My Achey Breaky Bowels
It’s no secret I have bowel issues. Things happen when you have part of your colon removed and your small intestine cut in half and sewed back together again. Not exactly what God intended to happen. The body does it’s job and forms adhesions to hold everything in place again but those adhesions can then wreak havoc on the functioning of the bowel.
My problem now is with the small intestine. For those who don’t know what a “small bowel obstruction” is, let me explain it how the surgeon explained it to me. You know how when you turn on your garden hose sometimes there’s a kink in it and won’t let the water out? That’s an obstruction. Except with the small intestine that kink is caused by adhesions, or scar tissue. The intestine kinks and nothing is getting through. This can be very painful because the body is pretty insistent about stuff getting through and won’t take no for an answer.
So back to the garden hose analogy. If you turn the water off, the hose slowly unkinks, ever notice that? The way they treat an obstruction is the same way. Turn the water off. A nasogastric tube is placed to pump the stomach of its contents and the order is given for no food or fluid (by mouth) until things unkink. As the bowel rests it slowly unkinks.
That’s it in a nutshell, in layman’s terms.
The treatment is tricky. One way to treat it is just to keep doing what we’re doing, let things rest and the intestine will unkink itself. Another way to treat it is with surgery. Go in and clean out the adhesions. Problem is, as my surgeon put it, you’re solving a problem caused by surgery . . . by doing another surgery. Doesn’t always have the desired outcomes.
So here’s the plan for me. We’re gonna wait and see what happens. This may never happen again or it may happen again next month. My surgeon said if it keeps happening regularly (that is, two or so times a year) then we’ll talk about surgery. He isn’t excited about the surgery because you can only do so much laproscopically. Because the small intestine is so convoluted the only way to get all the adhesions is to open me up and disect the small intestine out taking it inch by inch and removing the adhesions. He says it’s no big deal as far as surgeries go . . . but it sounds like a big deal to me!!
I’m not excited about waiting and seeing what happens. That tube up your nose is like something the Nazis would have devised as a method of torture. Something truly to be feared.
Oh, I know God is in control but (and I hope this doesn’t sound blasphemous) knowing that doesn’t help much when that tube is so far up your nose you’re gagging on it and all the while the nurse is telling you so swallow it. I just want all this cancer stuff behind me . . . go away and leave me alone. But it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen soon . . . if ever.