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Constipation/Blockage? Help!

'Evenin' All,

What I feared has come to pass ... or rather 'not' pass. Was on steroids, opiates, & antibiotics for pleurisy & pneumonia. Was eating anything that didn't have feet. Was afraid that things might back up & it seems that they have. I have a 3 month old (emergency - if that matters) colostomy that has blessedly given me no problems (aside from being a rather deep innie - retracted?) until today.

I am currently sitting here in the raw shall we say. I'm covered, but I removed my appliance this afternoon in hopes that perhaps it was holding things back. Besides, it hurt. The area around my stoma looks like a volcano about to blow (Please blow!). It's slightly red (which could just be from me constantly splinting), no heat coming from it, but it feels as if someone punched me & left a bad bruise. Aside from being a little nervous about the outcome, I feel just fine ... no fever, no nausea, no cramps. Aside from the swelling & resultant discomfort, I'm A-OK. It's not unusual for me to go 24 to 36 hours without a movement & it's probably about 24 hrs since my last BM (do we call it that anymore?). Were it not for the swelling & pain, coupled with the binding medications, I'd probably just wait and see. I'm also on pain meds which could mean that it's worse than I think/feel. But it IS swollen, & it DOES hurt so ....

How can I get things moving? What do you guys do in similar circumstances? I drank a little apple juice before. That's usually enough to move me from the inside, but I don't want to build up enough internal pressure to kill the dog if it blows! I also don't want this thing turning into a bowling ball & then try to get out.

I'm gonna go read what you folks have written in past posts, but I sure would appreciate any advice or suggestions you might have. Short of going to the emergency room, I have no resources except for right here, so all my kidding aside ... Help please?

Love, hugs 'n prayers,
~Pam

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32 replies. Join the discussion

HI Pam

What you can try is warm grape juice. I have used it in the past and it worked well:) It is not super tasty, but it does the trick for me! Let us know how you are doing!

Kerri

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Thanks Kerri!
I actually might have some on hand (not usual around here). If not, I'll have hubby pick some up in the morning. If push comes to shove, does anyone think that prune juice would be too harsh? I'm so afraid of putting a stick of dynamite behind something that might be too large to fit through the opening in my stoma. Can they tear like a normal anus would? I'm used to pebbles, & some of them can smart a bit on their way out, but I'm really terrified of growing a boulder in here. <shudder>

Love, hugs 'n prayers,
~Pam

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Try some warm milk with 2 tablespoons of Karo dark syrup. We have given this to children for constipation for generations and I still use it. Works every time and it's gentle. No cramps or pain or excessive gas, nothing. Hope you're feeling better soon.

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Hi. You can try some prunejuice. Works wonders for me :-)

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I use COLD Grape Juice - 2 glasses and within an hour, it's working. Cold seams to work better than warm for me. I believe the The cold fluids ctually wakes up the organs as does water in the morning.
Good Luck,
JoePockets

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JUST drink something. For me hot tea or broth. Just drink. You may need to loosen things up. Prune juice sounds fine. STICK to liquids for now. Until things start moving.

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Pam,
Sorry to hear about your blockage. I too had a prolapsed stoma from what we think was a blockage.
The ER surgeon put me on that golytle, stuff they use for colonoscopy cleanout, but she also told me to use mineral oil.
I was also on senna as well. Probably any laxative, but the senna was her choice.
Grape juice and prune juice are also very good, and she told me that would be a good idea to be taking as well..
I got things going, but I still feel something is wrong, as my colon was purple with about five inches into my bag.
She had to work my colon back inside me, and things have not been the same since.. I'm Concerned.. YOU BET..
I can't belive that they haven't x-rayed or imaged my colon to see if it is kinked. I will not rest until they do. Things have not been the same since my prolapse. Pains and output, just have not been right.

Anyway, hope this helps you out in your blockage problem.
Sincerely,
Michael

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Michael,
You need to have that looked at. You know as well as I do that something is not right. Demand a CT Scan to determin whether you have a kink in your intestine.
Take care.
Blessings,
Alan

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Heat, massage, hot coffee (to drink) sometimes helps.
I hope you get some movement quickly and that you are out of pain.

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Spent all day yesterday (every day really) drinking hot cinnamon stick tea. Also had apple juice, grape juice (warm - I saw that suggestion first :) ), Colace (stool softeners), mandarin oranges (canned) w/juice. No Karo on hand. Put the appliance back on before bed. Had some small pebbles this morning, the distention is down some, the redness was, as I thought, from hanging onto the sucker all day. It's still tender to the touch, but not nearly so bad.

BUT HERE'S MY BIGGEST QUESTION/FEAR: What happens if you put all that force (laxatives, both natural & 'store bought') inside you, but then the poop is too big & hard to get out? Does the stoma adjust (like your butt), or does it tear (also like your butt). So far, all the stool has been in the form of very small (thank You God!), very hard, dry pebbles. I'm hoping they stay that way & keep on coming, but quite frankly I'm terrified of having to pass the Rock of Gibraltar!

