Plugging Along – Bowel Blockages Be Gone


After multiple blockages and a couple of trips to the hospital, I’m scheduled for another surgery next week.

When I went over my surgery with the pre-op nurse today, I went to that place where I go mentally, explaining the steps and stages of my illness and wellness as if I was telling someone else’s story. Because I maintain a positive outlook, it’s sweet and strange to hear the empathy on the other end of the call. I simply don’t feel sick. And that’s because I’m not sick. I just have mechanical difficulties.

It’s been tough to come to terms with yet another surgery after feeling so great for so long. And I still feel great. I mean really great. Best I’ve felt in years actually. I’ve been very active and super healthy and it’s a big drag to have another setback.

As much as I’ve tried to rest it away, meditate and pray it away, walk it away and wish it away, my problem is not going away. My remaining small intestine has narrowed to the point that I can’t digest regular foods anymore. It’s twisted or bent or pinched like a garden hose and needs to be surgically repaired. And like a twisted hose, nothing gets through and the pressure builds. The strange thing about having a blocked intestine is that even when you completely stop eating, your body continues to pass fluids and gasses adding to the obstruction causing pain and nausea.

Blockages are extremely painful and scary. The pain feels like your bowel is about to burst, and in my experience, it has caused me to become very frightened, go into shock and hyperventilate. In hindsight I understand it with calmness, but during these episodes, the total loss of control is terrifying.  The body has a fascinating way of taking care of things. What goes in has to come out one way or another. The pain is intense and so is the vomiting. And disgusting. DisGUTsing, if you will. Let’s just say it’s pretty un-cute in every way. Blockages can last for many hours and become serious in a hurry. Hospitalization is almost always necessary.

So upward and onward towards Tuesday. I’ve got this weekend to rest, sip tea and slurp some noodles. I’m washing my robe and preparing for my hall walking during recovery in the hospital and looking forward to clearer days ahead.

Then with any luck, the procedure will be simple and quick and this fair weather fan will be good as gold by Super Bowl Sunday.