Seven years ago when Hubby had MAJOR, SERIOUS, EMERGENCY surgery and spent ten long days in this same hospital, they had to remove about 12” of colon. They sewed it back together, then waited (and waited and waited) for it to work. He walked miles around the hospital trying to force something to happen.
His (now deceased) mom, a retired nurse, visited every day. She’d call before she left home to see if there was anything we needed. Her first question was always “Has he had a BM?” Huh? I was unaccustomed, thus uncomfortable, discussing bodily functions with others. When she arrived at the hospital, she would ask again. When she went home, she called as soon as she got there (about 30 minutes away) to see if “it” had happened even though I’d promised to call the minute he got a result. Hubby explained it was a normal question for her because she was a nurse. It still freaked me out.
A few years after that my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer. He’d had some procedure done and I mentioned to her I’d talked to him on the phone. It all clicked when she asked if he’d had a BM yet. With as straight a face as I could manage, I told her I didn’t know. We hadn’t discussed it.
This hospital stay for hubby was because he started vomiting Wednesday night and continued for about 14 hours. When they did a CT, they saw a bowel obstruction. Hoping it would clear on its own and he wouldn’t need surgery, they first put in an NG tube. After they removed it, they put him on clear liquids, then solid foods. The goal was to make sure his plumbing was working before discharging him.
His first day eating solid food, he felt queasy whenever he ate, but did whatever it took to keep the food down. (Throwing up would mean reinsertion of the dreaded tube which went through his nose, down his throat, into his stomach.) He managed to make it through the first day and overnight. The next morning (yesterday), he had oatmeal and coffee for breakfast. Before long, he turned green, then grey and his tummy distended–not good. He said he felt like he did Wednesday night. When the doctor rounded, he took him off all food and liquids, told him to wrap himself around the fact that he might need surgery and ordered an X-Ray to see if it showed anything. (It didn’t.) The question (in our minds) at that point was whether the surgery would be laparoscopic or traditional.
Hubby got a shot for nausea and we both took a nap. When he woke, he felt better, said he thought he’d turned a corner…but still no output from the bottom. When the doctor came back in, he said to try solid foods again to see if they could “force” something to happen.
Some good friends had stopped by after church with fried chicken, red beans and rice and German chocolate cake. I’d already eaten some (yummy!) but saved enough for Hubby. That’d either get things moving or get him puking. Either way, we’d have an answer. He kept it down and even ordered a hamburger from “room service” last night. But, still no poop.
This morning, however, EURIKA. Not one, but two BM’s.
What? I’m monitoring and even blogging about his bodily functions? I now understand what my mother-in-law was thinking. She’s probably LHAO from the great beyond.
So here we are, sitting in the hospital room, ready to be discharged. We’re all packed up, just waiting for the attending. My plan is to go home and sleep for…I don’t know…maybe a week. He’ll probably want to go back to work tomorrow.
I don’t claim to know a lot, but I know this. We’ve got to find a better place to spend quality time!