Hey all,
I want to describe my situation to see if this maybe fairly normal and I should stop freaking out about it. I'm a 30 year old male, had my colon taken out in December 2011 because of UC. I just had surgery 2 out of 3 last Tuesday (about 6 days ago). I'm home from the hospital and here is what's going on. I'm getting some discharge from my incision which is basically a C-section incision. I can't tell if it's infected, looks like watery blood coming out, but it is concerning. I had a lot of raised itchy bumps on my belly last night, some were big like a quarter, others looked were smaller, but they were flat (unlike a bug bite where it's more of a mound). My hands just started itching today (palms & fingers), one of my fingers looked swollen, but there were no bumps or anything. I noticed when I got up to walk around that I have swelling on the bottom of both feet and it feels like I'm walking on a ball in the middle of my feet. I have no appetite at all, have forced myself to eat a little. I'm taking Oxycodone for the pain and lopreramide and metamucil to slow down my bowels and keep from getting dehydrated. They kept me in the hospital an extra day because my output was over 1200cc's per day and they said I would be dehydrated unless I got it down. I also have not had an erection which scares me. I did get an erection in the hospital a couple days after surgery in the hospital, with a catheter in, but not since then. I wrote a post on that yesterday and was told I'm probably fine so I should stop worrying about that. This surgery has already been way harder than the first which was getting my colon removed and getting a temp ileostomy. I'm wondering if I made the right decision to go ahead with the J Pouch because it seems to be one thing after another. Let me get your thoughts or if anyone else experienced any of these symptoms. Thanks for reading!

Blake
Original Post
Blake,

I will try and address the issues that I am familiar with.

2nd surgery is a lot harder to recover from than the other two. My surgeon told me that j-pouch creation is the biggest of all colorectal surgeries. So hang in there, you will get better with time. Your appetite will come back slowly. Drink protein shack but without skipping a meal. Coconut water is great for hydration. I also drink Vitalyte and protein. I also take Forvia chewable multivitamin - They helped me a lot.

I was in the hospital for 10 days, stayed home for 10 days, and then admitted again in the hospital for another 10 days, mainly due to dehydration.

I also had issues with swollen feet. Hopefully yours will resolve soon. I think you should call your doctor about discharge/blood at incision site and itching.

Soon after my surgery, I had issues with dry scalp for several weeks. What I mean to say is that due to the major surgery and trauma it causes, many people have different issues and later they resolve on their own, so I hope yours will also resolve soon.

Wish you all the best. Get well soon.
I would say what you are experiencing is normal. The 2nd surgery when the make the j pouch is the toughest. (i had the colectomy and the j pouch creation at the same time so that one was REALLY rough). So considering you are only 6 days out you are going to experience discomfort. I'm not sure what the itching could be unless you are having some kind of allergic reaction to something. Maybe it would be good to call your doc and ask about that. I didn't have much of an appetite until a few weeks after surgery then I was starving all the time. My incision was a pain in the neck for about four months. It popped open and then kept oozing...I would have to keep it covered with gauze. Just keep an eye on it. If it starts oozing puss or gets really red and painful then it may be infected. I cannot comment on the erection since I'm a girl but I'm sure 6 days post op your body isnt thinking about that right now. It's concentrating on healing. Hope you feel better soon. It gets better. I remember during that time I thought I would never feel better but in a short time I was back to normal.
The rash (sounds like you had hives), itching and swelling sounds like a drug allergy, so you need to call the doctor on that. Could be an antibiotic you are no longer taking, since the reaction can occur after you discontinue it, but it could also be the pain medicine, so call right away. Even if you were taking the same medicine in the hospital with no problem, you can develop an allergy at any time.

You also need to report the oozing from the incision, unless it was happening before discharge. May be nothing, like a small seroma that needed to drain, but it bears watching. I had something like that, and it turned into a full-on peritoneal leak, draining straw colored peritoneal fluid. It eventually developed into a wound infection and I was lucky it did not turn into a fistula. Not a whole lot they can do about it right now, but something they need to know about and monitor.

Just remember, the doc assumes all is well unless you tell him otherwise.

The other stuff seems like normal recovery biz.

Jan Smiler
Hey guys! You are some knowledgable J Pouchers, some of you hit it right on the head. I woke up today itching my skin off, I had a really bad rash on my back, stomach and a few other places. My wife took one look at my back and I could hear her panic. Then we looked at my incision and there was still a lot of puss and stuff coming out. We went to the hospital and one of the colorectal doctors got me in right away and was pretty sure the incision was infected. He packed the incision which I now have to do twice a day until further notice. He said the hives were most likely due to the Perkacet I was taking, said it releases histamines in some people so switched my pain killer to Narco. I haven't itched as much since then and feel a little better. Glad I went there today, thanks to my wife, because I don't want the infection to get too bad. Appreciate you guys quick responses!

Blake

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