Diverticulitis
Ralph

Jericho, NY

#61 Jul 18, 2007
Joe C wrote:
I hope everyone that is facing a challenge comes through better than ever.
Remember, self despair and doubt doesn't help improve your condition, so be of strong positive mind, and that will helpd you get through whatever you face.
Here's my story:
Just had another small bout, nothing too bad, but still a concern to feel the discomfort. I did feel better after a few days, didn't miss a beat with work or exercize.
I have several bouts a year, not very painful, go clear for a few days which gets me back to normal.
GP Doctor automatically recommended surgery because of recurring bouts, but I'm strongly opposed, as I'm very skeptical about the need for most surgeries, but don't know if I can really avoid, and the thought of going under the knife is terrifying quite honestly.
Surgeons recommended colonoscopy, but didn't suggest immediate surgery and told me to go on my special Maui trip in Feb. I never had the colonscopy, which I know will define things.
Never had blood or abyst on CTs, at least none that I've been told.
Is it a forgone conclusion that I need surgery, or do some people manage with somewhat mild, yet annual bouts of diverticulitis.
Thanks in advance for any guidance.
Profile
age: 42
exercize vigorously almost daily
good fiber consumption but do like to indulge from time to time
hi joe ... i would not recommend surgery at this point ... i'm 54, good shape, getting the surgery next week. i'm still not 100 percent sure for me .... but i suffered 4 bad bouts over the past 6 months, where i needed antibiotics and the pain had me doubled up, where i could hardly walk. i would suggest a colonosopy, and start investigating surgerns and hospitals in case your symptoms get really worse .... good luck
chriss

Oceanside, NY

#62 Jul 19, 2007
Leo wrote:
HI Folks,
I am back with an update and not such good news. A year later I have another attack and this time my bowel perforatted. I also have a hernia from my first operation. My doctor says this is very uncommon (the perfforation) after a surgey. Now I will need another sugey. I was feeling great and then BANG! I really am pissed off and do not want the surgery again. I have watched my diet and have been so careful. I am in the best shape in 20 years. My doctor says some people are just prone to it. Anyone else have this happen??
Hey Leo..I'm sorry to hear of your troubles..You were moving along well..I was told as well that it is rare that there are re occurance's...Did the preforrtion happen where the re section was done???....did it just happen to you or was there some pain associated with the perforration..I guess by now you are in the hospital having surgery??..if so , my best wishes to you..let me know..I 'll send a email home...God Bless
Chriss
Leo

Brantford, Canada

#63 Jul 19, 2007
Hi Chris,
Ther perforration happened above where the surgery was and it came on all of a sudden. It sealed up on its own but its likely I need surgery again. I have a cat scan on Wednesday and another colonoscopy in a few weeks.I really feel awful and sick all the time now and I have no idea what is wrong. This bout was the worst I ever had.
Linda

United States

#64 Jul 20, 2007
Hi all, can anyone tell me a little about their experience following an acute attack. I'm a 37 y/o female, otherwise very healthy and athletic. I had a very acute attack of diverticulitis. It was some pretty intense pain. I went to the ER and they kept me for 4 days, luckily there was no perforation but the Dr. is recommending surgery b/c of my young age and intensity of the attack. I've been on antibiotics for two weeks and just finished the course. One day post antibiotics and I'm starting to feel burning in my abdomen (over a pretty large area). This isn't the pain I felt in the beginning but then again all I remember is the seriously shooting/stinging pain that sent me to the ER. To boot, everyone has scared the pants off of me about eating anything. I've been living on yogurt w/molasses, white rice, oatmeal and bannans, smoked salmon, toast, juice etc. I have no clue what to eat (the Drs. were just saying low fiber and my nutritionist is saying that I should continue on yogurt/juice, etc.) I'm just starting some food with fiber and am panicked. I'm thinking I should go back to the hospital and request another cat scan (at minimum I would know if the inflammation has subsided).
Ughh...I can't tell if what I'm feeling is burning b/c the infection hasn't gone away or if I'm healing and it's normal post cramping/pinching (which the Dr.s say is normal)?
Thanks and good luck to anyone is this difficult situation.
Linda

United States

#65 Jul 20, 2007
Hi again...additional question...my GI Dr. recommended probiotics. Any experience out there with this?
Leo

Brantford, Canada

#66 Jul 23, 2007
HI Linda,

After an attack you can develop scar tissue and also become thin (the intestine) where the infection was. You will get weird sensations as you feel the waste pass through your body. That is normal. I never had any burning, so I do not know what to tell you about that. As far as food goes, stay on liquids for a while and then gradually increase to more solids. I found that pasta is the worst thing (sucks since I love it) to eat after my surgery, even a year later. My docter says that pasta is like glue and it clumps up and is hard to pass and thats why I feel pain after pasta.
I feel better this week and have cat scan tests this week. Cross your fingers for me.

