Friday, June 12, 2015

Days 5-7 Post Ileostomy Reversal

The reason we document Ryan's journey so closely is because we would have LOVED something like this as we were researching ostomy reversals.  We found a few resources but nothing too detailed.  We hope that by putting Ryan's journey into words will encourage you to pursue a reversal or aid you on your experience havving alrady been through one.

Days 1-4 in our posts followed a lot of detail about times and diet.  I couldn't keep track of all the exact times and foods Ryan ate, mostly because I was gone from the house 8-5 starting the week of his recovery home.  My parents took great care of him for me while I was away!

But I wanted to use this post to share a few more items about diet, exercise, pain control, and progress we have learned in the 1st week post-reversal.

There are A LOT of horror stories out there about reversals  To be honest I think the people who are having a terrible recovery for whatever reason are the ones who have the time to fill up the Internet with their negative journey.  The people who are doing well don't have the time...they are out living their lives!

So let me just be the first to say, AN OSTOMY REVERSAL CAN BE AWESOME!!!

And this is what we have learned in the process on our own unique journey...


Ryan is on a low fiber, <13 g per day, but still has a really vast diet!  So far he has successful eaten, digested, and pooped:

Low fiber cereals (Cinnamon Life for ex)
Ice cream
Peanut butter
White bread
Chicken noodle soup (egg noodles, shredded chicken, soft carrots and celery)
Breakfast burrito (peel-less potatoes, scrambled eggs, sausage)
Canned peaches
Chicken sandwich
Fruit smoothie
Mashed potatoes
Mac & cheese
Chicken rice soup (white rice, shredded chicken, soft carrots and celery)
Grilled cheese
Cream of wheat
Corn tortilla chips
Chicken enchiladas
And probably more I'm forgetting about!

When he eats too quickly or too much in one sitting he generally gets gas pains. Meaning a crampy, bloated sensation.  Sometimes he gets gas pains and we don't know why, so there may be a food culprit we need to track down.  We've found a 1/2 cup of soup and 1/2 a banana might be first dinner and then an hour later try the same amount again.  

The other thing with diet we want to encourage is LIQUIDS!  It will soften your stool, keep your hydrated, promote wound healing, and make you feel better.  We spike ice water with a little lemonade or Gatorade so it's not so bland to him.


We try to get Ryan on 3-4 small walks per day.  He walks about 1/2 block and back by himself two times throughout the morning if I am gone.  In the evenings we do our longer walk which is about 2-4 blocks.

He gets up once every 2 hours, does laps around the kitchen island, and sits up in a chair for 2 hours per day.

We are slowly building his tolerance to longer distances.  And of course he has weight lifting restrictions due to the enormous wound in his abdomen so his only exercise is walking for now!

Pain Control:

Days 1-3 he was on 600 mg of tylenol every 4 hours.  Starting Day 4 we bumped him up to percocet every 4-5 hours.  His prescription ran out so the doc wrote for vicodin.  We tried that on Day 6 but it really wasn't helpful to him at all.  Back to percocet we went!  He worked very diligently to take the minimum dose about 5 hours apart which I think is so brave!

Breakthrough pain (meaning it wasn't time for pain meds yet) was also alleviated by hot showers, soaking in a warm bath, a hot pack on his tummy, sleep, distraction (a movie or TV show), and rest.


We see Ryan getting stronger everyday which is so neat!  He tries to consume 6 small meals per day, sleeps about 9 hours per night in a totally dark room, and RESTS during the day!

His poops went from 10-15 diarrhea bowel movements the first two days, to 5-6 diarrhea bowel movements the next days.  By day 4 he was pooping formed stool 3-4 times per day

We want to be clear that he has NOT used Imodium or other anti-diarrhea agents.  His surgeon was very particular that Ryan's body have the best chance at a "natural" healing before we start drugging him up with synthetic stuff.

His wound, the old stoma site, continues to fill in nicely with tissue.  It was a little "drainy" for a few days and a bit red around some of the staples.  We change the bandage at least once per day after cleaning.  Ryan takes a shower and just soaps around the area, not directly on it, and allows soap and water to flow over and into the site.  We make sure it's well rinsed, leave it open to air for 10 minutes, and then cover it with a piece of gauze and paper tape.

If you experience some irritation around your bum, then we recommend Tucks pads!  Just stick one of those bad boys right up next to your hole and you will be a happy camper.

Also, if your bum is getting chapped from the frequent bowel movement's, wash and dry after a poop, and apply a thin layer of desitin.  And then wear a pair of undies you don't care gets a little desitin on them. It really is just diaper rash you're experiencing.  We like to do a little aloe baby powder in between his cheeks throughout the day to keep things dry.

Finally, endurance is the last thing that we have learned a lot about.  Ryan might be feeling awesome an hour after a percocet and having watched a movie that morning.  But sitting up for 1 hour in a chair to do work?  Wipes him out!  Folding a load of laundry while standing? Wipes him out!  A walk down the block?  Wipes him out!  A 30 minute visit from family or friends?  Wipes him out!

Our advice is to really schedule things in small increments or if you must do something for a longer time (maybe dinner out), then keep the rest of your day open and clear to store up energy.  Just be careful with overestimating how you feel and scheduling too much.

Message us if you have questions about anything and we will be back with Week 2, 3, and 4 updates in the coming month!

Ryan on Day 5 of his ostomy reversal which also happened to be his birthday! He got rock climbing carabiners for his birthday and a breakfast burrito

1 comment:

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