Sunday, August 18, 2013

Complications from previous stomach ulcer operation - Hospitalization Stay in SGH - Part 2 / Low-fiber Diet

To continue from, Complications from previous stomach ulcer operation - Hospitalization Stay in SGH - Part 1

The next day, I visited mummy again.....with that tube through her nose and the pumping machine by her bed.........*heart pain*............and her looking so sick.........Sigh..... As I've mentioned previously, the tube through her nose together with the pumping machine is to suck out food from her clogged intestine to relieve the pressure there, and thus relieve her abdominal pain. 

However I thought it through....and requested to speak with the local female doctor again....

With knitted brows, I said:

"But this will only be a short-term solution isnt it? I mean, she cant possibly be on the drip forever and dont take any food right? Once she starts consumption, food gets piled up in the intestine again, clogged at that bent, it will cause pain and vomiting again. And she will have to go through this again right?"

The doctor was clearly taken aback by the fact that I do have a brain that analyzes.

Doc: Hmmm...............erm....ya...I do agree with you that this may only be a short-term solution........*look down deep in thought*

Me: So can she do a surgery or something to nip the problem in the bud?

Doc: Generally we do not encourage patients to go through surgery because every surgery has it's risks and they might also cause other complications, like the one we have right now.

Me: So it means if we do not choose to op....we must prepare ourselves to re-visit the hospital months? 1 year? Assuming her intestine is being cleared fully by that suction machine now, how long it roughly takes for that intestine to get clog again?

Doc: This is difficult to say as it also depends what food she fruits and vegetables which have more fibers might be more difficult to digest and may clog up the intestine faster. Soft foods generally digest better.

Me: Damn! Then why didnt the previous doctor tell us that?? My mum always chose to take more fruits and vege as we've all being educated that they help in digestion!

Doc: No...fibers are difficult to digest. And when such and food piled up at the bent, it also causes pressure. Through time might be dangerous too because the intestines might burst.

Me: What???!!!!!! You mean it may burst anytime when the intestine is full? And it's very dangerous when it bursts???

Doc: Erm yes........

Me: Then we HAVE to do the op no matter we like it or not isnt it? I mean, having the risk of complications IS better than having the risk of a burst intestine RIGHT???

Doc: Erm.................I think this one you need to consult the surgeon, who is working on your mum's case.

Me: Surgeon? I thought you're in charge of my mum's case?

Doc: Yes we are, but a bunch of us are doctors in the medical team. There is another team of surgeons who will discuss about whether your mum need an operation.

Me: (=.=)zzz  Can I speak to the surgeon then?

Doc: Okie, we will arrange for you.

After the doctor left, I turned to look at dearie. I think there's a very "obvious but yet imaginary" 3 lines on my forehead. Like that, (=.=)|||

So doctors like such....patrol wards and patients....asking "how do you feel", arrange patients to be on drips...arrange minimally invasive procedures like insertion of tubes through the nose and such, prescribing antibiotics in drips, painkillers or anti-vomiting jabs etc. Ask them more and they wont know; you need to speak to the surgeon. Surgeons are very busy doing surgeries so they seldom walk about for you to catch them, nor can you request them to call you as easily as doctors do(I do request doctors to call me sometimes when I want to know more about my mum's conditions, since sometimes they're not around. And they called me dutifully).

Anyway, it got me thinking(I always think about many things). Mummy's previous op was 5 years ago. 1 year later, she started having abdominal pains every 3months or so and will usually visit GP. There were 2 A&E occassions where the pain was very bad and during the middle of the night. But she was usually given painkillers and put to rest at the observation ward and eventually sent home when she felt better maybe some 8hours later. So she didnt ward. Then I started to ask mummy about her usual diet, how much she eat etc. She told me she usually have 1 bread in the morning, food like beehoon soup in the afternoon and half portion of rice with other vege for dinner with lots of fruits everyday.

Even if she exclude(or cut down mostly) fruits and veges from her diet.......I's really hard to deduce....what will happen....when and such. But how can 1 avoid eating fruits and vegetables? There will definitely be constipation. Then what can she eat....laxatives? Will it be bad for her stomach or not? Hmm....or maybe she just have to stick to a low-fiber diet...what are the kind of fruits with low fibers leh....I have so many questions running through my head.

Anyway, now I know.....

The saying of Fruits and Vegetables aiding in digestion is clearly a MYTH!

What all the old folks have been saying are clearly misleading.

As I googled "low-fiber diets" for foods which are suitable for mummy to take, many different websites pop up. ALL of them said they are suitable for people who just underwent surgeries and wish to rest their bowels or intestines. They are also great for people with trouble digestion food, suffer stomach cramps etc. But the trouble is, some of the foods they suggest to take and avoid are contradicting each other!

Anyway, since I'm researching for my mummy now(she is discharged already and can eat now), here's a very conservative list which I concluded from those sites on my own, for my own mummy. You may take it for reference if you wish/need, although I may not be completely right. 

My suggested Low-fiber Diet food for my mummy


  • Tender cuts of meat
  • Grounded meat
  • Tofu
  • Fish 
  • Carrots (without skin, boiled/stewed till soft)
  • Potatoes (without skin, boiled/stewed till soft)
  • Eggs
  • Canned mushrooms
  • Margarine
  • White bread
  • Marshmallows
  • Tofu
  • Kiwi
  • Papaya
  • Fully-ripened banana
  • Canned peaches
  • Ice-cream
  • Chocolates
  • Clear jellies
  • Mayonnaise
  • Honey


  • Tough meats
  • Cereals
  • Raw vegetables
  • Vegetables that have stems, like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus
  • Milk
  • Whole-wheat bread
  • Brown rice
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Prune juice
  • All peas, nuts and beans
  • Oranges
  • Corn
  • Onions
  • Raisins
  • Berries
  • Pickles
  • Potato Chips
  • Steamed veges
Also note to drink LOTS of WATER if you're on a low-fiber diet.

Of course this list is also based on my mummy's taste buds. I will specially highlight to her foods which she loves to eat but CANT eat(poor thing...haiz...), and foods which loves to eat and CAN eat. =) 

As far as cooking methods are concerned, try using poaching, stewing, braising, steaming INSTEAD OF frying, grilling or baking as the latter methods make the food drier and tougher.

Anyway...back to the topic on whether op or dont op....if it's me, I will prefer to have the op to remove the abdominal adhesion. 

That night, the surgeon called me to arrange a family conference at 4pm.

Family got me so worried......

to be continued..........................

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