Lemme 'splain ... After the colostomy, I passed some mucous & small fecal pieces rectally. Wasn't warned or anything (idiots!). However, about 8 weeks post surgery ... after I was home & the nurses were gone ... I had this urge to have a "normal" bowel movement. I thought it was just more of the pebbles I'd had in the hospital, but pretty soon realized that this thing inside my behind was honkin' huge! Once it started, there was no stopping it. I thought my poor husband was gonna have another heart attack! I was in the bathroom straining & screaming in much the same way as I'd done while giving birth to our children. Even the burn was there (I was ripping), just a little lower. After 25 agonizing minutes, I "gave birth" to something the size of a softball ... no ... a grapefruit. Seriously! It was 3.5" across! No! I didn't save it! Eeew! lol But it ripped the bejabbers out of my anus. I bled like a stuck pig, & it took almost a week to heal.

That's why I'm terrified that it's gonna happen with my stoma. When I had my emergency colostomy they removed 12 to 18" of perforated colon that was PACKED with very old sh--. At least that's what they told me. The boulder that came out of my butt was in there for 8 weeks post op. Apparently my body is inclined to hang onto to its' sh--tuff & that scares me!

Has anyone ever passed anything large & hard through their stoma? Not that i'd want that to happen to anyone, but i need to know if it can happen, how to rectify it, etc. I guess I sorta changed the topic a little, but it really is connected. Constipation leading to a large, hard mass ... ya know?

Thanks everyone for your great ideas & for taking the time to respond. I've said it before & I'll say it again & again & .... I truly was blessed when I stumbled into this group. You guys are helping to put me back together again & keep me there. I hope all of you are doing well & continue to do so. Oh, and Michael ... Extra prayers that everything works out ok. You keep right on bulldogging them!!!

Love, hugs 'n prayers,
~Pam

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Pam,
Your stoma cannot stretch to accomodate anything. What you see is all there will ever be. Think about it. The stoma comes through your abdominal wall to the outside. The surgeon created this hole and pulled your intestine through it, rolled it backward on itself and stitched it to your skin. It can't increase in size.
I don't know what to tell you about your experience when you came home from the hospital. I have never heard of such a thing.
Blessings,
Alan

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Alan,

That's kinda what I was afraid of. :(

Everyone,

Got really sick this afternoon ... nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, a little vomiting. First time anything like that has happened since the surgery. While I was often constipated in my former life (LOL ... but this is, after all, a completely new life), it never made me physically ill before. Fortunately, things started moving shortly thereafter & eventually I passed 4 pretty large & solid ... um ... short of calling them turds??? (Oh Dear Lord! I never in my wildest dreams ever thought that I'd be saying things like that to anyone ... let alone here in a public forum!!! <turning beet red from embarrassment>) Anyway, I passed them, & it hurt, but mostly I think from pushing against the edge of the convex ring that I need to wear.

With the passing came a lessening of the nausea, tho' I'm still a little lightheaded, but that'll happen when all you've had to eat all day is a bunch of hot tea & an Ensure. There's more 'matter' where that came from cuz the area around the stoma isn't flat yet, but it IS down by at least half (whew!) & the surrounding area isn't so painful anymore ... more like a fading bruised sensation now.

Aside from a whole big bunch of "Thank You's" for all the advice, I need to thank you for a little tip I picked up from one of you in an old post from several months ago (Yes, I really am reading everything I can get my hands on!). Perhaps mentioning it here will help someone else down the line. Besides the pain from not having had a BM since THURSDAY!!! (hadn't realized it was that long!) there was the additional discomfort from the pressure of excess gas from all of that being in there for so long. I kept "burping" the bag and then I remembered what I'd read. I made a small slice at the top of the bag next to the filter. This allowed the air to escape on its' own, & greatly reduced the level of my discomfort. Of course I smell like a rose ... But it REALLY did help a lot, so a huge thanks to whoever posted it. And again, I hope it can help some else.

