Roller coaster of healing: I just did a loop de loop.
Let’s see, how much description is appropriate here in a blog with mixed audience… This gets pretty graphic.
The continued blockage from the stoma was making me extraordinarily uncomfortable. Matt came back from his routine evening walk, and decided to do something about it.
We put a call into the surgeon. The nurse reported, “Dr Childs said this is still not out of the realm of normal healing behavior”. Matt crumbled. “I want you to go back and get the doctor on the phone, I want to talk to her right now,” in angry bear tone. She did. The doctor was about to go into surgery on an emergency appendectomy, but she could come to my room in an hour.
The previous day
The doctor had come up with a method to avoid my nausea and vomiting until any swelling within the abdomen could go down, by manually draining the stoma. Using a clear surgical tubing (like that of an IV line) as a stint, Dr. Childs threaded the tubing through the stoma opening and 8 inches into the intestine to draw the fluid into the bag. When this method worked, she endowed Matt with the power to do this for me every time I felt ill. It was pretty gross, but it worked, with some effort. This allowed me to get some much needed protein into my body and some relief. I began taking in a low-residue, soft food diet. Ahhhhhh.
Then problems began. When the food I ingested came to the stoma, it would gum up the tube, then block things up again. Matt would have to remove the tube, clean it out, then reinsert it. (What a guy, SERIOUSLY goes above and beyond what any partner *should* have to do.)
Back to now
This tube was just too small to handle the texture of the fluid coming out, and would get clogged. So both of us losing patience and me in complete misery, Matt looked around to what else he could find to make a better tube to drain. He found some fatter packaged surgical tubing. I looked at this and a BIG question mark came up in my head – will that fit my intestine? Sure it will, he insisted, and began fashioning the perfect stoma drainage tube.
I looked away as he pushed the tube through the stoma, then increasingly through my intestine. Yep, that worked, and fluid came, and came, and came, but ooh, what was it doing to my little intestine!!
Satisfied with the results of the new and improved tube, but me still in major discomfort, the doctor appeared at the door (and a 1/2 hour early!).
That’s where the next adventure began!
Matt explained the events, and Dr. Childs knelt down to take a look at the student’s work. She said, yeah, ok, this isn’t the right tube to be using; let me get an anal catheter tube. She disappeared and emerged again with the exact tube, and did her own work on trimming it to size. Then out came Matt’s and in went Dr. Childs’.
I can’t begin to express my feelings, I am just biting my lip as a witness to all this happening to my body! So, that one didn’t work so well, and Matt’s was the wrong kind of tube. So much discomfort, the doctor advised to revert back to the small tube, and keep manually draining every few hours. She would schedule me for an operation the next day to go in and fix the issue.