Since: Jul 07

Milford, NH

#67 Jul 23, 2007
Hi all,
New to this post. Had emergency surgery Jun 16 for perforated viscus... I guess that means intestinal rupture. They took out around 3-4" of the colon. Doc said I was very sick and couldn't believe I wasn't in much pain. I actually went to the ER because I was having chest pains, stomach pains too but I just figured it was gas. AFter an Xray, they saw air inside of me and said I had to have emergency surgery. So far so good, just very tired. Here's my question... I sneezed really really hard the other night, and since then I'm getting weird sensations... burning and slightly painful in the incision area and also lower left abdomin. Is this normal... healing process? Since I have a high tolerance to pain, I don't want to feel silly calling my doctor over this if it's nothing. Anyone else had this happen?
gnorris51

Annapolis, MD

#68 Jul 24, 2007
Linda wrote:
Hi again...additional question...my GI Dr. recommended probiotics. Any experience out there with this?
Probotics seem to work for me. I get something called Pearls in Whole Foods and since I've been taking them i haven't had a flare up (six plus months)

One each day - I also eat Bran Flakes most mornings and more beans than I used to.
chriss

Oceanside, NY

#69 Jul 25, 2007
gnorris51 wrote:
<quoted text>
Probotics seem to work for me. I get something called Pearls in Whole Foods and since I've been taking them i haven't had a flare up (six plus months)
One each day - I also eat Bran Flakes most mornings and more beans than I used to.
As far as breakfast FIBER ONE has 50% of the fiber you need for each day....check it out, it works for me.....a
gary

Canada

#70 Aug 5, 2007
Joanie wrote:
My husband was diagnosied with Diverticulitis about three weeks ago. He was given and anitbiotic by injection, then ten days of oral antibiotics. He is doing better now but still very tired and weak. He has lost about 13 pounds or so. Since this is our first episode with this illness we don't know a lot of what to expect. Such as: How long does it take to recover from a bout of this? The doctor said the CT scan showed there was no abcess so that's good, just the infection I guess. Also, we have such conflicting advise about what he can and cannot eat. Any help you can give would be great. Thanks!
Hi,
I went through similar situation and found the food situation confusing as well. When your colon is infected and you are on antibiotics you should be on a clear fluids diet for a couple of days to let everything rest. Then a soft food diet so there is no further irritation. As soon as things start to settle down you want to move to a high fiber and lots of water diet. It should be a very high fiber diet and contain both water soluble and insoluble fiber. Some internet searching on high fiber diet and walter soluble / insoluble fiber should give you lots of information. good luck with it, the food thing is confusing because different people have different responses to the foods. Nuts and seeds are bad for many people.
Carole

Carrollton, VA

#71 Aug 9, 2007
I have followed these forums for several months now, but only posted one time. Now it's time to post my pre and post surgery experience. My last attack for which I had to be treated with antibiotics was in February. I had a CT scan before and after and had stool screening as well. According to these tests I was infection free, but I felt as if my condition had become chronic. Always feeling bloated, gassy and constipated. My doctor recommended surgery and I decided this would be best to do electively rather than emergency. I had a presurg colonoscopy in June. The GI doc commented that he had to change to a slimmer probe about halfway through due to some restriction in the colon which he chalked up to scar tissue from multiple attacks over the past 2 years.

I scheduled an appointment with a surgeon, who reviewed my records and said he believed the surgery could be done laparoscopically. He is an excellent surgeon, highly regarded in the area and I have great confidence in him. The hospital staff spoke very highly of him as well.

Because of scheduled vacation in late June and early July, I scheduled the surgery for Aug. 1. The week before the surgery I was bloated, and constipated and took Miralax every night until Sunday, but with rather minimal "skinny" results. I started a clear liquid diet on Monday before surgery and on Tues. afternoon took Nulytely to clean out my colon preop. Wednesday was surgery day. When I woke up from the surgery, the surgeon said he could only describe what he had found as "a mess." He found significant scarring, restrictions almost obstructions and my rectal area (where they would normally attach the colon) infected and swollen. He had to call in a second surgeon to help and I was under the knife for 5 hours. The doctor has marvelled repeatedly how I could have been in such shape and not be doubled over with excrutiating pain. Well I didn't have significant pain just discomfort and fatigue. He feels I would shortly have required emergency surgery. Needless to say, I have an eight inch scar from my navel to pubic bone and a colostomy. While the colostomy is reversible, I have to go through this same surgery again in a few months. Post surgery has been rough, although the push button pain killer during the first 3 days was great, and the Percocet since has kept the pain manageable. The worst was the tube down my nose. the back of my throat got more and more sore as the days went by and no pain killer helped. Removal of the drain tube on the 4th day after surgery, while quick, caused severe cramps in the rectal area briefly.

