WE HAVE POOP!
Our day started like yesterday with pain and distention. This time, Zack was saying he needed his doctor and he needed “the tube” to feel better. He hurt so much he could not walk the hall, so we put him in a wagon. He cried the entire time, so I finally just put him back in the bed. When Jim arrived around 9:00, Zack still looked pretty bad.
After a few hours he began to perk up and we went down to the playroom. He managed to walk down, but needed his pillow on his belly and his feet up on a chair while playing Wii with his dad. The surgical fellow came down to check on Z and said we needed to do another rectal irrigation. We said we wanted to wait for his surgeon to arrive. Zack has not let anyone near his bottom voluntarily in years, so when he asked for the surgeon, we were going to give him the surgeon.
When everything was set up, Zack was not quite sure about cooperating. Really, who can blame him? His surgeon did an excellent job of talking him through his fears and the procedure. He felt so much better after that, but was extremely tired. He would have slept for a long time, but it was time to say good-bye to Jim. Zack was so tired that after he said good-bye he sobbed. He said he loved his daddy so much and was missing him so much that his heart hurt. It was sad…
We got Zack into the shower then and warm and cozy in his pajamas and he seemed a little better. He asked for dinner and ate it all and soon the pain started again. We now have a pattern. About five minutes after eating his pain begins. This time he really started crying and even said he was going to die. I found that to be a little dramatic, but I kept my opinion to myself. The nurse came in to help me and said we were going to do another irrigation, but I wanted him to try to use the bathroom first. To my surprise, it worked! We even had gas! It was so exciting. Before you get grossed out, remember that this post is about intestinal surgery to reconnect bowels. I am going to talk about all things poop related.
When Zack was done he was completely out of it. He had to lean on the nurse as I cleaned him up and could not stand on his own. We carried him into bed and he went straight to sleep. It was 7 p.m. and Z was out for the night. The nurse and I discussed how pale he has been after pooping and irrigations and how lethargic. The nursing staff and resident decided to draw labs just to be safe. In addition, Z had some blood in his stool. This could just be normal post op stuff, but it was new tonight. We are just being super cautious.
Zack is also going to start laxatives in an hour. Lucky boy. He was going to start at four times the adult dose of Senna, but because he stooled on his own he will start at two times the adult dose. It could be an interesting night….
When we found out that Zack was going to have his reconnection surgery earlier than planned, people asked me if I was excited. I felt a little bad that I was not excited, but I knew that we were trading one set of issues for a new set. The good news is that Zack has actually pooped on his own for the first time in a very, very long time. Things should just keep improving from here, but it will not be a quick process like I once naively thought. There will be lots of trial and error and it is likely that Zack will need a bowel management routine for many years.
Tonight as I get ready for bed, I have decided to be thankful for today. I am thankful that it looks like we might get discharged tomorrow afternoon. I am thankful that Zack has great medical care both here and in Maryland. I am thankful that Jim made it home to Maryland safely. I am thankful for friends taking good care of Jake and Rugby and our house. Last but not least, I am thankful for poop. It is a wonderful thing.