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Ostomy mom needs help! Please!

Posted by peacenlove, on Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:59 pm
Hello all!
My mom is 68yrs old and she underwent colostomy surgery, after getting diagnosed with rectal cancer. Its been a month after her surgery & she is having a horrible time keeping any food in her tummy. She is feeling nausea, vomiting & stomach cramps. We are taking every measure so that she avoids gas causing food. She is taking digestive enzymes & antacids too but it is not helping at all. She is loosing weight & its worrying me very much. Sad
Is there anyone here who is going through same situation? And what should be done to make her feel better? Thank you in advance!!
Reply by callie, on Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:20 pm
Sorry to hear your mom is having so much problem.  I had a couple of days of feeling nauseated but found it was nerves.  I would recommend contacting the doctor and demand answers as to why she is feeling this way.
Reply by 4boyznan, on Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:09 pm
Peacenlove, it's early days for your mom and these things take a while to settle down. There can be many reasons for your moms nausea. A low residue diet I found helped me after surgery. White rice, is good and also can be made into a pudding with milk. Jellies, thin soups can help settle the tummy too. Does your mom have a stoma nurse or someone she can chat to and get some comfort from? It's good to be able to talk about things as I remember feeling quite alone and isolated in the early days and also having to cope with changing bags and learning a whole new way of life can be daunting, but time does help to put things right eventually. In the meantime ask for some anti nausea meds and try to get her to relax with some calming music and breathing exercises. It may sound ineffective but trust me it does work. I wish you and your mom peace and a full recovery. Be patient, it will all work out in time.
Reply by Pinky, on Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:27 pm
Yes, it is really important to follow the diet recommendations in the first few months.  Some of the problem stems from just having abdominal surgery and some from the colostomy itself.  I found digestive enzymes to be helpful when I had my first colostomy reversed, but PROBIOTICS worked better with the new colostomy.  Gas is a big problem if she is lactose intolerant, but yogurt has virtually no lactose and I made sure to eat at least one of the Dannon or Yoplait probiotic type every day.

Otherwise, as mentioned the BRAT diet we used for our kids (banana, rice cereal, applesauce, and toast) is a good one to begin with.  If she can tolerate that then begin to add new foods one at a time according to the UOAA recommendations (canned fruits, scrambled eggs, etc - a bland and easily digested diet).  For GAS, I have found BEANO to be the best product.

Antacids won't help.

A month is a very brief time in the colostomy wars, but I bet if you try some of the recommendations made here by various folks things will work out.  If her extreme discomfort continues somethig is very wrong (think BOWEL OBSTRUCTION) and she should get back into the hospital for decompression.              Hope this helps!            Smile
Reply by peacenlove, on Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:55 pm
Thank you all! It feels good to get your support. My mom felt shattered cause she has to carry the bag for the rest of life and in the beginning she was not accepting the fact. But now its sinking into her & she is getting ok.

We talked to her doctors and they said that the intestine are still getting used to the cavity created. She is taking digestive enzymes & anti gas medicine. She is taking yogert & buttermilk too. She still feels gassy but vomiting and nausea feeling is  much better. Her chemotherapy starts from 25th of next month. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that too. Our family has all our hopes & prayers pined on her.....
Thank you again for all your support!! You all are awesome!!

Reply by mooza, on Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:00 pm
Your mum, is only new here to the OSTO world i found it took me nearly 1 year to eat normall ---way back when i was 29 of my supposingly cure for crohns 9 operationms late i did have some probs 2 months ago i found BUSCUPAN ITS AN ANTI-SPASMOTIC TABLET  I BUY OVER THE COUNTER IN did calm things down but its very early days for her so maybe a trip to her Hospital or to a STN could also help its such early days hun. x x x x MOOZEEEEEEEE X X XM X X X X X
Reply by peacenlove, on Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:09 pm
Thank you! I'll definitely look into it! (((hugs)))
Reply by djm_2010, on Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:58 pm
Hello peacelove. I also had my rectal surgery last nov 2010 and finished my chemo last may 2011. I also had a hard time with eating after my surgery. I guess my bowels are still not functioning well and are adjusting to the resection done. I lost a lot of weight and was depressed on not being able to eat what I want. No greasy or fatty foods for me, I was just eating steamed fish, rice, soup, no colas, no milk or caffeneited drinks. The only meat that I could eat was chicken. I was also told not to lie down immediately after my meals because I had severe gastritis. I also took omeprazole and Zantac. If there are signs of delayed output I took motilium. No veggies too for me during the first few months because I also had a hard time digesting it. I was hospitalized several times because of the severe gastritis and flatulence which was really hard for me. Now I have adjusted, ale to eat almost anything ( still no corn or popcorn for me). There is life after cancer. During chemotherapy since I was on xeloda and this could cause diarrhea I avoided milk since this cold aggravate my condition. It's just trial and error on what you could eat. Gradually your body Would recover and you would begin to enjoy your life. Just take one day at a time, try to blind up her body since she will undergo chemo. I'm praying for you and your mom! Godbless you!
Past Member
Reply by Past Member, on Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:47 pm
I turn 77 this month. And I am fully active. Ride my bike 10 miles and more almost every day. Always carry water.