I came home from the hospital on Aug. 7 and each day, I feel slightly stronger and slightly less pain. I have a home health nurse 2x a week to monitor my incision and colostomy and my significant other to assist me in getting in and out of bed (the hardest) and keep the household running. I took my first walk outside today, just around our cul-de-sac and was tired and dripping with sweat when I came back in. We are having 100 degree weather this week, so we're going to set up the tread mill for me to walk.

I would be glad to answer anyone's questions and would be interested in your comments.
Carole

Carrollton, VA

#72 Aug 9, 2007
PS. The pathology report on the 14" section of the colon that was removed showed multiple little abcesses, about the size of peppercorns, that would not have shown up on the CT scan.
Biker

Polk, OH

#73 Aug 9, 2007
Carole, it sounds like you are tough as nails and will definately feel much better after you have fully recovered. I marvel at how strong people are, and how strong they become, when faced with the prognosis and ultimately the cure. Thanks for sharing your experience. You are on your way back.
Carole

Carrollton, VA

#74 Aug 9, 2007
Thanks Biker, I have been truly inspired by the people on this forum and had I not read about all the not so good as well as the good experiences, I think I would be very discouraged at this point. But I'm determined to prevail and am confident I will come out of this better than before, even with all this in between.

I retired (age 66) in January and believe me this was not how I had planned to spend my retirement! Hopefully it will only get better once this is resolved.
Mike

AOL

#75 Aug 9, 2007
I have had Acute Diverticulitis for 2yrs now Hospitalized 4 times. Recently hospitalized given Antibiotics and had a Consult with a Surgeon. Ofcourse they are telling me after the second incident why I have not had the Surgery. I only did what my regular Doctor told me and he was not for the Surgery unless I absolutely needed it. I am scheduled for Surgery this month and ofcourse terrified but hoping the outcome is worth it. I suffer daily and CT showed that I have a sever case where I even formed long strands. I had to see a urologist do to the pain I was having in my Bladder area when I have the attacks. My pain now is on the right side which they say is unusal since it is usually on the left side. Anyone have these symptoms? About the surgery I have chose to do the elective because they said I may not need a colonoscopy at this point if not an emergency surgery. I am glad that I founf this forum as I have learned a lot and no longer feel like the only one going through this. Calling the Dr. Tomorrow though I am having a lot of pain on my right side off and on no matter what I eat.
Mike

AOL

#76 Aug 9, 2007
Hi Carol, Is the nurse part of the process or are you paying for that? Just currious as I will probably be alone most of the time after surgery, Thanks...Mike
Carole wrote:
I have followed these forums for several months now, but only posted one time. Now it's time to post my pre and post surgery experience. My last attack for which I had to be treated with antibiotics was in February. I had a CT scan before and after and had stool screening as well. According to these tests I was infection free, but I felt as if my condition had become chronic. Always feeling bloated, gassy and constipated. My doctor recommended surgery and I decided this would be best to do electively rather than emergency. I had a presurg colonoscopy in June. The GI doc commented that he had to change to a slimmer probe about halfway through due to some restriction in the colon which he chalked up to scar tissue from multiple attacks over the past 2 years.
I scheduled an appointment with a surgeon, who reviewed my records and said he believed the surgery could be done laparoscopically. He is an excellent surgeon, highly regarded in the area and I have great confidence in him. The hospital staff spoke very highly of him as well.
Because of scheduled vacation in late June and early July, I scheduled the surgery for Aug. 1. The week before the surgery I was bloated, and constipated and took Miralax every night until Sunday, but with rather minimal "skinny" results. I started a clear liquid diet on Monday before surgery and on Tues. afternoon took Nulytely to clean out my colon preop. Wednesday was surgery day. When I woke up from the surgery, the surgeon said he could only describe what he had found as "a mess." He found significant scarring, restrictions almost obstructions and my rectal area (where they would normally attach the colon) infected and swollen. He had to call in a second surgeon to help and I was under the knife for 5 hours. The doctor has marvelled repeatedly how I could have been in such shape and not be doubled over with excrutiating pain. Well I didn't have significant pain just discomfort and fatigue. He feels I would shortly have required emergency surgery. Needless to say, I have an eight inch scar from my navel to pubic bone and a colostomy. While the colostomy is reversible, I have to go through this same surgery again in a few months. Post surgery has been rough, although the push button pain killer during the first 3 days was great, and the Percocet since has kept the pain manageable. The worst was the tube down my nose. the back of my throat got more and more sore as the days went by and no pain killer helped. Removal of the drain tube on the 4th day after surgery, while quick, caused severe cramps in the rectal area briefly.
I came home from the hospital on Aug. 7 and each day, I feel slightly stronger and slightly less pain. I have a home health nurse 2x a week to monitor my incision and colostomy and my significant other to assist me in getting in and out of bed (the hardest) and keep the household running. I took my first walk outside today, just around our cul-de-sac and was tired and dripping with sweat when I came back in. We are having 100 degree weather this week, so we're going to set up the tread mill for me to walk.
I would be glad to answer anyone's questions and would be interested in your comments.
David S

