15 days post op ........... the journ... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
18,346 members12,489 posts

15 days post op ........... the journey starts here


Day 15 the day from hell !!!!!

I wasn’t going to post the following account of day 15 as I thought it’s possibly a step too far but when I started doing these posts I said it would be truthful warts and all so I’ve decided to tell it like it was and if I offend anyone in the process I apologise in advance. I’ve always been an honest person and to me it’s just another part of my journey on the road to full recovery .

I told you I’d been a little constipated well things came to a head yesterday it started about about 2pm when I got the urge to go but couldn’t it was there but I couldn’t pass it . I told the nurse who gave me senokot I wanted to do a walk but after 50 metres I got the urge and had to come back sat in the loo for about 45 minutes absolutely nothing would pass . I went up to my room at 4pm to be near the loo just in case as the pain was starting to become a problem . She said it’s been caused by my lifesaver painkillers “Oxycodon” apparently anything with “co” in the title contains codene and this is the major cause of severe constipation. I missed evening supper at 6.30pm as I was scared to leave the room and wasn’t hungry anyway . I had been sat on the loo for another hour but something was stuck there was no way I was going to be able to pass this stool it just felt an impossible task I was told not to push too hard because of my new heart valve just do lots of little pushes. It was now 8.30pm and I’m in real pain I needed a wee but it felt like something was pushing on my prostate and although the urge to have a wee was there I now couldn’t pass water so I’m worried . The nurse said your not gonna like this but I need you to lie on your left hand side on the bed which I did and she proceeded to give me an embarrassing sepository and an enema I had to lay there for at least 10 minutes or longer if I could ignoring the urge to go. After 15 minutes there was still no urge 20 minutes still nothing I lay there for 30 minutes then went to the loo ....... what a disaster loads of diarrhoea but “he who would not surface “ was still stuck and refusing to budge I was now very worried and had visions of having to go to the local hospital to be sorted as I was in a lot of pain . The nurse was amazing she kept reassuring me that between us we would sort it . It’s now 11.00pm and I’m given another dose of senokot I told her it’s not going to work I’m just going to do lots more diarrhoea but it won’t sort out the real problem the blockage . I’m now sat there swearing at my my poo .......... come on you little bastard .......why won’t you bleep bleep come. ..... frustration and pain send you over the edge I hope no one heard me because if they had they would have thought I was a complete fruitcake !!!

The nurse came back at 11.45pm and suggested she put some gloves on and massaged my rectum from behind whilst I sat on the loo ......... I can honestly say I’ve never felt so vulnerable, embarressed and completely exposed as I did when she was doing that. It was painful and she kept apologising but I told her to carry on as this needed sorting I’d got to the stage where I didn’t care any longer this had to come out . 30 minutes of massage of the rectum and she wanted me to start pushing oh my god I was pushing she was massaging and it eventually happened I can’t describe how it felt it was a mixture of joy, an element of embarrassment and complete relief and within minutes of it happening the pressure was off my prostate and I was able to wee which was a godsend. It’s now around 12.45 to 1am and it’s all about getting cleaned up and trying to get some sleep I thought I’d endured enough embarrassment for one day then she came back in the room and said because of all the laxatives we’ve given you plus the enema and the sepository I’m gonna need you to wear this just for tonight in case you have an accident while your asleeep ........... “an adult pull-up “ I said what do you expect me to do with that she said wear it under your boxers or your pyjamas just for tonight after everything she’d done for me it was the least I could do so I got changed and went to bed

I Woke up this morning and after a coffee managed to go to the loo without pain that will be last nights senakot still working through

The events between 2pm and 1 am yesterday were so bizarre you mind is saying ...... did that really happen ......... well unfortunately it did. I now have the dilemma of knowing what the root cause is “ Oxycoden” and trying to cut back on using my pain killers it’s a viscous circle and one that’s gonna take some real managing as I never want to find myself in a similar situation to yesterday

I’m shattered and need to catch up on some sleep and as previously stated I hope I haven’t offended anyone by just being honest

Pete ❤️

48 Replies
HiddenThis reply has been deleted
in reply to Hidden

Hi Happyjo

I hope so what else can you do lol 😂😂

Morning Pete. Absolutely vital to post this information and in such an honest manner. Unfortunately many pain meds are responsible for constipation. worth eating as much natural laxatives as possible prunes fruit leafy greens etc along with lots of water. Gentle massaging of the abdomen (following the path of the colon) can also help. Sorry you’re going through this it can be extremely painful exhausting and frustrating as you have found out! Take care. Zena x

in reply to Zena166

Hi Z

Thank you Angel just what I needed to hear

Pete ❤️

Hi Pete, a story to share with friends over a pint or two! I do love your posts as you make me laugh whilst sympathising with your situation and dread at possible things to come when it’s my turn! 😳

It reminded me of a similar situation we ladies can find ourselves in after giving birth- damned if you push and damned if you don’t!

