Recovery from Perforated Bowel Surgery: Feeling Weak and Drained

Feb 21, 2023 9:31 am

Tomorrow it will be 6 weeks since my emergency surgery for a perforated bowel, section removed now have stoma,

A week in ICU, another week in hospital, now I'm home but still feel weak and drained. Is this normal?

Thank you.

Feb 21, 2023 10:08 am

Yep, for me it was, and based on my experience, it will be for quite a while to come.

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Feb 21, 2023 12:27 pm

Yes, I too had emergency surgery (after 76 years of no prescription drugs and great health) and it took me a long time to recuperate. I don't want to discourage you, we are all different, but it took me almost a full year to feel normal again (other medical issues popped up) thus the long recovery time. You most likely will have down days, but try to stay positive and look for laughter whenever and wherever possible! You must learn things along life's path - Example: you know how they throw the ball into a crowd after winning a game? That's not allowed in bowling. I know that now!
Feel better soon. jb

Feb 21, 2023 4:24 pm
Reply to Justbreathe

I was in the hospital for 8 weeks, barely got out of bed and weak as a newborn- but it gets better. Went back to work and after 2 hours collapsed/tried to do too much - pace yourself

2 years in and running around like pre-surgery- your body has its own timetable but it will get better

Feb 21, 2023 5:04 pm

I feel this in my bones, muscles, connective tissues, etc... I had surgeries in July and November of 2022. I really lack patience when it comes to my personal healing. I feel like I had more energy after the bigger surgery in July than the one in November. My surgeon's theory is that I was so happy to have the crappy colon removed I was looking at life through a kaleidoscope of sunshine and rainbows for a while and not dealing with all the physical and emotional pain I'd been through. I've really been dragging since my surgery in November but there were complications. My surgeon told me the day I had the NG tube removed was day 1 of the healing process and everything up to that point was getting me stabilized... I'd been in the hospital about a week at that point. Another part of my fatigue is diet. I don't know how you're doing with getting the nutrients you need every day but if I was being graded I'd probably be failing or getting a solid D. I struggle with knowing what to eat that will make my body happy and not sick. Even applesauce doesn't want to be my friend right now. I'm at the point I'll give it whatever it wants in that moment-but I had developed an aversion to a lot of foods.

I know the big 4 that are being drilled into me constantly are: hydrate, eat, rest, walk.

6 weeks feels like foreverrrrr right now, but how you're feeling right now will slowly fade away until one day you realize how far you've come.

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Feb 21, 2023 5:56 pm

It gets better, takes quite a while for your body to recover as it's trying to heal as its first priority.

Feb 26, 2023 10:27 pm
Reply to Axl

I'm 7 years old and still tired!!! Do okay till I stop, then I'm done. All blood work comes back fine.

Feb 26, 2023 11:45 pm

Maybe get some blood work done and check your testosterone. I hear it's a game changer for energy.

Feb 27, 2023 6:40 am

Yep. Me as well. I had the exact same surgery. I felt extremely fatigued for 9 weeks. I would say week 10ish I just started feeling better. It was worse in the evening. I tried napping midday. It will pass. My surgeon said it was normal. You will feel better.

Feb 27, 2023 6:43 am

Like many other fellow travelers here - the short answer is yes, it is normal. The best I could do was shuffle painfully up and down my street clutching my abdomen for some time but bit by bit I got further and further afield. There is much to learn and accept; it is a lot! It will get better. Over time, I got back to normal. Try to be kind and patient. Our bodies receive enormous trauma and it takes time and energy to heal. When you're ready, the right kind of exercise will help healing along with good nutrition - ask an expert about this, don't overdo it.

Feb 27, 2023 12:35 pm
Reply to jambly405

Agreed - and the expert is your own self/body - "We can live but one day at a time" .... Hugs, JB

Feb 27, 2023 2:25 pm

Hello. I've had 2 doctors tell me and from my experience it takes 3 days for each day in the hospital to recover. I was in the hospital twice for 7 days and each time I was so weak I could barely go up 6 steps. Be patient with yourself.

Feb 27, 2023 3:04 pm

It's very normal. But as they all said, you will bounce back. And everyone is different as to how long it takes. My husband had the surgery last year at age 79 and he also had a prior stroke. After a month of hospitalization and then rehab, he was very weak. He continued to progress and was doing great after about 6 months.