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Crohn's Disease Forum » Surgery » Strictures & Obstructions » Intestinal Blockage / Obstruction Support Group


 
05-12-2014, 12:14 AM   #241
theOcean
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A spouse recently posted on the forum asking for help regarding obstructions! She's very worried about her husband, and if anyone here could offer some input to her, that would be great.
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05-12-2014, 06:17 AM   #242
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I'm new here, and I found this forum after trying to find answers to my concerns about my husband's recent surgery. I apologize in advance if this is long, but I need some reassurance and some advice.

To give you a summary of his disease: he's had bowel issues his whole life. He wasn't diagnosed with Crohn's until he was 16 (he is now 33). Four years ago he went in for a colon resection after not being able to have a bowel movement for a few months. What they found was a massive super colon that was so diseased that they had to remove it. He woke up, 9 hours later, with an ileostomy. They left things so that he could be reconnected later, but he has opted not to do that.

He has been pain free for those four years and loving it (after 29 years of almost constant pain). However, about two weeks ago he complained about gas pains in his abdomen. After trying Pepto, Gas-X, and Tums, he didn't find relief, and soon he was almost crying in pain. I took him to the E.R. They did a CT scan and then also an X-ray study with contrast and did find an obstruction in his upper intestine. They admitted him and he was there for 6 days; most of the time on an NG tube and a catheter. He even managed to vomit with the NG tube down his throat. They released him last Friday because he thought he saw stool in his pouch and he was feeling better (no, they did not do a final X-ray or scan to verify anything).

All day Saturday he complained of pain. It sounded like dilaudid withdrawal to me (I'm a psychotherapist and work with people with addictions) so I was more concerned about the fact that they just stopped the dilaudid cold turkey and put him on Percoset and figured he was going through withdrawals. By Sunday morning he was crying (and he never cries), and in worse pain than ever, so I took him back to the E.R. They did a CT scan again and found that his obstruction was worse and possibly caused by adhesions from his colectomy surgery. He had surgery that evening, and they found a stricture and had to resect about 4 inches of his upper intestine. He was NPO for a few days, then on clears. He had severe pain. They had to re-open his incision because it was full of puss, and while no infection was found, they put him on a wound VAC. A day later (yesterday), they sent him home with a portable wound VAC. He was having gas pains (both intestinal and in the abdominal cavity), but was eating, and was successfully passing stool in his pouch.

He woke up feeling pretty good today and even asked me to cook him some eggs, which I did. He didn't really eat much of them, though, because the gas pains came back severely, and he sat there, crouching in pain, asking if he could possibly still have an obstruction? Of course I don't know the answer to that, but I hate seeing him in pain. He them vomited three times (the few things he has eaten today), and informed me very little has come through his pouch.

He has now been re-admitted and has what they call a mechanical obstruction. Again. Only a week later. He's had CT scans and X-rays but no MRIS. Could this be Hs Crohn's coming back? What should I ask the Dr. When he comes in? Obviously a resection didn't help much.
05-16-2014, 09:01 AM   #243
The Real MC
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Another obstruction came on last night. And again, I was able to clear it with oat bran snack sticks and 12oz of water, letting it digest, then rubbing my abdomen.
05-17-2014, 12:18 AM   #244
dulce75
 
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Another obstruction came on last night. And again, I was able to clear it with oat bran snack sticks and 12oz of water, letting it digest, then rubbing my abdomen.
I will have to suggest this to my husband if this happens again, which the doctor said it probably will, considering it was due to adhesions. It was such a frustrating three weeks (he did get an abscess after the surgery). He's home now, with a wound vac, but he'll have missed about a month of work.

I want to be better prepared in the future. Where can we find oat bran snack sticks?
05-17-2014, 06:46 PM   #245
dave13
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Hi dulce75

Wow...as a husband who has a very supportive wife I thank you.It makes such a difference.

Your husband has been through so much.Has he had the same GI through out?It seems after such an established case of CD there would be a better plan to move forward.

My blockage was found using sonogram as well as MRI and x-ray.Mine was in my jejunum,near the duodenum.I experienced much of what your husband has gone through.Pain,sickness,etc..

Since my resection I have felt much better.It will be six months the end of May.My meds are 500 mg Pentasa twice a day and medicinal cannabis.

I'm happy to help with any questions I can answer..keep the faith.
05-19-2014, 09:40 AM   #246
The Real MC
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Where can we find oat bran snack sticks?
I found them in the bulk section of my grocery store, but not many stores stock them. I also found them in specialty stores that sell nuts. They look like the sesame snack sticks.
05-23-2014, 01:43 PM   #247
cleuger
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Does an obstruction or partial obstruction cause a buldge in the left colon thats where most of my disease is and stricture is. I had this before but not quite this bad I have a call in to GI but havnt heard back I am not vomiting or feverish or anything like that. But the buldge is there and it is a little painful tylonal takes the edge off but thats it off put myself on liquids only today. Could this maybe be a partial or something I dont know.