After my colon "exploded" in late January of 2011 because of a strangulated hernia I was hospitalized for about six weeks and ate no food. I was fed by an IV and became so skinny people hardly recognized me. In rehab for a month after that I wasn't hungry and so the IV again sustained me. Eventually I tried some Cream of Wheat and in time tried more solid food. Now I eat just about whatever I want. I do avoid nuts, raisins, and corn.

I am not a physician. Far from it. I do think the shock of having an ostomy can have an impact on one's thinking. And that could have an impact on eating. But now I accept it and it has become just another routine, like showering, shaving, etc. Because I am a male I have never had to experience menstrual periods. But it seems to me dealing with a pouch on one's belly could be similar in some ways. (Don't boo and hiss or send hate mail if I am wrong).

There are certain odors that make me feel nauseous. Just thinking about certain unpleasant things has an impact on the way I feel. Once I stopped feeling sorry for myself I felt better.
Having a project, such as helping others, helped. Watching TV for hours made me depressed.
I needed to find a purpose in life. Riding my bicycle let me know life goes on.

I have a friend who became nauseous, couldn't eat, and was eventually hospitalized by her child when her husband suddenly died. She finally adjusted to the fact she is a widow through no fault of her own and has now returned to work. Help your mom regain a purpose in life. My guess is that will help.
Reply by Ladytrykr, on Tue May 01, 2012 10:18 am
Hello, after many months after surgery with my ostomy, Istill  had many episodes of the pain, vomiting, cramping, etc.  My internist recommend an anxiety drug, which worked WONDERS. as he explained, my whole system was trying to re-cooperate, and adjust, the tissue all has memory, and was very much in turmoil from all the re arrangement! It certainly calmed dwn the issues, and made life more tolerable, and as more time passed, it was soooo much better.  Its hard to get one to understand 'patience' when everything else is also going on!  Bless her heart, and I wish her well.  (oh, the drug I take is citalopram- 20mg, and it doesnt make me nuts or sleepy either, just enuff to "calm" everything down) xoxox
Reply by rey21, on Tue May 01, 2012 1:22 pm
I too had Colorectal Cancer, Stage2, and am an Ostomite too. Be strong, this will get better. As you've heard, post-op digestive issues are normal for anyone having had major surgery. I remember being so hungry, but I had to be patient with introducing normal foods back the healing process is too sensitive at this time.

I remember the simple advice was that your food be Un-spiced and bland. Get into the  smoothies business, this keeps you from having to chew your foods well. Remember, the process of chewing is the first step in the digestive process!

Next, do not consume any animal based food including Dairy! They burden your system way to much and retard you healing. Also minimize processed foods, creamy soups and fresh squeezed juices are the best.

You need good supplements, I use the products. Talk to the 1-800 rep about your special case so they can recommend a supplement kit just for you.

Lastly, get the book "
Anticancer, A New Way of Life
". This has been my guide to life after cancer and should help you move forward in a positive life style change that is now your new goal to having a better quality of life. The information in the book will help reduce our chances of having to go back to the hospital

All the best, you are not alone (((((((((( Hug ))))))))))

Reply by Counting My Blessings, on Wed May 02, 2012 8:08 am

You didn't say if your mom was undergoing any other treatment for her cancer, like radiation or chemotherapy. I started chemotherapy and radiation 3 weeks after my first surgery and resection. And 3 weeks after the colostomy surgery, I started chemo soup once again. Both times with nausea and diarrhea which has continued since 2007.

For any of you undergoing further cancer treatment beyond your ostomy, your treatment center will have the palliative for any nasty symptoms you might experience. For example, when I didn't like the taste of my food, they suggested eating only with plasticware.  That made a huge difference.

My only job during therapy was to do everything I could to give my body what it needed to be able to deal with the effects of therapy. To me that meant nutrition and exercise. But it still got to the point where it was very difficult to find something I could manage. The staff brought me a boost drink, and I lived on them for three weeks.

I love the idea of the BRAT diet, but we went toward the comfort food that had seen me through childhood. First, homemade baked custard. (Betty Crocker recipe of eggs, milk, sugar, a pinch of nutmeg on top) Tea with honey, buttered toast, peaches.  And alternate that with Campbell's old fashioned chicken noodle soup with all the fat and salt.

If your mom is not undergoing therapy, then how are things going with her ostomy? Is she dealing with that? Is her pouching system working okay?  Is she going to a support group?  Or has she looked into having a trained visitor from the local ostomy support group come visit?

Anxiety and/or depression about our situation can manifest itself in all kinds of problems, just about anywhere in our bodies.

And finally, when I walked into my Primary care physician's office, I had a list of 5 high priority items which I felt were becoming chronic problems that I was in danger of "living with" the rest of my life. We have begun a journey of trying to wipe them away. And it is nice to know that I now have help dealing with my issues, even if it is to learn how to deal with them on a daily basis. I even think he has hit on something that has stopped the diarrhea.  Hooray!!

The bottom line here is, you should expect her to NOT have these problems at some point in her healing. Her doctors can help her know when that should be, and what to be doing proactively in the meantime.

I'm glad you're in her corner. My mom was in mine.
Reply by dulcimerman, on Wed May 02, 2012 5:26 pm
So sorry to hear of your moms problem but as others have said its early days yet and she is menytally not accepting the stoma. this is causing the nausea and putting her off food. try to get her some medicine for the nausea and in time she will accept the stoma and get back to a bit of normality. I wish her well and  offer you my support .
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