I slept well last night, almost certainly from the regimen of pain meds. Due to my stubborn and increasing abdominal pain, I’m now on a steady rotation of Norco and Oxycodone, basically taking something every two hours. It didn’t seem to make much of a difference with the pain, but it definitely zonked me out. I slept 4 hours straight, fell asleep listening to a podcast with headphones (I generally can’t sleep with sound on), and—at one point during the night—my nurse hooked me up to my IV for antibiotics without waking me.
I had an extended meeting with the residents this morning during rounds. I think we’re all pretty frustrated about the persistent pain. I’m not sure if I’ve already mentioned this, but the best way I can describe the pain is “electric.” Even if the most inconsequential or gentle touch, if in the right spot, will send an instantaneous and intense pain shooting throughout my abdomen. In addition to this “electric” pain, we’re also concerned about internal pain/pressure south of my horizontal incision. My surgeon thought it might be due to some mucus or other liquid in my J-Pouch, so they intubated me today for 3 hours (i.e., stuck a tube up my butt). Unfortunately, it didn’t produce anything of significance. We also removed my stoma appliance to get a look at my ileostomy. It looked good (flatter than the old one), but we decided to keep the rod in to allow it to continue to heal and (hopefully) lodge itself well above the skin line.
Based on our discussions and their consultation with my surgeon, it looks like I’ll be here until at least Thursday. In the meantime, we’re going to continue to search for a solution to the pain issue (the Oxy/Norco regimen seems to be making a little headway today), and continue monitoring my vitals, etc. (by labs look great, with my WBC down to 7 from 35). They’re also probably going to send me in for another CT to see what everything looks like down there post-op. We’ll also transition to oral antibiotics and steroids (probably beginning tomorrow or after dinner). And, at some point, we will need to remove my JP Drain, which I am absolutely dreading.
Long story short: I’m improving, but have some lingering issues that are a bit puzzling/concerning, and—given the issues I’ve had—no one is in any hurry to send me home. I hope to meet with my surgeon later today and will update again if she has anything to add.
UPDATE: I spoke with my surgeon this afternoon, and I’m definitely staying until at least Thursday. She’s a bit concerned that there is very little output through my stoma (virtually nothing, including gas, all day). But I have no other outward signs of a blockage (nausea, burping, etc.) and there is some output, which is good. My theory (which she agreed makes sense) is that the pain meds are constipating me, which is causing some bloating, which is causing some pressure, which is pushing on sensitive areas, which is causing some pain. But the bottom line is we’re just going to keep an eye on it for now. She’s also concerned about the crushing pressure I feel when I finish urination. It’s likely bladder spasming, which we will address with medicines if it doesn’t improve. Finally, I’ll have my CT Scans on Thursday morning. Until then, we keep going.