It Happened One Night
It's been 25 years since I had ileostomy surgery and more than 20 since I had a blockage. Not a bad record -- I'll take it! Alas, I slipped up recently and ate my lunch in too big a hurry, and worst of all, I had not been getting enough fluids for a couple of days when it happened. Yes, a blockage.
Throughout the evening, I tried the usual home remedies: warm bath, drinking hot tea, massaging the abdominal muscles, and several others of the suggestions that come from our ET nurses, but to no avail. Finally, I had to decide whether to continue these home remedies or go to the emergency room to get help before things got worse. Yes, of course these things happen at night, not during the day when you could get help from some source other than the ER. So, at 11 p.m., I was describing my symptoms to the ER admitting desk receptionist. Four hours later, with the aid of a shot to completely relax the muscles and small bowel, I went home painless and with a functioning ileostomy. No surgery, no overnight stay. Whew!
The reason I bring up this experience is to point out several things that all persons with any type of ostomy should incorporate into their care. I have read these admonitions for years and have advised new patients in visits and in our monthly support group meetings to do these things. I did them in my early years as an ostomate, but have failed to follow these important guidelines as my ostomy experience has matured. I paid the consequences that night recently, but have set forth to do all of them from now on.
Back to Stillwater-Ponca City UOA Newsletter Index
This page is maintained by the OstomyOK webmaster
Content last revised 2003-11-06