Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Emergency Surgery




So it's been quite some time since my last post but I do have an excuse. I had emergency surgery April 15th and have been recovering ever since.

I woke up the morning of April 15th around 12:45am with severe stomach pains and an extremely bloated stomach - more so than usual... Thinking it was just gas, I tried to cope for as long as I could but eventually couldn't handle it anymore. I called my mother at 3:00am (after calling my sister... I really didn't want to wake my mother up). She is a doctor so I thought perhaps she would tell me something "doctorly" and everything would be ok... She told me to try and throw up, etc but nothing worked. I finally hung up the phone with her around 4:15am still in severe pain but thinking maybe, just maybe I could sleep it off.... Of course that didn't happen although I think I did manage to get about 15 minutes of sleep - ha ha.

Around 8am, after pacing back and forth between my bed and the couch, I finally tried to use the bathroom again but of course that didn't work... then I crawled back into bed and around 9am my mother called me asking if I was feeling better. In agony I cried NO and fell to the floor because I was feeling as if I was stabbed 15 times in a row. My mother finally told me in a serious tone that I should go to the hospital so that's what I did. I called 911 and an ambulance came to my apartment complex and wheeled me out in a stretcher after of course, taking their sweet ass time trying to look for me (they got lost in my apartment). In the ambulance there was a professional EMT and an intern who had NO CLUE how to load a syringe with the DRUGS to take the pain away and boy was I going to go crazy... Oh and I did!

I got to the hospital and was drugged many more times to ease the pain which was nice except I still could feel it through ounces and ounces of pain meds. I had a barium enema (just to give you a graphic image - ha ha ha) and multiple x-rays (all tests extremely uncomfortable and painful because of my stomach).... but all technicians came up with the conclusion that I had a twisted colon/cecal volvulus - Emergency Surgery was the only way to fix me. I was rather shocked when they told me I needed surgery because I had never even been a patient in a hospital before... let alone get cut open!

After being informed, I was finally able to call my mother who was shocked herself because she just thought I had really bad gas pain from eating too many vegetables. It turns out I am one of roughly 10% with a longer than normal cecum/large intestine, which is why it twisted.... It was aggravated by the vegetables I ate too though (I won't be eating Lamb or Eggplant for a while - the meal I had the night before, ha ha)!

I had surgery (otherwise I would have died, seriously this is a fatal condition), in which they took out 22 cm of my twisted in a 360 degree purple knot cecum/colon/ ilium and my appendix, at 4pm and was in a private hospital room by 6:30pm where I was joined by my brother, the only one in the area at the time. My parents started driving to see me April 16th but got stuck in a snow storm and ended up getting to me by 6pm, April 17th - But I was perfectly OK with that because the hospital was incredibly boring and I wasn't doing much more than sitting and walking through the hallways of the hospital like an 89 year old lady (I couldn't stand up straight and was still incredibly bloated & weak).

Usually people who have the surgery I had stay in the hospital for 7 to 10 days but I got out at day 5 and then stayed with my mom at her hotel for a week until I was allowed to be in a car for eight hours (of course we did it in two days and stopped every so often so I could walk around - to make sure I didn't get any blood clots). So that's that. I am officially home and it's been two weeks post surgery and I am feeling pretty OK. Not 100% by all means but I feel at least 75%... I even went on a 5 mile walk with my mother the day after I was discharged from the hospital... When I was in the hospital, I walked the stairs to get some exercise! ha ha ha. I am now walking roughly 100 minutes a day (granted at a slow pace but still it's better than nothing) plus walking gets things MOVING because I have to wake up my bowels... because when they have been tampered with they forget how to work! I am currently only allowed to eat COOKED foods so NO SALADS, SASHIMI, CEVICHE or RAW VEGETABLES.... which stinks because I love those foods so much... but this "new diet" is not for life. I can eat my normal diet in about 5 weeks from surgery... so May 20th or so... I will have a nice large salad!

If anyone is curious about cecal volvulus, here is a definition: Cecal volvulus is the twisting of the cecum and ascending segment of the colon. Normally, the cecum and ascending colon are fixed to the internal abdominal wall. If not (which apparently was my condition), they can move and become twisted. The main symptoms of cecal volvulus are crampy abdominal pain and swelling (two symptoms I had) that are sometimes associated with nausea and vomiting (I tried, but it didn't work). When surgically taken care of, recurrence is extremely rare. (Although with my luck... ugh!)

*And if that isn't a good enough definition for you... and you have seen the movie: Marley & Me... think about what happened to Marley... and relate it to me!

