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Crohn's Disease Forum » Surgery » Surgery next week - my 1st


02-08-2010, 02:37 AM   #1
Juben
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Surgery next week - my 1st

Hi everyone, I'm having surgery next week for a stricture. I was just diagnosed with Crohn's in July and have had two hospital stays since. We've tried cimzia and no change. After meeting with the surgeon Friday, I learned that the attacks I have been having are due to the small instestine blockage and not necessarily "crohn's attacks" (which explains why the cimzia did no good I guess!).

Anyway, just looking for some advice on what to expect and how to stock up my fridge. I'm a vegetarian that has been unable to eat veggies for quite some time now, so I'm really hoping to get back to a better diet! However I know I need to take it slow at first. Wondering if I'll be able to tolerate fruit smoothies? Also I am a busy mom of 4 kids ages 3-9 so I'm not sure how that will play out. I work part-time outside of the home (18 hr week - desk job) and would like to be back to work within a few weeks. This is my 1st surgery ever... maybe I'm being optmistic about my recovery.

Sounds like my incision will be about 6 inches and will have about 6 in stricture removed, along with ileum and appendix. I'm kind of concerned about waking up in pain. Will they give me pain med while I am still out to prepare me for that? Although I've had my share of pain with the cramps that come along with the blockage!

Thanks for your support!
02-08-2010, 08:29 AM   #2
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Hi Juben welcome to the forum! I have had 2 resections and my exploratory surgery, which they took the appendix out intially. I know you are worried but try not to, stress makes it worse. Depending on your surgeon, a laproscopy is less invasive, and you recoup alot sooner. Yes they certainly will give you pain meds, usually morphine but as your surgeon or surgery team if they can give you a epidural, you feel nothing. It didnt work for me so I had the morphine pump. Depending on your fitness level and severity it is hard to know for sure how long.

In the beginning, give your bowels a rest, first water, and Ensure, slowly introduce foods. NO dairy, avoid sugar and eat soft foods until you feel you are ready to go to porridge, applesauce and steamed veggies. I am sure you doctor will put you on maintainence drug, usually Flagyl and imuran. Get your b12 tested regularly, it is important. I was only 32 at my first laproscopic surgery and took 4 weeks for complete recovery. Good luck, everything will be fine, please keep us updated after your surgery if you can.

Hugs, Penny
02-08-2010, 09:52 AM   #3
kenny
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I had an Epidural for my Ileocaecal resection. Which sounds very much like what you are having. They took it out after a couple of days.

I met with a Nutritionist and physiotherapist at the hospital before I was released and they set me up with a short term recovery plan for both diet and exercise. All I had to do was ask and it was provided for by our health care system here in Canada. I am not sure where you are or what kind of coverage you have but you should look into that if you can.
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02-08-2010, 11:03 AM   #4
Peaches
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I also had an epidural for my resection which was removed after a few days. They didn't juice it up until after I woke up, so I was in pain for about 5 seconds and then NOTHING. I think they waited so I would know what the pain really felt like versus NO pain :O)

I can't remember how long they made me wait until I could drive myself - I think it was 4 weeks at least, but that was a long time ago (13 years) so it may be different now. I would err on the side of giving yourself more time rather than less to recover. You don't want to go right back into a crazy life before your body has had its rest! Remember, the idea to the surgery is to keep your disease quiet after the fact for as long as possible. Good luck - I hope it goes well for you!
02-08-2010, 11:10 AM   #5
imisspopcorn
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Hi Juben, I had an ileal resection in 2008. I woke up with a PCA (patient controlled anelgesic) pump. I had pain, but it was comparable to C-section pain, actually maybe less because my Crohn's pain was gone....It took about 6 weeks to fully recover, but I was pretty ill pre-op and started out "behind the 8 ball" so to say. I was able to drive myself to my post-op appointed to see the surgeon at day 14 post-op. Although you shouldn't drive until the surgeon says it is okay. It did take me the full 6 weeks to have enough stamina, you maybe able to go back to work at 4 weeks....Good luck. Keep us posted.
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02-08-2010, 11:35 AM   #6
krahsdnal
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Hi Juben - I had my small bowel resection two weeks ago, like IMP i had the PC with morphine. The surgeon told me to use it dont try to go with out it, after about 3 days I started to use less and took pain pills instead of intravenusly. My surgeon told me that the only restricitions i had was not to lift over 5-10 pound for 5 weeks. I was on soft foods the 2nd day after surgery. I am back to work - well working from home - 2 weeks after surgery and hopefully go to the office next week. The doc also said when I feel I can slam on the brakes in the car I can start driving again - which I am hoping to try this week.

