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Reply to "Has anyone been hospitalized for total blockage of their J-pouch?"

@Drbev603 posted:

I was recently had my first blockage 20 years after my J-pouch surgery! I was eating a romaine lettuce salad and had been snacking on raw carrots earlier that day. About 7pm I stopped eating bc of gas pains, took Phazyne for gas with no relief. By 9 pm I was on the floor in a fetal position in unbearable pain! My husband called E-squad. I was given Fentanyl twice in the squad and Morphine when I arrived in ER for pain. I was hospitalized for 5 days with a NG tube (Nose to stomach) put in after 3 attempts while I was AWAKE!  My Doctor would not do surgery, which I wanted to end the pain because of risk of additional adhesions developing.  He showed me on my X-ray that the blockage was not only caused by lettuce and raw carrots but scar tissue (adhesions) caused from my J-pouch surgery. My surgeon finally treated me with Contrast media down my NG tube and IV Magnesium (for some reason) which is heavy and moves slowly. They monitored the movement with x-rays every few hours until it began to open the blockage three days later. I was discharged at 5 days when the blockage was opened and I could metabolize soft solid non-fibrous foods. I was never told NOT to eat certain foods.  I know that for maybe 6 weeks prior, when I ate steak, ribs or certain vegetables, I would vomit because I felt blocked.  I have totally changed my diet and eating habits slowly. I am reading as much about others experiences as I can. I was blessed with a Charge Nurse assigned to me on the surgical floor by coincidence also having a J-pouch for about 7 years and also being hospitalized after eating a salad!  I learned so much from her! I don't want this experience to ever happen again! Has anyone else experienced blockage emergencies and been hospitalized?  Has anyone else had an experience clearing a blockage, which I have heard of??  Please share so we can all learn!  Thank you so much!  I am grateful for this sharing format!

I got my J pouch in 2012. Luckily, I never had a blockage that bad, but I have had a few close calls when I've eaten corn. NEVER eat corn unless you want to end up back in the hospital!

In my case, that didn't happen because I only ate a small amount and I don't think I have a problem with adhesions. I didn't realize I couldn't eat corn until I ate frozen dinners with a little bit of corn in them. I got bad stomach pains afterwards. It was the kind of thing where I felt like I needed to sit on the toilet and try to go, to get rid of the pain, but it was odd because the pain was on the right side of my abdomen, right under where the ostomy used to be. I'd sit on the toilet and push and the pain would work itself out when I'd let out some gas or a poop. I think I must have an extra narrow spot or an adhesion or something, in the area under my ostomy scar, where the intestine was sewn back together there.

It took me a while to put 2 and 2 together and realize that it was the corn that was causing it. I thought I'd be ok, if I just ate a small amount and chewed it well, but it always caused pain no matter how well I chew it. I'm convinced that if I ate more than a few spoonfulls, especially if I didn't chew it, for whatever reason, I could put myself in the hospital.

When I first had the surgery, I was warned to be careful about potentially blockage forming foods, like certain vegetables and high residue (high fiber foods.) One nurse did tell me never to eat bok choy, but that was when I had the ostomy. They seemed a lot more concerned about it when I had the ostomy because I think blockages are much more of a concern with that, normally. I think I was told to be especially careful, or even avoid raw vegetables, but I don't remember.

At first, there were a lot of foods I was afraid to eat, but over time, I tested more and more things. If I'm unsure about a certain food, I eat a very small amount and chew it very well. Chewing well is key. I still don't have the nerve to try Romaine lettuce and raw carrots, though. I do eat raw kale salads on a regular basis, though. Kale is the only green vegetable that I feel comfortable eating raw because it is very soft and breaks down easily. The mix bag I get does have red cabbage, and that white stuff that I forget what it's called too, though, and I haven't had any problems with it. But I always drown it in dressing and chew it as thoroughly as I possibly can.

I've found that I can actually eat way more foods than I thought I'd be able to. Corn is still the one huge exception, though. It seems that no matter what I do to it, no matter how well I try to mash it or puree it, corn always causes a blockage. Even when I pureed it in a blender, it still couldn't go through me. I think corn kernels must be indestructible.

It sucks too, because I really like corn. I miss eating it. I was able to eat it when I made soup by pureeing corn in a blender as finely as I possibly can, then pushing it through a sieve, but that was a huge pain and took way to long to be worth the effort. If you miss it that much, like I do, they have corn flavored candy and corn flavored Poky sticks, that I found at a Chinese grocery store.

Last edited by melissa111
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