My first trip back to the surgeon

I made a bit of a last-minute visit to my surgeon today. But let me tell you the whole story…

Last Thursday, I was not good with my eating. I’ve learned that I can eat pretty much anything I want, but I need to do it in moderation and be sure to chew those difficult foods extra carefully. Well last week, I ate mushroom pizza for lunch and had a side of creamed corn for dinner. First of all, I had way too much corn. I can eat it just fine in small quantities, but I did go a little overboard. (I didn’t have enough for 2 servings, but it was too much for 1 and I didn’t want to throw it out. Lesson learned: throw it out!)

And I actually do OK with mushrooms, but I do need to be careful to chew them thoroughly. I hadn’t intended to eat the pizza that day, but I got busy at work and didn’t have time to run home for lunch and someone else at work had extra pizza. So I ate it and ate it somewhat fast since I was just eating while I was working. Also, the mushrooms you find on pizza are a little different from the ones you cook up fresh. They just have a tougher consistency and I now realize they are more difficult to digest.

That evening, I could tell my stomach was not feeling well. I had some minor pain that evening and went to bed early in the hopes of it passing in the night. But the next day, I woke up still in pain. It was bothering me on-and-off throughout the day, but I still figured it was left over from the day before. When it was still hurting on Saturday, I started getting a little concerned. I had tried massaging my stomach, moving in different position in hopes of moving along whatever what stuck. I needed to change my ostomy bag that day, so I paid special attention to the area. It was the stoma that actually hurt and the area directly surrounding it. I didn’t have any irritation on the skin and couldn’t see anything protruding out (which could indicate a hernia.) However, I did notice that my stoma had swelled a few millimeters.

By Sunday, I got very concerned. It was still causing sharp pain, to the point that it was bothering me just walking. I had my first group run for Team Challenge and I honestly did not think I’d be able to make it at all (more about that soon.) I survived, but the pain was not going away. I believe I told someone it felt like I was trying to pass a razor blade. So first thing Monday, I called my surgeon’s office and they told me to come in on Tuesday.

This morning, I went to see him. This was actually the first time I’ve had to see my surgeon since the initial surgery and follow-up. I told him this whole, long story and he checked out the area. He GI surgical hospital exam room stoma pain stephanie hughes stolen colon ostomy blogagreed that he didn’t see any signs of hernia and felt around for signs of recurring Crohn’s. This consisted of actually inserting a finger into the stoma to check for issues. Holy schnitzel! I thought I was going to cry. It hurt sooo bad!

So the good news first: he said he didn’t see any major issues. He checked for all of the normal “red flags” and nothing came up. He advised me to give it a few more days and see if it would pass.

The bad news: it still hurts. It’s not constant pain, but it’s often enough to be a bother and to make me not want to do much of anything today (plus, the cold, rainy weather is not helping). Thankfully, I do have a three-day weekend coming up, but I first have to make it through the next two days.

It did alleviate my concerns to have my surgeon tell me that he wasn’t to worried about it. And he said that in a non-condescending way. He said it was good that I came in and he wasn’t trying to dismiss my concerns, but he doesn’t think it’s a bigger problem. So I’m just waiting now. Trying to eat easily digestible food and taking in lots of fluids.

Has anyone else had something similar? The pain is mostly on the stoma itself, but a little surrounding it, too. Did it go away on its own? Was there anything in particular you did to help?

2 thoughts on “My first trip back to the surgeon

  1. Jes

    Happened to me once while pregnant and ate too many pickles. I did clear liquids for a day and half. Laid on left side a lot and it eventually passed..it hurt like heck. Kept taking warm baths, warm water bottles on tummy, heating pack, etc. It will pass it’s just those undigested corn kernels are stuck! Good Luck..txt me if you need to chat! 🙂

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  2. Matthew Dobos

    Hey Steph, I’ve had a few small blockages, and your story sounds very familiar to me, exactly as you described. The last time I had the hardest time figuring it out, then I remembered eating green beans. I used to tough it, and I’ve learned to try to force myself to throw up since because sometimes that “shakes” things up enough where I start to get major output and the pain goes away. If that doesn’t work, I now go to the ER because I have no tolerance or patience anymore. When I do start to get output, the pain does take a while to go away. It’s not sharp, more like I was just punched in the gut for a few days non stop. I just eat softer foods for as long as it’s sore, and then I’m back to my “normal” self. And yes, I thought it was weird my pain was at the stoma, but I think that’s a good thing since pain higher up could mean it’s due to more of a flare-up than eating something wrong.

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