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Can't sleep, no appetite

I had surgery for diverticulitus 4 weeks ago. Until Saturday, i was feeling better and better each day. Then i got dehrydrated and felt awful for days. Yesterday (Tues) started feeling a little better, but i can't sleep. Haven't slept much in a few days. I force myself to eat a little, don't want anything because i get so full from having to drink so much. I urinate so much and have loose stools, so i lose more than i drink. Anyone else have these issues? Any advice. I am depressed. I felt so good last week, now blah! Thanks!

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Welcome to our ostomy "family" Sammy - you didn't say, but do we assume you have a colostomy? I have an ileostomy - since December of last year. My diverticulitis, coupled with extensive scar tissue, caused my colon to perforate and I had to have emergency surgery to save my life.

You are very soon out of surgery - I hope you consulted with your surgeon or WCON (wound care ostomy nurse) about your dehydration. Also, you will probably read many posts on this site with suggestions - there are many of us who have faced that situation.

"Depressed" is a word we don't want to hear. A positive attitude is a major part of healing - and hope you are feeling better about yourself soon. I am so happy to wake up alive every morning and free of that diverticulitis pain that crippled me from late evening until sometimes late afternoon the next day. I had some issues with getting the correct barriers, etc. for my ileostomies but all-in-all I am getting along with my life, playing some golf, and planning a 3500-mile round trip from south Florida to Ohio the first of next month. Our general thought here is that we all would probably be dead without this life-saving surgery - whether we keep it for life, or have it reversed - I chose to keep my "Buddy" because I am 80 years old and could not be guaranteed that I might be worse off to attempt a reversal.

Please keep posting with us, let us know your progress, because we are all your new family now and will treat you with respect and love - nothing you can say will be embarassing or shocking - chances one of has been there done that. This is the place to vent if need be.

Hugs from Marge

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Sammy I am guessing that you have an illiostomy. I have a colostomy and dehydration is'nt much of a problem. I am sure someone on the site will have some good advice for you. I am sorry you are having troubles. Maybe your electolites are out of wack. Just wanted you to know I read your post and hope you get this resolved soon. xox terri

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Sammy, what you describe sounds normal to me. I know that's not what you may want to hear but it is.
As for the lack of sleep, buy some benedryl and take two tablets before you go to bed. It won't make you sleep but will relax you so you can fall asleep. I have been on it for months and it works wonders for me.
Dehydration is a problem we all face. At least those of us who have ileostomies do. I know the amount of water you are supposed to drink every day is a joke. It's almost impossible to drink that much.
Have you talked to your surgeon about these issues? If you haven't, I suggest that you do. He/she is the best source for advice.
Good luck and keep us posted.

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Sammy, this is part of it yes I had divers that ruptured my colon and had terrilbe infection. It took me at least three months before I felt even a little bit better. I too had all of the what you are going through. I am so happy you felt so good for the first few weeks. That is great and the not hungry and not sleeping is normal too. You have to stay and hydrated an try and eat. I did urinate a lot too I think everythis is so swollen that it presses on the bladder. Did you have colostomy?
You will feel better and you are off to a great start you just have to keep hydrated a little bump in the road.
God bless you many more from the site will give you advice and support. This is a great place to be. Take it easy and God bless you

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Thank you for the responses, everyone. I realize i failed to mention that i have a colostomy. Alan, i did try unisom sleep aid with no luck, maybe the benadryl would help. I'll take anything at this point. I am hoping to be past my dehydration and can get into a more normal routine of fluid intake and food. I also can't get a good seal on my skin with my bag. I am trying different theings with each change - that is frustratin, too. My stoma is completly recessed.

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I too take Benadryl and it definitely helps and it is not habit forming. I hope it helps!

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Sammy you can call Convatec and Hollister for samples. Maybe you haven't found the right bag. It is a trial and error. You may need a bag for a convex stoma. Also the Ekin seals may help. I use a seal and paste. I am still having leaks I have changed my bag everyday for the past 3 days. Have you tried using a hairdryer to make sure your skin is dry and to warm up the seal and flange. That has helped me a bit. Maybe you need to go see your WOCN they helped me alot. Do you have any home health help. I think everyone in the beginning has trouble with leaks and finding the right bag. Are you using a precut or cut to fit bag. Your stoma will shrink up to 3 or 4 months post-op. My stoma shrunk 1/4 inch after 6 months. I need a smaller opeing but can't order new one till November. I have Medicare and you can order 3 months at a time. I suggest your first order or two you only order one month at a time till your stoma stops shrinking. I am sure other people on this site will have other good tips for you. terri

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Hello Sammy,

You don't say why you got dehydrated, it's quite rare for a Colostomate apparently. I have an ileostomy and regrettably it's not rare for us. First thing is to establish the cause, did you have a bug that caused diarrhoea and vomiting? It's really important to know the cause so please check your Doctor.

