Desperately looking for advice.................

From: Deborah & Jean-Marc (
Fri Jun 9 12:30:52 2000

May 2, 2000, I left the forum feeling defeated and lost to have my 19th surgery. I return to all of you today looking for "HOPE". I am sending my story from the "quilt" to share with all of you............Thank you in advance for your advice, and friendship.

I am 33 years old. I have had 18 surgical procedures since the age of 21. The last 8 of 9 surgeries were due to bowel obstructions caused by adhesions(gallbladder also removed). In '99 I underwent 3 surgeries, the last one, for a bowel obstructions, was in Dec. I am now experiencing signs of a (partial) bowel obstruction, severe vomiting, lower abdominal cramping, and minor bloating. The only option presented to me thus far is yet another surgery, something I would, needless to say, like to avoid. In Jan 2000 I had to close my retail store, due to poor health. The store had been open for 2 1/2 years. It had been my life dream to have my own store, sharing with my clients giftware from all over the world, antiques, French linens, jewelry and my own artwork (pottery & paintings). We (my husband and I) had worked so hard to make that store a success. The last year was terribly difficult for myself and for my family. I had emergency surgery in June, which resulted in an 8 week hospital stay. In the operating room I was given an epidermal to be used for pain blocking for after I woke up from the surgery. During this procedure the doctor punctured the "Dhura", which resulted in severe 'spinal' head-aches when I awoke from surgery. The first week in hospital I had to stay in bed and under go a "blood patch" to stop the (spinal?) fluid from leaking. This resulted in having another partial obstruction, and having to have NG tubes to stop me from vomiting, then another tube to feed me. I left the hospital in late July, only to return again to emergency on August 28,'99 (My Wedding Day!!!) with incapacitating abdominal pain. I was given a 6 hour pass to get married. A couple of days later I had my Gall Bladder removed (another 3 weeks in hospital). November came and I was in hospital again with another partial bowel obstruction. My surgeon did not think I would be strong enough to have another surgery so soon, so I was in hospital with a NG tube and heavy narcotics for 2 weeks. On Dec 07 I returned to hospital. Surgery was performed but this time when I woke up my digestive system had stopped functioning and my bowel went into severe spasms. I stayed in hospital for almost 1 month, and was investigated by several "specialists". One so called GI "specialist" thought that I should have an IV put into my neck for 6 months to feed me. Another doctor suggested that a psychiatrist see me,..... my mental state was now being questioned for.. "it was not possible to have so much pain and require so many surgeries, just for adhesions... it must be in my head".That was the "last straw"...those words almost broke me. Some days I feel like I'm going crazy......I can't stand the idea of going back to hospital, to be cut open again...I don't want all of those horrible drugs put into my body. I want my life back! I want to be healthy for my children, my husband, and for me. In September my husband and I want to hike the "West Coast Trail", for our "honeymoon" that we missed last year, because of my being sick. I need to get strong and healthy for this! I am desperately searching for any alternative or advice that may be offered. Already, it is some psychological solace to have found this Society and to find out that I am not alone!! Thank you! UPDATE: May 3, 2000 Emergency Laparotomy In less than 4 months adhesions returned covering my abdominal wall. All loops of bowel twisted, and one loop, in the pelvis, of the small bowel was completely twisted around over 180 degrees. I am now 4 weeks post-op. I am in constant pain. The surgeon thinks the bowel has twisted again. Now what do I do?????

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