Friday, April 07, 2006

An Unwanted Journey: Day 0134 - BM

Those two letters could stand for a variety of things. In my case, and for my experiences in the past 24 hours, they stand for Bowel Movement, Bad Medicine, and possibly Better Management.

Bowel Movement
Eating solid foods again is a blessing, but waiting for the resected bowels to pass the waste of that new food made me a little apprehensive, so much so that I called the surgeon's office to see how long I should wait before becoming concerned.

Sure enough, 2-3 hours after the phone call, I began passing stool, something which may not be a big deal to most people, but to someone just out of hospital after a resection, this was incredibly good news.

The problem was that it continued, just about every hour, eventually becoming little more than gas and liquid. By then, I was feeling sick.

Bad Medicine
I had been prescribed Tylenol 2 (laced with codeine, a narcotic, and caffeine) orally for post-operative pain relief. It was only Friday morning, after suffering all night, that my wife figured out that I was having a bad reaction to the pain killer. Not only was it doing nothing to relieve the lower back pain, but I was experiencing nervousness, accelerated respiration, inability to sleep, and eventually stomach upset.

After stopping the medication, things got progressively better. Still, the set back cost me another day of nothing but trying to sleep and sip a few liquids. I could eat nothing more than apple sauce and some toast and jam. I slept and slept.

Better Management
The experience has made me realize again how medication can be the source of trouble and not always the cure one hopes for. For now, I'll stick with regular Tylenol, plenty of rest, and hope to regain an appetite. Managing my recovery may be a little more complicated than I anticipated.

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