* In case you needed a visual, this is a pic of a medina catheter, what has been semi-permanently attached in my stoma KP and attached to a drainage collection bag for the past 2.5 weeks. This is the same catheter that I will insert to empty my stool for the rest of my life. I have no idea what that little piece is, I don't have that.*
Oh poor KP and my little body post surgery, this weekend it decided it had had enough and went into rebel mode! A combination of horrible pain (topical and internal), very little output from the permanent cath and fatigue was too much.
It started with the pain. The pain, oh the pain, it was so debilitating that at times I could not move, I couldn't be touched, I couldn't even move my clothes over my skin on the right side. I got stuck on the couch for about 45 minutes and then in bed for about half an hour. It was awful and scary. The poor hubs looked ghostly watching me in so much pain and he couldn't do a thing about it.
Next came the problem that nothing was coming out of the permanent drain into the leg bag. Remember it was supposed to be for the most part constantly draining out any contents of the k-pouch so healing could continue. I started irrigating (30 ml of water into the catheter) every two hours instead of four and that did provide minor relief. But by 11 p.m. on Friday we decided I needed to pull the whole catheter out and see if it was blocked. There was some gooey stuff in the holes so we thought oh this must have been the problem, we'll clean it off and move on.
No such luck. As soon as I put the cath back in and taped the bag to it the excruciating pain started up like no other. Poor KP was just so sore and could barely handle it in there, add on top the horrible muscle pain I was explaining in the last post from the retractors and my right side felt like it was going to burn right off. I don't know maybe I'm being dramatic but I was certain I didn't know how we would make it to the follow up appt on Tuesday.
I actually called the on call surgeon on Saturday and she said to just keep irrigating every two hours, take the cath out and reinsert if I felt I needed too and be liberal with the pain meds. The nights were just as bad as the days and by Sunday the hubs and I were both at our whits in.
** Let me break in here to tell you the good news about all of this. Remember how in the last post I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to get the cath back in if I took it out. Turns out I've found my position and that hasn't been a problem, knock on wood. Woo Hoo!!!!!***
Anyway, I talked to my K-pouch friend Janice on Sunday (she's been so amazing) and she suggested, as the hubs did, to just go ahead and take the cath out for a little while and let it rest. I was a little resistant as that was TOTALLY breaking the only out for 10-15 minutes a day rule, but I had to do it. And oh what a relief it was.
I only took it out for an hour but it was awesome. I finally recathed and hooked the drainage bag back up and drugged up to high heaven. The night was ok, a lot less pain, but no output. So this morning I took it out again and emailed my surgeon and asked if I could start self-cathing -- move to phase 2 -- as long as I hooked back up to drainage tonight. Being the awesome and responsive guy that he his, he got back to me within a few hours and said my plan sounded good.
Hallelujah, hallelujah, birds chirped, cats sang. I was going to make it to Tuesday. I will be inserting the cath to relieve the poo every three hours, first one at 2 p.m. today. I can now focus on the surgical pain and recovery from that and the cramping sensation of the pouch stretching.
I have never been so happy to see an inanimate object go -- breaking up was NOT hard to do. KP and I say good riddance, for the day anyway;)