Love, hugs 'n prayers,
~Pam

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Pam,
I'm so glad that you were able to pass that stuff.
There's a saying that the herbologists and nutritionists refer to; Death Starts In The Colon.
In other words keep the colon as clean as possible. This is something I learned many years back. I even got into colonics.
At any rate, Try and keep your colon moving so this doesn't happen again. I'm just saying,,.. !!! An once of prevention, You Get It..!!
I make sure that I get enough fiber to keep me going, Metamucil, Fiber of any sort, and prunes or whatever, fruit daily. and Water, which is something I need to do more of. Drink Water..!!! ALOT..
I'm not perfect in this dept either, but I try to remember to do these things; and the fiber thing, I do everyday, usually without fail.
There is a herb recipe that I take everyday that I will share if anyone wants this. I've been doing it everyday most of my life,
2 capsules Cascara Sagrada
2 capsules Pau d Arco
2 capsules Golden Seal
2 capsules Echinacea
After my metamucil or fiber of some sort in the morning before breakfast with my coffee.
Even through chemo and radiation I did this
I am not advocating anything but if it works for me all this time..
It is just a little recipe that I picked up years ago that I tought I'd share.
If it works !!!???
Anyway, I hope this helps you out and I hope you get to feeling better now.
Prayers and GOOD HEALTH,
Michael

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OK, you do seem to be passing stuff. Which is good. I have an ileostomy and maybe it is different, but. 1. I use ostofresh drops in the bag. I chew 2 Devrom tablets (go to Devrom.com) (morning and night) and the gas smell is gone. SOOO Burping, which I do, marge does and several others, is a non-issue as far as smell goes. ut it is helful to contol odor. By making a samll cut in the bag youa re allowing the gas to exit, b If you eat spicy foods that also contributes to smell. But by using Devrom tablets and ostofresh perhaps your idea of cutting the bag to allow release of gas might be less smelly. Have you tried the FILTERED BAGS!!!! Ileostomates don,t have much success with these. BUT colostomates have better success since stool is not as liquidy. (which clogs the built in filter). THE most important thing you need to do is eat wisely to avoid blockages. When anything seems blocked, you need to switch immediately to all liquids or soft food.

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Thanks Cookie!

I have deodorizing drops that I usually put in the bag, but I'm anxious to try the Devrom tablets. I've been using Beano before things like eggs & it's helped. These were unusual circumstances though. The steroids & opiates bound me up tighter than a drum which created much more pain, swelling & gas than I normally experience. Cutting my bag is not something I would ordinarily do, but I needed to release the pressure to relieve the pain from the distention. Cutting seemed like the most expedient way around. We're retired & I didn't hafta go anywhere so I let her rip ... so to speak. :>

Fortunately hubby's sniffer has been busted for years, so I only offended me, the dog & the rabbit. Oddly enough, the rabbit, who usually sits next to me on the loveseat while we watch TV at night seemed to prefer her daddy's spot on the sofa instead. The dog (a 225 pound Newfoundland) looked at her butt, lowered her ears, put her tail between her legs & slunk from the family room off into the dining room where she remained until I put a fresh, uncut pouch on at 4 am. Poor puppy. Heeheehee

Love, hugs 'n prayers,
~Pam

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What would I do if I didn't have you to make me laugh? I'm laughing as I write.
Blessings,
Alan

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You are so funny. I also got a huge laugh out of your post. I recently started using the Devrom tablets. THE DO NOT make less gas though. What they do do (no pun intended) is really kill the odor of gas. If while just walkin around a store for example I need to burp (I have learned to do this very discreetly) there really is nO odor. Somehow the combo of the drops and the Devrom (supposedly with each meal, but I just use 2 x a day) makes a huge difference. Worth a try. I have been at this for 10 years and picked up the devrom tip from this site. It is advertised as an internal depdorant. People who had gastric bypass use this product too. But ostomates find it great. keep us psoted. Your dog sounds like he blames himself for everything. Low self esteem perhaps for your 4 legged furry baby! You can help him restore his dignity! LOl

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Hey Mike!

Your remedy sounds like a stick of dynamite to me. That'd be enough to blow me into the next county! lol But you're 100% on the money ... I DO hafta keep things moving. We all do. I had a feeling that the steroids & pain killers were gonna bind me up, but I didn't wanna go too far in the opposite direction. As it turned out, I didn't go far enough.

For some reason, fiber blocks me up even worse and most laxatives (especially those containing senna) make me sick to my stomach. Colace helps keep things pliable, but I got cocky. Pebbles are neat, clean & easy & I thought I could manage keeping things that way. But the medications took me from pebbles to rock solid boulders which I'm hoping & praying have all passed by now. And still ... I'm NOT cleaned out completely.

As with everybody out here, I need to find my way ... A way that works with my new equipment. Apparently I wasn't doing so good with the old equipment else I wouldn't have ended up here. :> So now I've gotta find a new way. I've gotta work on the Colace dosing, see whether apple juice or prune juice is more effective. Find the best things to do, take, try, at the best times. That's why I appreciate everyone out here so very much. While none of us works the same way, it helps to be able to take in a myriad of suggestions & experiences, put 'em in a hat, shake 'em up, & see what works best.

I'll keep everyone posted on the ... ah ... um ... ER ... outcome. :D

Love, hugs 'n prayers,
~Pam

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Good Good Good! :D Always leave 'em laughin'!

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Pam, You should think about going into standup comedy.
Carey

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