Tia
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05-23-2014, 04:24 PM   #248
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Hi Tia. I think you've done the smart thing in calling the doc and going on liquids. Hopefully it's just a narrowing. If things get bad before the doc calls don't hesitate to go to the ER.
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05-28-2014, 12:17 PM   #249
cleuger
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Well went to ER yesterday morning and posting here for those seeking abscess and fistula information I ended having surgery last night after ct scan revealed a huge abscess on bowel a fistula connecting it to another part of bowel I think they said I want copies of reports. Anyway I started by getting 3 units of blood not sure why anemia follows me the way it
does. Anyway I now have a hole In my side and and on antibiotic had all kinds of EKG , chest ex ray and CT Scan
05-28-2014, 06:34 PM   #250
The Real MC
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Another obstruction last night, this one took longer to clear.

I'm beginning to identify a pattern. The last two started after a meal at a restaurant involving excess cheese (tomato & swiss soup, the other being pizza with extra cheese). I have no problem at all with cheese I buy from grocery stores because I make sure it is not processed cheese. I don't have that control with restaurants. Restaurants are notorious for using processed foods (ever read the ingredients on those containers labeled "butter flavoring"? Ugh!) to keep costs down and stay competitive, beginning to suspect that processed cheese is causing my problems.

Going to shy away from restaurant meals with cheese and see how that works.
05-28-2014, 09:10 PM   #251
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Letting everyone know that Strictures & Obstructions is now its own subforum! I'll be helping move posts there shortly.
06-09-2014, 10:37 PM   #252
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Serious question: I'm in the hospital getting over my obstruction and the just took the tube going from my nose and throat out today. I have a lot of gas in my stomach and I can't pass it or go #2. Is this normal? I'm suppose to get discharged tomorrow, I've already been here since Friday. Before they took the tube out I was passing gas like crazy. Please help. I'm trying to sleep on my left side to see if that helps.
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06-10-2014, 07:36 AM   #253
dave13
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Serious question: I'm in the hospital getting over my obstruction and the just took the tube going from my nose and throat out today. I have a lot of gas in my stomach and I can't pass it or go #2. Is this normal? I'm suppose to get discharged tomorrow, I've already been here since Friday. Before they took the tube out I was passing gas like crazy. Please help. I'm trying to sleep on my left side to see if that helps.
Before I was discharged after my resection I had to have a bowel movement and be able to eat solid food.I was told they wanted to be sure my bowels had 'woken up'. Once the ng tube was removed I could suck water off a swab,progressed to drinking small amounts of water and eventually started with yogurt,etc..This took four days before I had signs of bowel activity.I had to have several meals and do well with them before being discharged,that was another couple days.

I would be concerned about not passing gas or #2.Voice your concerns to your nurses and dr..
06-21-2014, 05:55 AM   #254
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I had something odd happen.I was standing and talking to a friend.I suddenly got a sharp pain on my right side,belly button height but more to the right.It was quite painful and lasted a few seconds.

That was four days ago.I hadn't experienced it before and(so far)it has not happened again.Any thoughts?

I also experienced some mild pain in my abdomen,on the left side,last week.It felt better when I massaged it.This happened 2-3 times over a two day period.A very different sensation than I described above.

My resection scar runs between these two places.

I see my GI this coming Monday so I will let him know.
06-26-2014, 05:56 AM   #255
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I saw my GI Monday and I am having a small bowel follow through this morning.Yesterday was seven months since my resection,so I guess the SBFT is timely.

Will this accurately show how I am doing? Of ways to monitor the upper GI how does the SBFT rate? Is there another test I should ask about?

If I am fasting,not even water,what about taking my morning Pentasa? My usual med schedule would put me an hour into the test.I'll bring my morning dose with me and ask them.I'd rather not miss a dose,but I'll do what they say.

Talking with my GI on Monday,I found out he has a 'start with the mildest med first' approach.I am not sure if that is a good thing.I can't afford anything more expensive than what I'm doing now anyway,may be a moot point from the start.
06-27-2014, 09:04 AM   #256
The Real MC
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Definitely keep up the fluids as it helps to keep the waste pliable as it moves through your piping.

That is from my GI who is an expert on Crohns.
06-27-2014, 09:15 AM   #257
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When I recently visited my GI (who is head of the GI department and is an expert on Crohns) I told him of my remedy of oat bran snack sticks, fluids, and massaging the area of pain during a blockage. He told me to keep doing that. He said that intestines can shift after a resection and the piping could knot up, and that may have been why it worked.