Everyone is different in thier recovery - the one thing I suggest is to make sure you get up and walk as much as you can. Use the PCA prior to trying to get up to walk
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02-08-2010, 12:55 PM   #7
Rob
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Good luck with ya op

jus ask lots questions from ya drs an nursing staff
an the others on here are pretty helpful too

I can't suggest anythin as I havnt had any surgery yet but that's what I'd be doing
02-08-2010, 01:07 PM   #8
Nyx
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I just recently had a colostomy. They tried morphine on me, but it didn't even touch the pain I had. So they switched me to Demerol with Gravol. That worked like a charm. I was on it for a week, then stopped it completely. I was in the hospital for 24 days (due to other complications besides the surgery) but I felt pretty good and stable after about 2 weeks. The key is get up and walk asap, even if you feel like falling down!

Good luck to you!

Cindy
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02-08-2010, 02:15 PM   #9
Sue-2009
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Whenever I have surgery...When I am barely awake, I ask for pain meds. You have to stay ahead of pain...Get behind and OMG, its a mess. Good luck!!! Sue
02-08-2010, 02:19 PM   #10
farm
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I too had a resection and the surgery was no where near as bad as I had feared.
For pain they ended up giving me Dilaudid, which only eased things off a bit.

Good luck!!
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02-08-2010, 05:01 PM   #11
CrohnieCarolyn
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Good luck with your up coming surgery! I was in the hospital 12 days and had 18 inches of the small bowel removed - recovery was weeks and I was told to not try to lift anything - it is hellish but you will get through it and as for running after little ones - I hope you have help because you will be laying down a lot but do get up and try to walk too...I had the morphine pump and don't even remember the first coupld of days post op - Tell us all how it went when you are feeling better
02-08-2010, 05:17 PM   #12
Jennjenn
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I would ask if it could be done laproscopic like jettalady said. Make sure when you are able to when your in the hospital to start to walk around when you can. Probably a couple days after surgery. It will start to activate your system. As much as you might not feel like you want to it will help you. I was on the morphine pump the firt time, second surgery they had to give a mixture of pain meds. Its different for everyone depending on your level of pain, but if you are in pain after just ask for more and they will help you. I hope everything goes well for you and hope you feel better.
02-08-2010, 05:21 PM   #13
Samantha
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Juben, good luck with the surgery I wish you well! Keep us posted.
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02-08-2010, 05:28 PM   #14
kenny
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hope you get the glue as opposed to staples btw! And good luck with it.

I had my mom come stay with me for a few days when I got home. Just trying to sit up will be a memorable experience for a few days
02-08-2010, 06:13 PM   #15
Wiles
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Good luck with your surgery. I had my first one three years ago and it wasn't nearly as big of a deal as I thought it would be. There is pain involved, but at least for me it wasn't very bad. I can't remember how long they kept me, but I know by the weekend I was tromping up and down their halls hoping they'd send me home. The pain I went home with was manageable, I don't think I bothered taking any of the pills they gave me when I left.

Did your surgeon tell you if you if you shouldn't lift things over a certain weight for a period of time? I can't remember exactly what my limitations were, but I know I wasn't supposed to do any heavy lifting for a while.
02-08-2010, 07:43 PM   #16
Juben
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Thanks for all the advice! I did ask about laparoscopic... it's not an option because of the amount of intestine that has to be removed. My surgeon said since he has to make an opening large enough to fit that out, he won't be able to do laparoscopic, so about 6 in incision.

I've had lots of advice to walk asap so I will definitely keep that in mind!

Thanks again... I'll be reviewing your responses and making a list to prepare myself. I'll post an update after the surgery.
02-08-2010, 07:56 PM   #17
Juben
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Oh yeah... I was told I wouldn't be able to lift over 20 lb. My twins are 35 lb each so I guess they'll have to get over being held by mommy for awhile I'll have help with the kids... will have to have a long talk about no jumping or climbing no me!

I have never heard of the 'glue'... just assumed I would be getting staples! Guess we'll see. As far as pain med go, I usually have dilaudid (sp??) when I am in the hospital and that seemed to work really well for me. I guess I should bring that during my prep and see what the plan is. Epidural sounds good...although that wasn't mentioned. And the times I have had epidurals for childbirth left me with a sore back for months! Although I will take sore vs. pain!

Thanks again.
02-08-2010, 10:42 PM   #18
Crohn's 35
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Good luck with your surgery. Let us know how you make out. I didnt have any kids but I have dogs and they were not allowed to be in the room, heck I even got my hubby to sleep in the other room (second surgery) I was terrified he might touch me! Hang in there ok. Big Hugs!
02-09-2010, 06:15 AM   #19
Juben
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Lol jettalady... good plan :-) Thanks!
02-09-2010, 11:43 AM   #20
Sue-2009
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Hey Jueben..I have twins too! The joy of my life. Good luck with your surgery. You will need help with the twins, how old are they? Your attitude seems very good. I hope this gives you the relief you need. The people here and there experience is UNBELIEVABLE. Best wishes! ((HUG)) Sue
02-09-2010, 02:41 PM   #21
CrohnieCarolyn
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kenny said:
hope you get the glue as opposed to staples btw! And good luck with it.

