Gastroenteritis and an Ostomy?


As you may have been aware if you follow my social media that I had been in hospital for just under a week suffering with possible gastroenteritis. If you haven’t suffered this yet with an ostomy I wanted to let you know what I went through in case you go through something similar.

It started off with me thinking I had a partial blockage and I vomited with it (unfortunately I had had chillies for my meal previously and I don’t think I have to explain how horrific it was!) then I had a few watery empties. I took myself off to the Doctors and even though I had lost around 5 litres of fluid by the afternoon and had been unable to drink or eat without feeling incredibly sick, they told me to take anti sickness and get in touch tomorrow if I felt worse.

I felt even worse the next day with no improvement on the watery output; so I rang the GP back and was referred to one of the assessment wards at my local hospital (after a bit of a run around as I was told I needed a letter then I didn’t) and then sent to another assessment ward. I waited an hour before seeing a very pleasant junior Doctor and then one of my usual surgical registrars. The usual was done a feel of my tummy and bloods were taken before they put up some fluids.

I remember my intestine “snapping” much like a elastic band which has happened before and I was lucky in a sense that the junior Doctor was able to ascertain that I wasn’t on the receiving end of a hernia…thankfully. But we weren’t able to work out other than it being similar to a cramp from a sharp movement.

I had attempted some sandwiches and left the ward with my Partner in Crime Louise then vomited again but as a first for me in the elevator, I can vividly remember crouched down holding the elevator and sending Louise to get someone to clean it up! I wouldn’t like to call an elevator and see that when the doors opened! I was admitted 6 hrs later onto my usual surgical ward where I again attempted to eat then fell asleep when Louise left. Unfortunately I vomited again before being hooked back up to fluids.

The next two days were pretty awful my stoma had doubled in size and slightly prolapsed (mine is flush with my skin) then my output had turned white then clear. I lost around 3 litres in an hour and was in a lot of pain, I was given morphine and hooked up to more IV pain relief, anti sickness and more fluids. Placed on limited oral fluids of 1 litre plain fluid and the rest of at least 1 litre diaoralyte, I already have quite a restrictive diet (in hospital at least) with being a vegetarian, then I was told not to eat leafy greens, tomatoes and things with skins amongst others.

It took till Tuesday for everything to finally settle down and I was able to start absorbing food and fluids again which was a bloody relief I can tell you! Come Wednesday morning I was rudely told that I no longer was needed to measure both outputs as if it was something I got pleasure out of which it most certainly was not! I was back on oral tablets with the view to going home that evening. I can safely say I don’t ever EVER want to get a tummy bug again nor do I want any of you to suffer it either, but hopefully you have an idea of what to look for and to tell your GP so you get help sooner.