I also told him that I suspected that processed foods may trigger a blockage. On more than on occasion my blockage was triggered after a meal in a restaurant involving cheese - tomato & swiss soup, certain pizza. I have no problem with cheese I buy in a grocery store - deli, block cheese, cheese curds, etc. Every time I have a blockage it followed a restaurant meal with cheese, and they often substitute processed foods like cheese. My GI doctor thought there might be a connection.

Yesterday I went to an appreciation lunch at work. They had pizza from the restaurant whose food triggered the blockage. I suspected it was the garlic pizza because they changed the recipe this year (I used to eat it for years with zero problems) and it had less garlic but twice the cheese. And the cheese tasted different from the other pizzas. They had plain, pepperoni, and that evil garlic. I passed on the garlic and had no blockage problem.
06-28-2014, 09:24 AM   #258
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I am optimistic about the small bowel follow through results.The reason is after the first images were taken,before drinking the dye,the Dr. came out and asked me where my resection was.He said he can usually tell where the intestine was re-connected but couldn't tell in my case.I'm hoping that is a good sign I'm still healthy around the resection area.

It took over eight hours to complete that test.I admit to not being prepared for that time commitment.

One of the nurses did show me a few of the images.Yup,they look like guts.

My GI should have them now and hopefully will call me early next week.
06-30-2014, 09:24 AM   #259
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Another brief obstruction this weekend cleared again by fluids, oat bran, and massage.
07-01-2014, 10:51 AM   #260
dave13
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Hopefully I will hear some (good)news soon.I would like to view the images with my GI but I imagine I will just get a phone call.
07-16-2014, 11:11 AM   #261
The Real MC
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Well, sometimes the home remedy doesn't always work.

Last week I was in the ER twice with partial obstruction. During the first ER visit the cat scan showed no sign of inflammation or infection, and it confirmed the partial blockage. They consulted with my GI and put me on 40mg prednisone for two weeks and sent me home with diet of high fiber and lots of fluids.

Three days later I had a really bad pain from another blockage, by the time I got to the ER it had eased up but I was playing it safe. By the time the doctor examined me there was zero pain on my abdomen so they sent me home. The pain had exhausted me and it took a couple of days to recover.

That was five days ago and I am feeling much better. Zero pain. My bowel habits have improved with regular solid and formed stools which I hadn't seen in a long time.

I had my reservations about the prednisone but it seems to have done the trick. Sometimes diet isn't enough to clear obstructions.
07-16-2014, 12:09 PM   #262
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After a blockage has been diagnosed, I have always been told to do liquids only for a week, then slowly start on mashed foods and work my way back to regular foods slowly.
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07-20-2014, 06:00 AM   #263
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I am recovering from a fistulotomy and the placement of five setons,BUT..

the results from the SBFT were great.The sections of jejunum that were rejoined look healthy and seem to be healing well.There was no sign of inflammation in my upper GI tract at all.So,for now anyway,the stricturing CD is at bay.
07-20-2014, 06:56 AM   #264
Daisy123
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Not sure whether I am obstructed or the bloating is from the IBS, but I look nine months pregnant. I am going off my high fibre diet and back onto the low residue one. I am too frightened that more fibre will send me to hospital. I am trying grape juice, hope it works.
07-20-2014, 04:38 PM   #265
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Try organic apple juice, I was drinking that since my last episode and it seems to crank up the movement. I found that grape juice can make it worse.
07-20-2014, 04:47 PM   #266
Daisy123
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Try organic apple juice, I was drinking that since my last episode and it seems to crank up the movement. I found that grape juice can make it worse.
I drank half a cartoon of the bloody stuff. There is movement but still horribly distended, and bulging more on the left hand side. I don't feel I can phone my hospital because I created such a fuss only to be told that it was IBS and adhesions (although I think they threw adhesions in to keep me quiet). I know bloating can happen with IBS and honestly I think my hospital is fed up with me now. I'll give apple juice a go in the morning.

Thanks
07-21-2014, 03:22 PM   #267
Daisy123
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Try organic apple juice, I was drinking that since my last episode and it seems to crank up the movement. I found that grape juice can make it worse.
Well half a litre of red grape juice eventually got things moving, now they won't stop moving! But much better than being bunged up. I also used the advice here to massage the stomach. Thanks all
07-22-2014, 11:43 AM   #268
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I am new to this forum. I have had Crohn's since 1991. I am 38 now. I have had one resection of the small intestine. I am currently having a flare/partial obstruction. I have these quite often. Once a month, if not more. I can not eat or drink during these and vomit until I get everything out of my system. It's a vicious cycle. I am going back to Dr. today. Is there some type of drug to help lower inflammation I can ask him about that I can take just during a flare? Thanks.
07-22-2014, 12:14 PM   #269
Daisy123
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I am on Pentsa which works for small bowel inflammation.
07-22-2014, 12:31 PM   #270
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What side effects do you have with Pentasa?
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