Desperate for answers: Severe symptoms and no relief from ER visits

So, I was told that scar tissue can wrap around the intestine or in some way prevent food from passing, causing pain, etc. I don't know if that's what's wrong with me right now, but I have been to the ER three times in the last week with intense vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain. I can't hold hardly anything down, and when I have gone to the ER, they have merely given me something for the pain and vomiting, fluids, and sent me home.
The first time this happened, a month ago, I was admitted for roughly a week, given pain meds, anti-nausea meds, and had a tube down my nose into my stomach to empty it out. A doctor told me it was possibly scar tissue and, when I could hold down food, I was sent home. This time, no one seems too keen on helping me at that hospital. The only other one nearby is even worse and I refuse to go there. I'm at my wit's end and need help, but I can't see my GI doctor for nine days.
ron in mich

Hi Sven, you didn't mention if you had any output or not. But if you do, then I would go with a low residue diet until you see your GI doc, or at the minimum, liquids. I had emergency surgery for scar tissue blockage and had the same symptoms as you, but no output at all. Good luck.

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That was one of the worst events that happened with my dad - sounds like adhesions are involved and possibly some tumor masses that really snarl things -- I have a wonderful team here in NH but I cannot imagine that this is a wait and see thing -- good luck...


I had the same experience last week and was told the same reasons why - fortunately my doctor was very helpful and sent me straight to the hospital. I was immediately put on a drip and bloods taken. After six hours, I was able to go home, extremely sick all through the night, dehydrated, drank lots of water, spent the next day in bed, and after four days felt a lot better.

Throughout the last week, whether or not I had output has been random, although when I did, it was mostly liquid. So sometimes I would have output, and sometimes not so much.
This Wednesday I spent all day in bed, drinking mostly water and Gatorade, eating very little, and - while I had no output during the day - while I slept that night, I had a decent amount of output.
Yesterday, there was no way I could avoid work, so I went. Didn't get to drink nearly as much, ate a good bit of semi-solid food - mashed potatoes, soup, things like that - and have had only about 3mL of clear liquid output in the last 24 hours.
Now, this morning, I've got some bowel sounds - I'm guessing that's gas moving around - but still nothing. So, another guess I'm making is that this is, in fact, a blockage.
The (darkly) amusing thing is that the hospital took three CT scans and four X-rays and didn't see one. So clear liquids for today it is, and we'll see what happens tomorrow.
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Sven, you don't say if you had an MRI or CT scan during your trips to the ER. I recently found out (after feeling the way you do and visiting the ER) that I have 3 hernias under my stoma. The doctor said it was a tangled mess, but I was too high risk for surgery. I am also wondering if you were diagnosed with diverticulitis. The surgeon said that both the hernias and diverticulitis can cause vomiting, fever, and pain. The difference is the pain from diverticulitis is in the lower left quadrant and pain from the hernias would be in the lower right quadrant.

Sven - it sounds as though you have got 'sub-acute obstruction, so the guts are blocking off a little and can settle with a fluids/low residue diet over a few days. They will have relieved the ' back up' of undigested foods/stomach fluids when you had the nasogastric tube passed.
Presumably you have got an ileostomy?

If you aren't passing wind, have belly pain, feel unwell and have no stools for a few days, then you definitely must see your GI surgeon.

Hey Sven,
From what I have read from you and other people's input, I really don't think you have an obstruction. I have an ileostomy from Crohn's, have had 6 surgeries. With each surgery over time, the intestine becomes narrow from removal of disease and adhesions or scar tissue forms and narrows the area. Depending on what is eaten, some foods can get stuck or obstructed. Trust me, you will most definitely know without any doubt that you have an obstruction. The pain will be so intense and excruciating on a scale of 1-10, a 10! And you will NOT have any output at all. This has happened to me several times over the years. In fact, now when it happens, I just suffer it out at home until it passes, which it will. Sometimes it has taken 20 hours. I hope this helps and that you do get an accurate diagnosis. All the best to you, Rhonda.

I went through that and I had scar tissue blockage after my surgery 13 years prior. Yep, the same symptoms, however mine was complicated by an enlarged appendix. Let me put it this way, I was a walking time bomb. The blockage was about to blow and my appendix was about to burst. After a week in the hospital, I had surgery, but the docs didn't discover the appendix until surgery. They actually tried to relieve the blockage every way possible, including the old tube through the nose to the stomach trick. I just loooooved that. The surgery included another slight resection, but the blockage was resolved.
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