a green waterslide curling down towards the ground

My Dad’s Illness: A Perforated Bowel, Nine Long Weeks and a Few Thank Yous.

28th December 2017

Nine weeks ago I was in Lloret de Mar with my gorgeous boys when I got the news that my Dad was in hospital. Initially I wanted to fly home to see what I could do to help but my Dad insisted everything was fine and being taken care of. Little did I know that nine weeks later he’d still be in hospital, although the end of this journey is now very near.

Three days ago my Dad had surgery to join up his bowel back together after living with two stomas for eight weeks. Unfortunately, the day we flew back from Lloret he suffered a perforated bowel and had an emergency surgery the following day after suffering with more pain than he’s ever felt in his life.

Recovery has been long and hard for him both physically and mentally. Imagine being confined to a hospital bed for weeks on end with no end in sight. It’s mental torture not knowing when you will be well enough to live a normal life again.

At three and a half weeks post op my Dad was discharged and I went to stay with him for a few days to help him get back on his feet, so to speak. At that point it felt like he’d been in hospital forever, although looking back now it seems ridiculous, laughable even, that he was deemed fit to be discharged at that time. He lasted six days at home before ringing me asking if I could contact the hospital about readmission. He’d lost half a stone, was severely dehydrated and malnourished. All despite eating three meals, snacks, hundreds of Imodium tablets and quaffing a litre of St Mark’s solution every day.

Despite eating well and being fed through a tube, he has continued to lose weight which has been hard to watch. Being fed via tube has helped him to increase the all important albumin levels which needed to be at a certain point before they’d consider this latest surgery.

On Thursday my Dad was taken down to theatre and after a few hours I went down to the hospital to see him once he was awake. What a difference eight weeks makes.

Eight weeks ago after his first emergency surgery I was faced with a sedated man who was on a ventilator and had about a thousand wires coming out of his body. He was being pumped full of antibiotics and fluids trying to combat the infection that had spread due to the perforation. He had a central line going into his neck trying to stabilise his blood pressure which was extremely low. He had a tube up his nose and into his stomach to collect bile and two drains which collected infection from inside the body. His potassium and magnesium levels were extremely low and his albumin levels were a paltry 9. After waking from sedation he was on oxygen and his heart rate wouldn’t dip below 100 for days. Drugged up, he would hallucinate and ramble on about insignificant things. At times it felt like he was trying to say his goodbyes. It was a scary time.

This time when I was taken in to see him I was faced with a man who was awake, alert and had only one wire going into his arm to give him fluids. I could have cried, but in all honesty I am out of tears after the past nine weeks.

They say that recovery from this second and final operation will take one week and then life can try to resume some sort of normality. My Dad can work on regaining his strength, trying to gain a little weight and get used to a world that doesn’t involve hospital beds, snarky nurses, drips, tubes and snoring men who are in close proximity.

I’d really like to thank a few people for their support over the past few months: my Mum for having Dexter at a drop of a hat whenever I’ve needed to go and see my Dad; my friends who have sent me lots of messages asking how my Dad is and offering to babysit or visit him; my co-workers who have put up with me constantly on my phone, taking ad-hoc days off and asking me everyday how he is; my secret Santa who sent me some wonderful gifts to help me focus on myself and my husband who has been a great support when I’ve been really worried. Most of all thanks to my Dad who despite being on death’s door (my first mistake was googling the chance of death from a perforated bowel) fought hard to get to get better and survive. As hard as it’s been for me to see him like this, he’s the one who has had to suffer the pain of the perforation and the battle to get through recovery. 

 I wouldn’t have been able to get through the past few weeks without you all so, from the bottom of my heart, thank you


  • Devon Mama

    2nd January 2018 at 8:56 am

    What a stressful few weeks for you all, I can’t believe how long it’s been going on for and how well you’ve dealt with it. So pleased that his operation went well and hopefully he can build up his recovery now. Don’t forget to take care of yourself as well!! x

  • Cheryl @ Tea or Wine

    16th January 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Wow this all sounds extremely traumatic and stressful for you. I’m so happy to hear that your Dad is now feeling better and on the road to recovery. It certainly is times like this that make you think and appreciate life. #KCACOLS

  • Ali Duke

    17th January 2018 at 9:07 pm

    I can imagine it was a very scary time for you all, I am glad your dad has come through it all. Thank you for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time.

  • mainy

    19th January 2018 at 9:00 am

    Oh goodness, my heart goes out to all of you. What a scary time and worrying. So pleased to see that the recovery for your dad is starting now.
    Mainy x

  • Tracey

    19th January 2018 at 10:38 pm

    What a horrible experience to watch a loved one going through, good to see he is on the road to recovery! Thanks for linking up with #KCACOLS 🙂

  • Franca

    20th January 2018 at 10:03 am

    Oh no, I am so sorry to read this! I can imagine how stressful weeks you might have had! There is nothing more horrible than seeing your family unwell. I am glad that he is much better now and hope things will be better for now one. I hope he has a full recovery and he can go back to his old routine. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, #kcacols

  • Mummy and the Mexicans (Ruth)

    20th January 2018 at 2:46 pm

    This must have been such a worrying and scary time for you, what a terrible ordeal for your dad and for all of you. I’m glad he’s making a recovery now. #KCACOLS

  • mummytodex

    21st January 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Thank you so much Ruth, that means a lot!

  • mummytodex

    21st January 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Thank you Franca, that means a lot. He is getting better everyday now.

  • mummytodex

    21st January 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Thank you Tracey 🙂

  • mummytodex

    21st January 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Thank you Mainy, it has been hard but he is through the worst of it now.

  • mummytodex

    21st January 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Thank you Ali. Yes it was scary and I am very glad to be out on the other side now.

  • mummytodex

    21st January 2018 at 1:59 pm

    It was quite stressful at the time, but these things are sent to try us. I am just so pleased he is recovering well now.

  • mummytodex

    21st January 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Thank you Hayley. I need a few weeks of rest now myself!

  • Anonymous

    30th December 2018 at 4:48 pm

    Lovely article. Your dad (via Facebook) certainly understated his situation. He is a very determined man. Hopefully he will continue to improve, and looks after himself. A very stressful time for you all.

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