If I get dehydrated I feel washed out for days. When it happens to me I make my own solution using the World Health Organisation recipe. I've tried all the proprietary ones and apart from being sweet they are not as effective as this (and cost a lot)

3.5 g sodium chloride (¾ teaspoon) (Salt)
2.5 g sodium bicarbonate (½ heaped Teaspoon) (Not baking powder which often contains flour)
1.5 g potassium chloride ¼ heaped teaspoon) (If you can't find this eat a banana every day),
20 g glucose 4 teaspoons
Dissolved in 2 pints of water. You can add a flavour I use Lime Cordial. Usually a pint of this stuff puts me on the road to recovery. Oddly, one of the worst things in case of dehydration is just to drink. Unless you are getting balanced electrolytes water etc just flushes you doing more harm.

As for not sleeping my own experience is that worrying about not sleeping kept me from sleeping. Finally (I was in hospital) I got two bits of advice. 1. The ITU Doctor told me to have a whiskey as a night cap. and 2. My wife said "Why do you think you have to sleep just because it's night time?" So I stopped worrying about it, listened to the radio, read, did some puzzles and within a week I was back to a normal pattern.

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sammy - I agree with terri - you should consult a WCON right away. If your doctor cannot recommend one - or send you to a wound care clinic that has one on staff - do what I did - look in the Yellow Pages for a wound care facility and call and ask them if they have a colostomy specialist on staff. They are the proper ones to work with you finding the right fit and procedures for your ostomy. I was having a terrible time - had to change 9 times in a week - and in a week they helped me clear up weepy sores I had under the barrier, and instruct me in the proper way to apply everything. Also they found out the barrier I was using had an opening that was 1/8 of an inch to large and was allowing "stuff" to seep in under it and interfere with a tight seal. I have an ileostomy, but I imagine that the same things would apply to a colostomy. There is a solution for everyone - ask those on here who have had an ostomy for 20 to 50 years! Hugs from Marge

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HappyS, your wife is so wise I am with her when I sleep I sleep. lol Like you I do the same thing reading tv and fall asleep when I least expect. I do a lot of praying and that takes some time for sure.
I love your posts HappyS you make me happy!
God bless you Dolly

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Happy, My husband has no trouble falling asleep....he just starts reading his Bible and voila, zonked in no time.LOL What do you use as a substitute for baking powder?

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I googled it and it said 1/4 t baking soda +1/4 t cream of tarter + 1/4 t corn starch.

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Sammy, I was looking at your profile you are young you will pull out of this much sooner than someone older. You watch and see just see. I gave you a repy earlier and came back to tell you all is well. You will be feeling better soon with your age and no other sickness. Take it easy that is what you have to do.
God bless you

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On thing I did with my wafer is to apply it when standing up For a while I ws laying down to do it, but I am up and about most of the day, so it made sense to stand toput it on. Also, take your time and dont get nervous if you are nervous changing it. I used to get really nervous and i think i was not applying correctly. I can now get 5-7 days out of my flange and I have a colostomy.


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The recipe calls for Bicarbonate of Soda (AKA Sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate) When a cooking recipe calls for Bicarb some reccomends substituting baking powder which is OK for cooking but not for rehydration because it contains flour.

Terri, love to know the source for that: if you Google Sodium bicarbonate it will explain the chemical composition. Can't imagine the ingredients you list combined - Cream of Tartar (Potassium hydrogen tartrate) is a raising agent made from Grape Acid.

If you make the solution please make sure you use the correct ingredients - really important. We can buy Arm & Hammer Baking Soda here and it is pure Bicarbonate of Soda but I don't know if they sell it like that here because that's what we are used to - please check the box for ingredients.

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I am happy to report that i felt much better yesterday and slept pretty decent last night after taking benadryl :) I am hoping for a good day today and i appreciate the good wishes! They left my incision open to heal from the inside out - which it is doing near perfect!, but that also prohibits me from sticking the wafer in a good spot and because it is so close to my incision, i end up cutting some of the tape away. I will keep trying different tricks for a good stick until i am all healed, thanks.

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sammy - I, too, had the type of open incision you have. After I had home health care to change the dressing, my surgeon sent me to a wound care facility associated with the hospital, and they did some cauterization (did not hurt) and special dressing ingreadients that cleared it all up in about 3 visits. How scary was it to be told you don't have any stitches or staples in this large wound? Nine months later I have this ugly scar - guess I will never wear a bikini again LOL (not that I ever did before.) Please try to accept what you have with a positive attitude and a sense of humor, and will all heal up faster. For a start, give that stoma a quirky name - some of the ones on this site show great imagination and humor. Hugs from Marge

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Sammy ; You just received some of the best advice Those who have been there This site is amazing It is like we are all sitting around the kitchen table Picking at each others brains I just LOVE you all God Bless you one and all HOCKEY

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the thing that finally made things easier for me was when I figured it out that I always leaked in the same spot so the nurse and I finally together came up with the idea that maybe the re was a dip be it ever so slight I used eakin seal just in the spot and that is what finally stopped the leaks for the most part still about 3 times a year Hazel wants to show who is the boss and will show me but for the most part just the little imperfection in the healing caused a big problem this you may want to check for.

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HappyS, you are one smart dude! lol We are truly blessed to have you on the site with all of your wisdom and knowledge. Thank you for sharing it with us. I mean that HappyS.

God Bless you

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