I had my mom come stay with me for a few days when I got home. Just trying to sit up will be a memorable experience for a few days
When I had my staples removed they left one in my bellybutton and a week later I thought - why is my bellybutton so painful? The skin had grown over it a bit and OUCH did that hurt when the doc pulled it out...
02-09-2010, 03:48 PM   #22
themuse
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Not to scare ya, but I woke up screaming with staples down my stomach and a PC morphine drip that was useless. My situation was different since I hadn't been diagnosed with Crohn's yet, I was going in to get my appendix removed. So I'm sure you are going to be well prepared. I did get a shot of demerol every night...I think I got addicted so be careful.

Good Luck
02-09-2010, 07:54 PM   #23
Juben
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Sue - my twins will be 4 in a few weeks! Two girls! What about you? they are a handful. Good thing I had my two singles first, or I might have stopped at two. lol!

Hmmm... I definitely don't want to wake up screaming, I will be sure to tell them ahead of time to load me up on whatever!
02-09-2010, 09:15 PM   #24
kenny
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when they use the glue they sew you inside and then glue the outside. Staples are . . . . well staples

I woke up screaming too. The darn wire for the Epidural was out of place. It only took them about 20-30 seconds to yank it and put it in on the other side of my spine. But man did my belly hurt for that 1/2 a minute.

I'm sure it is going to be fine. But with all those kids you will really need some help for a few weeks when you get home.
02-26-2010, 03:42 PM   #25
Sue-2009
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Juben are they here???!!! Sue
02-28-2010, 02:53 AM   #26
Juben
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I posted my surgery story in a new thread but wanted to respond here and say all went well... approx 12 inches removed, home after 5 days and off pain meds for the most part by the time I went home (other than at night at first). Now 1 1/2 wk out and I have been driving and cleared to go back to work as soon as I feel up to it. I thought I was ready but after getting out and about today for my kids' basketball games, I was sore and exhausted and had to come home and nap for 2 hr! Just got to take it slow I guess. Getting the staples out was no fun, but it feels better now that they are out (and hoping they didn't leave any behind!). My kids have been doing very well as far as being careful around me and understanding that Mommy can't pick them up for awhile. Our family and church family have been wonderful to us in helping out w/ meals, kids, etc. And my sweet hubby has been a great "Mr. Mom". :-) I am feeling a little spoiled.
Still quite sore and now other parts of my body (back, etc.) are sore from compensating for my sore belly!
Thanks for your support!!!!
Sue... my baby girls turned 4 yr old on Friday! twins have been quite an experience!
02-28-2010, 08:31 AM   #27
Crohn's 35
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I am happy for you Juben, but TAKE it slow!!! I made that mistake and set me back. Sorry about the staples, I didnt have those. I know you are anxious to get back into the swing of things but the more you look after yourself the longer your possible remission should occur. Take care, and glad you kept us updated. Twins, oh my, I couldnt imagine two of my 22 year old lol. Hang in there and REST!
03-21-2010, 08:17 PM   #28
khill88656
 
Hello All,

Need some good advice.

I'm a 46 yr male who had surgery for crohns when I was 17. I was crohns free for over 15 years.

Ok, moving forward.

The crohns is active again and have scaring from my surgery when I was 17.

The scaring is closing down and my GI and the surgeon are suggesting surgery.
I haven't had a blockage yet, but have been to the ER a three times in the past months with pain.

Currently I'm taking hurima shots twice a month with prednisone . Seems when I come off the pred, the pain returns.

The CT scan clearly shows the narrowing of the intestines in the same place as my last surgery.

I'm at a lost, don't know what to expect from the surgery. My doctors are staying 5 days in the hospital and 4 to 6 weeks to recovery. I donít have 4 to 6 weeks, Iím self employed as a commission salesperson.

Any advice on recovery and surgery?
03-23-2010, 10:08 AM   #29
Sue-2009
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Unless you want to keep going to the ER, it looks like surgery is your next step I would talk to the Dr about your recovery concerns...Maybe not that long? My heart goes to you---I'm in sales too, and when I'm down...the entire office is down,,,numbers down,,,you know the drill...Sue
03-23-2010, 03:57 PM   #30
bruscar
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juben,
good luck with the surgery and try not to worry remember this is what these people do for a living all day everyday.

Lots of hugs from little 'ol Ireland
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