Keep posting Pete!!❤️❤️

in reply to sims789

Hi Joan

I can imagine how difficult it must be for you ladies ........ much respect !!!!

Take care

Pete ❤️❤️

Hi Peter, Constipation is no joke at the best of times and with your situation, it must have been a nightmare. I agree with Zena try all the natural laxatives in your diet and hope that keeps things gently working. I think your posts make people aware of situations that may arise after major surgery. I for one prefer to know these things and be prepared. Hope you have a better and more comfortable day today.


Thanks Joan

That means a lot

Pete ❤️

Hi Pete, constipation is something I suffered with, I take Codeine as well. Now I have a problem with it. I have been taking it for 5 years, tried to stop taking them a couple of times but it made me feel so bad with sweats and shakes. I told my doctor and he is slowly bring the amount I take down to zero.

The constipation ended after 2 months or so. But a bigger problem, the Codeine has took over. So be aware.

Look after yourself and don't over do things again. Your body and not your heart will let you know what's rite. Look forward to your posts.

Blessings, Andy

in reply to AndtH

Cheers Andy

Sorry you had a problem with codene hope you completely off it soon

Pete ❤️

Hi Pete, thanks for your honesty and I’m sure you’re not alone with that problem post surgery. It’s a frequent problem following general anaesthetic and every time the nurses came round on the drug run they asked if we’d had a movement! I have to take paracetamol and codeine almost daily because of my back so I have to be careful about constipation. I also can’t take senna or senakot as it gives me really bad stomach cramps. In hospital they gave me lactulose and if I do get constipated I take a stool softener. You need to make sure you drink plenty too, as that helps to keep your bowels moving.

Glad you’re all sorted now, sounds like it was worth the embarrassment.

Wendy x

in reply to Fredders

Hi Wendy

I’m sure I’m not on my own as you say and although I feel better today I’ve no energy and I’m just trying to chill and recooperate . Tomorrow is another day hopefully along with it comes some energy I can but hope

Thank you so much for your reply

Pete ❤️

Another great 'warts & all' post from you Pete. It helps prepare others about to go through a similar journey.

I sympathise with your embarrassment - but I'm having a chuckle too :-)

Take care,


in reply to IanMK

Hi Ian

I completely get you chuckling I would too but boy I never want to go through that again

Take care my friend

Pete ❤️

Oh Pete you certainly have a way with the English language. Poor you. I keep getting visions of that poor nurse massaging your butt and agree you'll have a good laugh at it in a few days when the trauma settles down. Keep well my friend. Shiona

in reply to Shoshov

Hi Shiona

I’m sure I’ll eventually see the funny side as I do with everything else life throws at me you need too otherwise you’d end up very sad

Thanks for your message

Pete ❤️

Good morning pete,

The posts are great, save them for later, but don't spare the detail. You will look back at the experience in a few months time and realise you are stronger for it. Much.

Regarding painkillers - morphine based painkillers are the easy reach for some medics. Enquire about alternatives - alternating ibuprofen and paracetamol, or something not morphine based.

Its your body and your journey, rest hard.


in reply to justinrp

Hi Justin

Thanks for your reply I will take your advice re the painkillers and I will not spare the detail as you say

Thanks Justin

Pete ❤️

Pete, good post mate.

I had two bouts of constipation post op and it just ain't funny. All part of the recovery process but one that we with fragile chests could do without.


Hi Alec

Glad it’s not just me then but also sad others have had to suffer the same

Thanks Alec

Pete ❤️

Hi Pete

Poor you. I remember my mother being in a similar situation after taking a codeine based drug. Nothing worked for her until a lovely nurse said that she would try a herbal enema used in the West Indies.

Look after yourself and let us know if you feel better tomorrow.


Thanks Ann

I’ll bear that in mind your poor mom I feel for her

Take care

Pete ❤️

Everyone jokes about constipation, until it really happens to them. You have my total sympathy. Are you still taking morphine based pain killers 15 days on?

Hi Steve

I was taking something called “Oxycodon “ which is an opiate and does contain codene which is the constipation king apparently !!!!