*Oh and did I mention, I had the best surgeon in all of Boulder, Colorado! (Well that's what all the nurses, etc told me so there must be some truth to it... my mother even approved and as a doctor herself, she has a pretty good judge of character)

9 comments:

  1. oh my GOSH!!! I am so glad you're alive. And I'm not being sarcastic.

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  2. You did well there. Cecal volvulus if detected late can be life threatening

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  3. Infact read more about cecal volvulus here www.mcqsurgery.com/jejunum2

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    1. I myself have just gone through all of this. 31st of may 2016 I was heading to hospital to have my baby daughter via elective c section and then 4 days later started getting the symptoms you described above. After loads of drugs, tests xrays and examinations turned out I had to have as you say life saving surgery, I had caecal volvulus with right hemicolectomy and had to have 15 inches of my bowl removed... Just 4 days after having my baby daughter. Can safely say that was the scariest thing I've ever had to go through. Glad your doing well and hope I'll be saying the same soon just taking me a little longer to recover from this let alone the c section also. The doctor also told me how rare this condition is and that when it is came across its only found in elder people 40s onwards... I'm only 26. This last month or so has been the worst what was supposed to be the best time enjoying our newborn turned into a nightmare. I am in the UK and all the stories I've came across when I've looked at on the Internet have all been in different countries.

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    2. I myself have just gone through all of this. 31st of may 2016 I was heading to hospital to have my baby daughter via elective c section and then 4 days later started getting the symptoms you described above. After loads of drugs, tests xrays and examinations turned out I had to have as you say life saving surgery, I had caecal volvulus with right hemicolectomy and had to have 15 inches of my bowl removed... Just 4 days after having my baby daughter. Can safely say that was the scariest thing I've ever had to go through. Glad your doing well and hope I'll be saying the same soon just taking me a little longer to recover from this let alone the c section also. The doctor also told me how rare this condition is and that when it is came across its only found in elder people 40s onwards... I'm only 26. This last month or so has been the worst what was supposed to be the best time enjoying our newborn turned into a nightmare. I am in the UK and all the stories I've came across when I've looked at on the Internet have all been in different countries.

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  4. I just had the same thing happen to me this past Sunday and I got to come home yesterday. Recovery is painful. Since I have time now, I've been looking up the condition and came across this. Just like my story except I went to the ER myself. But this life event sucks.

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    Replies
    1. I myself have just gone through all of this. 31st of may 2016 I was heading to hospital to have my baby daughter via elective c section and then 4 days later started getting the symptoms you described above. After loads of drugs, tests xrays and examinations turned out I had to have as you say life saving surgery, I had caecal volvulus with right hemicolectomy and had to have 15 inches of my bowl removed... Just 4 days after having my baby daughter. Can safely say that was the scariest thing I've ever had to go through. Glad your doing well and hope I'll be saying the same soon just taking me a little longer to recover from this let alone the c section also. The doctor also told me how rare this condition is and that when it is came across its only found in elder people 40s onwards... I'm only 26. This last month or so has been the worst what was supposed to be the best time enjoying our newborn turned into a nightmare. I am in the UK and all the stories I've came across when I've looked at on the Internet have all been in different countries.

      Delete
    2. I myself have just gone through all of this. 31st of may 2016 I was heading to hospital to have my baby daughter via elective c section and then 4 days later started getting the symptoms you described above. After loads of drugs, tests xrays and examinations turned out I had to have as you say life saving surgery, I had caecal volvulus with right hemicolectomy and had to have 15 inches of my bowl removed... Just 4 days after having my baby daughter. Can safely say that was the scariest thing I've ever had to go through. Glad your doing well and hope I'll be saying the same soon just taking me a little longer to recover from this let alone the c section also. The doctor also told me how rare this condition is and that when it is came across its only found in elder people 40s onwards... I'm only 26. This last month or so has been the worst what was supposed to be the best time enjoying our newborn turned into a nightmare. I am in the UK and all the stories I've came across when I've looked at on the Internet have all been in different countries.

      Delete
  5. I myself have just gone through all of this. 31st of may 2016 I was heading to hospital to have my baby daughter via elective c section and then 4 days later started getting the symptoms you described above. After loads of drugs, tests xrays and examinations turned out I had to have as you say life saving surgery, I had caecal volvulus with right hemicolectomy and had to have 15 inches of my bowl removed... Just 4 days after having my baby daughter. Can safely say that was the scariest thing I've ever had to go through. Glad your doing well and hope I'll be saying the same soon just taking me a little longer to recover from this let alone the c section also. The doctor also told me how rare this condition is and that when it is came across its only found in elder people 40s onwards... I'm only 26. This last month or so has been the worst what was supposed to be the best time enjoying our newborn turned into a nightmare. I am in the UK and all the stories I've came across when I've looked at on the Internet have all been in different countries.

    ReplyDelete