London, UK

#77 Aug 10, 2007
Hi Carole,
Thanks for an excellent report, your description of symptoms is exactly what I have had for over 2 years, yet it has taken ages for the Doctors to come up with this (possibly because we have National Health Service and not Private Health Care ). When I go to the toilet of my own accord I always seem to do a little then stop, is this similar to others experiences, which helps I believe to the next total stoppage.
Mike, I have more pain on right side, and have had occasions when my Bowel Blockage has stopped me passing Urine, which has meant being referred to Urology Consultant who is concerned that my PSA Blood levels are high which relate to my Prostate. He wants to take a Biopsy, but I have refused this because I believe it is the Diverticulitis which is the cause, and I don't think Phosphate Enemas weekly do me any good.
Am booked in for a Colonoscopy in two weeks so will have to see what the outcome is.
David
Mike

AOL

#78 Aug 10, 2007
Hi David, Thanks for the response as I have been wondering about that right side pain situation. I have had the same symptoms that you mentioned when having a bowel movement which even sometimes releives the pain in my side.I have been through a lot in the last 12 months 4-5 Ct's, Colonoscopy, Hospitalized 3-4 times, Etc. I have been seeing other specialist due to the fact that I am having so much pain and weird symptoms elsewhere but for the most part Diverticulitis related. The last 2 incidents I suffered mostly in the lower abdomen because they said It attached to my Bladder. I could not even stand to go to the bathroom #1 or 2 do to the escrutiating pain in my Prostate and lower cologn area. Luckily I have responded to Antibiotics but I do not feel like I have healed at all this time. At this point I cannot seem to eat anything that does not set it off so a constant pain on side. I am preparing for Surgery next week but have Faith that everything is for the best. Thanks to many in this forum I also feel a lot better about everything. I did have Prostate and everything else check but as you indicated they said it was all Diverticulitis related. Hope this helps, Hang in there!
Carole

Carrollton, VA

#79 Aug 10, 2007
Mike wrote:
Hi Carol, Is the nurse part of the process or are you paying for that? Just currious as I will probably be alone most of the time after surgery, Thanks...Mike<quoted text>
Hi Mike: Since I am Medicare eligible, Medicare is covering my Home Health Nurse and colostomy supplies for 60 days. My private supplemental insurance would kick in if Medicare would not approve an extension of this if needed. If you only have private insurance coverage, you should check with your provider, as each plan is different.

Now home 3 days, and have been able to manage my own care, redressing the incision and emptying the bag. I'll be getting further instructions today on changing the bag, which I started doing in the hospital. You will not likely need more nursing care than this after surgery, and far less if you are able to have laparascopic surgery.
Good luck!
Janet

Minneapolis, MN

#80 Aug 10, 2007
Hello, This is my first post. I am a 40 year old fm and have had 2 hosp stays with diverticulitis. The first hosp stay was 5 days and afterward I was fine. Three years later, I started to eat popcorn, nuts, etc. occasionally. I had my 2nd stay for 4 days in June. I do also have irritable bowls. I was wondering if anyone has changed their diet and not had surgery. My doctor wants me to have surgery b/c of my age and the 2 bouts and it could avoid a colostomy. I guess I feel like the doctors have no other answer but surgery, which I may need, but b/c I feel fine except for the 2 times I went to the hospital, I had pain and a fever and went to the hospital, once I came home I was fine. I guess I'm looking for someone to say don't have the surgery, stay on your diet and see. Any comments or help would be greatly appreciated.

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