin so that I won’t get constipated. I asked her how often I should be taking the Colace. She said only once a day. I also told her I wasn’t eating much at all and was starting to feel weak. She said for me to eat because my body needs the strength to recover. She said at least to eat some mashed potatoes or something. I said “won’t that constipate me?” And she said well, you’re not eating much. I asked her about taking the Metamucil but she said to wait until I talk to the doctor tomorrow. She said it sounds like I don’t need to because I’m passing stools, and that was the important thing. I told her that even though the stools are soft, it FEELS like I’m trying to pass a huge lump. She said that is only because my bottom is swollen and that that feeling will go away in time.

So, I will have someone go get Advil for me today. This morning I had a bm again and it was painful to pass. I had to push until everything came out, including all the gas from yesterday, which I thought the stupid Gas-X would take away. Apparently, it didn’t.

I complained to the nurse that I was not prepared enough as far as patient education for this surgery. I told her that I am having to figure out which foods to eat on my own, how to use my medications correctly, etc. I told her that I was going to let my doctor have it tomorrow when I go to my appointment! She assured me that I was doing all the right things and there was nothing different that I should do. I told her I was afraid my bottom was healing up too small which is why it feels like it’s so difficult to pass even small, soft stools. But she said that is only because my bottom is swollen, not because it’s healing too small. She said everything would be ok and not to worry – that I’m only in my first week and that is why it feels so bad.

I feel sorry for your poor wife who was not able to lay down in bed for so long! She is lucky to have had you through her gall bladder surgery. I had mine out in March ’97. I struggled with diarrhea (pretty much every single day), sometimes several times a day, no matter what I ate, ever since. It wasn’t until August of this year that my doctor told me to try Metamucil because of my hemorrhoids. I like the effect the Metamucil had on my stools. I had “normal” bm’s. However, my hemorrhoids had already developed, which led me to have the surgery.
Thanks for the response, Harry. Take care – both you and your wife.
Harry and Ericollin (and anyone out there suffering from this!):

Today is the big day. I will be going to see my surgeon for my follow up at 1:45. I will definitely let him know that I was ill prepared for my recovery. Depending on his response, I may even visit the Patient Advocate in the medical center and let them know how inadequate their recovery program is for hemorrhoidectomies.

Good news! Yesterday at 12:30 (noonish) was the last time I took a Vicodin. Hurray! I actually felt GREAT compared to the misery I have been in since the surgery. I had 3 bm’s in the early morning and felt like my bowels were empty. Finally! I was so scared I would have to have 8 – 10 of them per day. Plus – I did not have another 4pm episode. Praise God!!!

I felt so good yesterday (no throbbing, no spasms, and no pain), that I did some things around the house. By the time my hubby and my kids got home, the kitchen and living room was in order. It felt good to do that after having to be so dependent since Thursday. I made sure not to lift anything at all but to walk around slowly putting things here and there. I took my time and enjoyed it. At 4:30, I took 2 Advil LiquiGels because my lower back (by my tailbone) was feeling sort of funny, like sensations. I figured it was because I had stayed in bed for so many days and then I was active.

I ate pretty good yesterday although it was all items on the high fiber list. It feels good to have a little energy for a change. I do appreciate both you and Harry being worried about me eating something. I am surely not the type of person that would harm myself on purpose. I was only trying to minimize the amount of bm. But Harry, you are right, what I am going through now is a cakewalk compared to what you had to experience. You are to be applauded for your self-education and also for going a step further and offering your hard-obtained knowledge to fellow sufferers. You are making our lives easier by your own experience. Thanks for that. Ericollin, you also remain dedicated to be on the boards offering your advice. Yours is an unusual situation as your surgery followed childbirth. Having 4 children myself, I can’t even imagine. However, you have been quite descriptive. 

This morning, I had 3 bm’s. One at 4 in the morning and two about ½ hr ago. There was some pain passing them but nowhere near what it has been. I think I am really healing! I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. I was expecting weeks and weeks of torture. I still soaked in the tub afterwards and it made my bottom feel better. Right now, sitting at the desk, I “feel” my bottom, but it isn’t throbbing or spasming, it just feels like I passed some very large stools. Kind of like it did when I had my hemorrhoids after diarrhea episodes. Hey, I can handle that now, believe me. Although I though I couldn’t before the surgery. (if I could turn back time….)

I hope the rest of the day is uneventful as far as bm’s. I would like to be able to go each morning and forget about it till the next day. Of course, that is probably wishful thinking. Fiber gives you the feeling of needing to go, I think. But I dare not eat anything else. Although it was easier (less pain) to pass stool this morning, it still feels like I’m having to push kind of hard to make it come out. I also felt my bottom while I was in the tub and there is a little tiny something protruding – it almost feels like a brand new little hemorrhoid. Oh no. I will ask the doctor to explain what that is since it wasn’t there before. In all honesty, I think my butt h*le has healed all weird and curvy to where it is not a straight path that my bm has to follow. That’s what it feels like, anyway.

We’ll talk soon. Take care both and have a wonderful day. I am praying for you.