Several days after my Ileostomy Rectal surgery, I was walking with a walker along side my wife 3 to 4 times a day. Your wanting to stay in bed and sleep but you have to walk several times a day. This is vital to your recovery. It was hard to get out of bed and back into bed. There is some pain but not to where it is unbareable by no means, at least with me, but I was on pain killers. You have to have assistance to get in and out of bed for the first few days. DO NOT try to attempt it yourself. Call a nurse in to help you and walk with you if you have no one staying with you.
<< EATING: this was the worst part. After several days the doctor told me I could start with juices. I drank some but not all of it. That evening was horrible. I got very nauseated to my stomach and threw up dark green bile (I hadn't eaten in a few days so that is all there is in your system). The smell of it was beyond disgusting. I threw up about 7 times during the night in a large bowl they gave me. Thank God my wife was there with me. You really need someone to stay in the room with you if you can. When my doctor came in that morning, and heard about my ordeal, they put a stomach tube down me called a "naso-gastric tube" through my nose that went to my stomach to drain it so I would not throw up. It was a HUGE RELIEF. It immediately sucked out the remaining bile which was over 2 quarts worth. I had the tube down me for 2 full days. The stuff in my stomach making me throw up would constantly drain out of the tube into this glass jar thing. They had to empty it a lot. Its hard to get comfortable in bed with the tube in you but its ok. If this happens to you, have them put a stomach tube in. This sounds scary but once its in, it is awesome!! You feel 100% better instantly (usually, at least with me it did). As long as it was in, I felt just fine but you can't eat with it in of course. You can drink water but of course it will suck it right out, but your mouth feels good, and won't dry out. MORE INFO ON EATING BELOW.
After an ileostomy, and you have been home a few days, you will all of a sudden notice that the 'all liquid stool' now looks like 'mush', more thicker and a lighter color. This is totally normal. Your stool will get like thick mush, and it is suppose to do that.
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EATING PART #2: the tube came out on the morning of the 3rd day and we tried liquids again. Was ok at breakfast, then the doctor told them to give me soft food for lunch. They gave me a grilled cheese sandwich. I ate it and it felt great at first. A couple hours later, I started to get nauseated again, and the throwing up hit. I threw up about 3 times, the dreaded horrible green bile and food, called the RN in, and they had to insert the stomach tube again.
THE DOCTOR'S VISIT THE FOLLOWING MORNING: He told me that approx., 30% of patients have trouble digesting food after an ileostomy. He said that the stomach can have a hard time digesting food for a few days. He ordered some pills for the RN's to give me that "jump starts" the stomach to get it to digest normally. I was on the stomach tube about 3 days this time.
HOW LONG WAS I IN THE HOSPITAL: I was there for 15 long days. This is because of the trouble I had eating. If you don't have any complications, you'll probably get to go home sooner.
WHEN DID I FINALLY EAT??? Well, to make a long story shorter, I did not eat for 12 days and I lost 30 pounds during that short time. You will lose weight for sure. This is also normal. About the early evening of the 12th day, they started liquids again. I kept it down this time. The next day I started again on soft foods. I didn't eat much of it, but I was eating. DON'T OVER DUE IT. My stomach would get gassy, tight and bloated, and the only thing that helped was to 'walk'. It would release the gas, and it helped a lot. I ate very little at each meal as to avoid throwing up. I increased my intake each day.
WHAT I ATE WHEN I GOT HOME
I did not throw up anymore when I got home but I did get the urge a few times but I was able to keep it down with no problem. I started out with soft foods that were NOT gassy products. We looked up non gassy foods on Google to research it. For breakfast nearly every day I ate a combo of eggs, turkey bacon, turkey sausage, toast, pancakes, and Ensure. These foods are not gassy and greasy and I digested them just fine with no nausea.
I lost so much weight that I did drink Ensure 3 times a day for about 2 weeks. This liquid product has a good amount of calories and lots of good nutrients for those of you who lose too much weight in the hospital. You need to get your strength back on track. For lunch and dinner I would eat my noodles, especially cheese and macaroni as that never bothered me. I actually craved it. I would have yogurt as well, puddings, jello, and chicken with rice. When you get home, you may experience bloating and tightness in your stomach that does not feel so great. I did. I simply would walk around my house to relieve it some. Don't over-eat. Take it slow when you get home.
AS TIME WENT ON.............
I could only eat about 500 calories the first couple days from the bloating. About the 3rd day I was at 800 calories. At 6 days it was at 1500 calories. Then more, as the days went by. The tightness and bloating do subside but it takes a while, so don't worry. We added other normal foods very slowly in small amounts after about 4 weeks (like hamburgers, steak, etc.....). I laid off of gassy foods for about 6 weeks or so before I introduced them into my diet again (like spaghetti, pizza, Mexican food, Chinese cuisine, etc....). READ MORE BELOW......
HOW DID I DEAL WITH THE 'BAG' WHEN I
Yes, it was pretty weird at first, like how will I sleep, how does it look, how will I shower, I think I look pretty weird with it on, will I get used to it, and so on. The weird feeling does diminish but not the first week, I slept just fine, yes it looked strange but no one could see it or knew I had it under my clothes so basically I grew to feel ok with it on. It is a very awkward feeling at first, but think of it this way> the bag is saving your life and/or close to it probably. Life is worth living with or without a bag.
To tell you the truth, I lucked out here. Since my wife and I knew I would only have it on for 2 months, she changed it for me. The best time for me was to change it first thing in the morning BEFORE I ate to prevent (or almost prevent) none to very little leakage. This worked amazingly well.
First I would get up, take my shower with the appliance 'on' while my wife got all the stuff out to change it. Then I would dry off, lay on the bed and she would change it for me beginning to end. Of course, I made sure that I knew how in case she couldn't for some reason. I DID NOT make her do this. She wanted to do it and insisted on it as to help me be less stressed. After I was home a few days, I would take part in it a little by taking the wet washcloth and cleaning the stoma area and putting the powder on and stuff like that, but she did the main things. Thanks babe, you were awesome and I love you!