23 October 2013

Life Update: Ileus after surgery

After my recent surgery, I had two days spent at the house to recuperate, I thought that at last I am on the way to recovery.  However, on the 3rd day, after having lunch I was vomiting.  Mickey and I thought it may just be something that I ate.  After dinner, I  vomited again.  Mickey rushed me to the emergency room of The Medical City in Ortigas to have my condition checked.  I was placed on an IV to keep me hydrated, but when they started giving me oral medicines, I vomited again.  From the emergency room, I was transferred to the OB floor and the doctors there called my ob-gynecologist/gynecologic oncologist Dr. Edna Banta, to inform her of my condition.  I was later on advised that I would need to be admitted again as I had symptoms of Ileus (nausea and vomiting, stomach cramps, bloating and lack of bowel movements and gas).  An Ileus is a blockage of intestines (also called the bowel). The Ileus prevents the movement of food, fluid and gas through the intestines.  The blockage is due to lack of movement of the intestinal muscles.  An Ileus may be caused by any type of surgery (I just had surgery 3 days ago), trauma, or pain medicines.

For two days, I wasn't given any regular food.  Nourishment and hydration would come from the IV's.  It seemed that on the third day of my hospitalization, I was getting better since I was no longer vomiting.  Just as Mickey was settling our hospital bill and after I was allowed to have a soft diet by my doctor, I was vomiting again.  I was told that I would need to be re-admitted again.  It was quite frustrating.

That afternoon, my surgeon, Dr. Ben Purugganan ordered that I had to go through several x-rays of my intestines.  I asked my mom to go with me and the nurse as I was already in extreme pain, on a scale of 1-10, my pain level was switching between 9 and 10.  In the x-ray room, I had x-rays while standing up, lying down and on both my sides.  I had the chance to see a couple of my x-rays and I saw that my intestines were balloon like.  I am not a doctor, but I knew that it certainly doesn't look normal.

After my doctor had seen my x-rays, he talked to Mickey and advised that I had to undergo surgery again in 2 hours.  I thought to myself, but I just had surgery 10 days ago!  In the next two hours, we did nothing but pray for a safe operation.  At 10:00 pm, as I was about to be wheeled to surgery again.  I asked Mickey, my brother and my parents to walk beside me as I was being brought to the operating room.  We had to stop at a certain area because they aren't allowed after a certain point.  Please pray for me and my doctors, I told them.  Mickey smiled at me and told me, "see you in a few hours, Tin.  God is with you".  As I was brought to the operating room, I prayed to God to please guide my doctors and to please be with me as I go through another surgery.

The last thing I remembered was the surgery team briefing me about the procedure, my anesthesiologist asking me about my pain level and giving me my pain killers.  After a few minutes, I was out.  My surgery lasted for 2 hours but I woke up in the recovery room at 4:00 a.m.  I thanked God for being able to wake up and for going through surgery again with no complications.  As I was being wheeled back to my hospital room, I noticed that I had a Nasogastric tube (NG tube) up my nose (the NG tube goes through my nose, down to my esophagus and into my stomach to suck air and gastric juices out of my stomach to make me feel better).

I had two IV stands on both sides of my bed.  It looked like a Christmas tree with all the medicines that were hung there.  Both my hands had IV needles in them as well as one in my jugular vein.  I had very small veins in my hands and they had to put one there (jugular) because my veins were collapsing already, making my hands looked "maga" from all the IV needles that were inserted and taken out.

In the next weeks that followed, I was not allowed to eat or drink.  Not until my intestines begin to wake up.  Intravenous (IV) fluids were given to keep me hydrated as well as for nourishment.  Everyday, my doctors would listen to my stomach for sounds that my intestines are waking up.  They also ask if I have passed gas or moved my bowels (because when I begin to pass gas, it means that my gastrointestinal system is working in a normal way again).  It was also important that I be as active as I can while I recover from my Ileus.  This was a bit of a challenge for me, being hooked up to IV's, a catheter, vacuum and infusion pumps, I had to walk around my hospital bed, for as long as I can while holding the tubes that were connected to my body.  Getting out of bed and sitting on a chair will also help my intestines to wake up.  My electrolytes (like potassium and magnesium) were also checked with daily blood tests (many times these levels drop when a person cannot eat or drink).  These blood tests were hard for me as they usually do this close to midnight just when I am about to fall asleep.  Also, everyday the nurses would measure the amount of liquid that comes out of the NG tube (when there is a low amount of liquid coming out of the tube, this is a sign that my Ileus is starting to heal).

On the 8th day of my confinement at the hospital, Mickey and I watched the 700 Club Asia.  Felichi Pangilinan-Buizon was praying specifically for healing for a lot of people who were sick.  I was praying to God to please heal me of my Ileus.  Then Felichi prayed..."there is someone who is suffering from stomach sickness...nagdikit-dikit ang inyong bituka (intestines), God is healing you right now, accept God's healing".  I wept as Mickey and I prayed with her.  I kept telling God, how special it felt to hear that he has given me healing.  I was so happy that I claimed it!  In the next days, I started having bowel movements, my doctor could hear bowel sounds when they listen to my stomach, there was a low amount of liquid coming out of my NG tube and on the 13th day of confinement I was finally able to pass gas.  After that my doctor ordered for my NG tube to be removed and most of my IV's.  I was placed on a liquid diet and finally on my 16th day at the hospital, my Ileus was healed and was finally discharged.  I am placed on a low residue diet in the next 3 weeks so as not to "shock" my intestines.

Mickey and I would like to thank my doctors, my OB-gynecologist/gynecologic oncologist Dr. Edna Banta,   my surgeon, Dr. Ben Purugganan, my anesthesiologist Dr. Michael Reyes and my gastroenterologist, Dr. Jonathan Sandejas for taking care of me during my 16-day stay at the hospital.

Now you know the reason why I haven't been blogging for a while.  Currently, I am recuperating at home and getting stronger each day.  Thank you to our families, my bosses and friends for your prayers and support and most of all thank you God for healing me and for the provisions that came on time.  To God be the glory!

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