Met the doctor at the convalescent home yesterday I haven’t had a painkiller now since Thursday lunchtime as I’m scared of getting another bout of constipation he’s prescribed me tramadol as a back up should I need it instead of the oxycoden but at the moment I’m trying to cope with out they want me to take lactolose for my bowels which I’ve started this morning hopefully things will go to plan

Pete ❤️

I've been on oxycodone for 18 years so I know the problem well. I find that prunes sort me out literally overnight but if that fails, a daily dose ( or alternate days) of lactulose keeps things moving without the pain that senokot causes.

in reply to Qualipop

Hi Qualipop

I may have to become a lover of prunes , never had them but they sound like they could defo become part of my diet

Thanks for your reply

Pete ❤️

Hi Pete, I do empathise with you mate. I had this problem post op. Tried so hard to be independant and work it out myself but things did not come to pass... Finally I caved in and the senior nurse who was a lovely soul sorted me out as you describe, it seems terribly embarrassing but their is little dignity in it all just felt sorry for the other 5 lads in the ward behind the curtains. The sense of relief to remove the rock and the hard piece is incredible. I loved that lady for her compassion and kindness in carrying out the procedure but I was treated with respect and now 5 months later I can laugh about it. Always took the sennacot after that until things balanced outas they do.

You take care and enjoy the nurses attention, they are priceless on a cardiac ward!

in reply to Dockdog

Hi Dockdog

I’m sure I’ll be laughing about it soon and to hear you had exactly the same is in someways a relief those nurses are nothing short of Angels .

Pete ❤️

Honestly Pete, I’m so sorry but I did chuckle. Most women have these sorts of conversations (and some) routinely, especially after childbirth. I won’t bore you with stiches or dilation stories!! Sharing stuff so honestly is helpful and will help demystify issues for others. Keep on with your blog , Loz xx

in reply to Beekite

Hi Loz

I know my situation is nothing like what you wonderful ladies go through during childbirth i can’t begin to imagine But I’m getting lots of replies from men who have had a similar experience to me and do you know what it is definitely good to talk

Thanks for your message Loz

Pete ❤️

MichaelJHHeart Star

I cannot tolerate either ibrufen or the 'co's. Whilst the anesthetic and morphine made me somewhat constipated (senna and furosemide get you walking) I have no issues with tramadol.

Cheers Michael

I will use the tramadol as and when I need it I do think I was probably using the Oxycodon on a regular basis and with hindsight may have been able to spread them out more . Hindsight is a wonderful thing as always

Pete ❤️

Hello Pete.

What an utter nightmare deluxe..you are so brave. Bless your for sharing. Your postings are so delightfully ~ tell it exactly like it is, warts and all. Thank goodness your hilarious sense of humour prevails. Rest easy 🌻

in reply to Red20

Hi Red20

Thank you for your lovely message I will keep the posts coming

Pete ❤️

Loving your posts! What an absolute nightmare. Poor you. I remember when I was in hospital I was given a dose of lactulose every day I was there (liquid dose) which did the trick and was given a bottle of it to take home with me, never used as I didn't take codeine only paracetomol. Hope things improve xx

Hi wiltsgirl

Thank you for your kind words

Beautiful picture of a golden retriever by the way

Pete ❤️

She's my baby, keeps me sane and makes sure I have to walk every day xx

I had dogs all my life mainly cocker spaniels but I rescued a dog and she was a Border Collie German Shepherd cross called Molly she was mega intelligent and I had her for 17 years still miss her now

My rehab nurse said dogs should be on prescription

Get me a prescription now lol 😂😂

Pete... Absolutely right about the codeine... I have a friend who dare not even touch ONE it has such a bad effect on her... What a game you've had with poo... I do hope you are feeling better..

Thank you so much for your messsge I will never knowingly touch codene again

Take care

Pete ❤️

Pete, thank you for your brutally honest post! It made me laugh on a particularly bleak day after my angiogram showed my stent was 95% blocked and they had to open it up again with balloons. I am avidly reading all of them to prepare myself for my op in October. Very educational....the sort of thing no one else is going to tell me. Keep them up and the honesty...it's very much appreciated.

All the best


in reply to KitsP

Hi K

Thank you so much your supportive words mean a lot to me

Take care and I hope the operation goes well in October

Pete ❤️

No you havent offended what an awful experience for you

Thanks jezzamont

That’s all I need to hear

Pete ❤️

Hey Pete, just catching up on your latest posts (been busy with boring work stuff) - crickey! Hope it all gets sorted for you mate. But hope things (especially down there) are starting to sort themselves for you now. Nic

in reply to Nic25

Hi Nic

Thanks for your message .........I hope so too

Take care

Pete ❤️

You may also like...