Well, here I am again, up all night with severe anxiety and stomach cramps. It is getting pretty old folks!! Just how long will my stomach continue to hurt? It is almost 8 weeks since my emergency surgery but still I have these horrible cramps almost every night and the anxiety and restlessness is becoming very annoying. I talked with my psychiatrist at the VA clinic last week and she added a new med to help me get to sleep. Unfortunately, I broke out in an awful rash all over my body so I deep sixed the med. My other doctor gave me some medication for the cramps but it doesn't work. So now I am back to square one. Gastrointestinal doc keeps telling me to give it time, it will work it's self out sooner or later. I read through the surgery and pathology report again last night. I know now why I was so close to death. The lower intestine had become gangrene!!! No explanation why either. That is literally terrifying to me to be that close to death. I just wish I could get some decent rest!!!
I'm sorry to hear that you're still having issues. 8 weeks post op is still pretty new and your body is still making adjustments. The cramping could be caused by a number of things. Here are some things to check.
Make sure the hole you cut in the wafer on the flange or pouch is as wide as the widest part of your stoma. I noticed when I cut the hole to small, my stoma would swell up the size of a plum and it was like having an obstruction which cause cramps. Skin prep will protect the skin around the stoma if it's slightly exposed.
Danger foods for ostomates can cause cramping too. Any fiberous foods can cause an obstruction or blockage. Things like popcorn, regular corn, nuts of any type. See the link below.
Chewing up your food is VERY important. You basically have to learn how to chew your food all over again. No more woofing down food. I used to inhale french fries, burgers and pizzas. Chewed it a few times, swallow. I can't do that anymore. Now, I chew my food until it's the consistency of peanut butter. The more you chew your food, the easier it is on your system to digest, it also prevents you from over eating because the nerves in your stomach will tell you that you're full and your body will absorb more nutrition from the foods you eat. This may have a side effect of losing weight but most people don't mind that.
These are just a few things to consider. Just try to follow these steps, relax, take it easy and try to heal since your surgery was just weeks ago. Hope this helps.
As usual, Bain has given a comprehensive answer and some good tips. When your Gastrointestinal doc keeps telling you to give it time, he/she is absolutely right as these things do not heal overnight and it sounds as if you had some major surgery.
I would just like to point out that one of the major causes of all sorts of gastrointestinal problems (including cramps)in 'normal' people is anxiety. Thus, what you describe in terms of anxiety and sleep deprivation, will not be helping. It won't hurt to reiterate what I have said many times about anxiety. It is a term that describes a specific form of 'fear'(usually a generalised mild version). 'Fear' is an emotion and emotions are notoriously difficult to control and manage. (largely because they are 'instinctive' and not dependent on the thinking process to start them off). Fear is an instinct associated with survival and, as such, is very useful in certain circumstances where an instinctive response is required. Unfortunately, with chronic complaints, this instinct is often inappropriate over a long period and can cause all sorts of peripheral problems such as those you describe.
Unfortunately, there are very few psychiatrists who fully understand the nature of emotions and they therefore tend to 'treat' the problems as if they are 'medical' rather than emotional, psychological or social, which in esssence, means they will prescribe medication for something that is not (always) a medical problem.
Many psychotropic drugs are not originally designed for what they are now being prescribed for and, if you read the so-called side-effects, you may well find that they might be actually causing or exacerbating the problems you describe.
Managing and controlling emotions is usually the realm of the 'psychologist' but unfortunately, there are many of them, who also do not fully understand the underpinnings of emotional energy so, in recommending the psychollogical approach, I would caution against using just 'anyone' with a psychology title or degree. If you can find someone who specialises in emotional control, then you might have some chance of managing this aspect of what is probably a complex set of problems.
On the other hand, emotional problems are internal and personal so, if people put their minds to it, they can often organise-themselves to recognise the problems and plan to do things to 'MANAGE' them more effectively.
NOTE: it is impossible to 'cure' instincts but it is possible to control, manage, channel and use the energy for postive purposes, rather than letting that energy control you.
I hope this is helpful
Thanks Bill, you always seem to bring me back to Earth! LOL!
Oh heck!!! I mean both of you, Bill and Bain!
Hi Freedance....Time is the important factor. It could take up to 1 1/2 years before you are 100%. It took me a a while to feel better and gain my strength back. Some days I still need to take it easy. Feel better soon. Sincerely, LH