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My father

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 436
Joined: May 2011

Hello,

I was wondering if anyone could spear some time and to help me. My father, almost 89, has metastatic colon cancer. He lives in Venezuela, where there is a shortage of everything including medical care and simple medical supplies. His red counts are low, so the doctor recommended iron; however, another doctor said not to give him iron pills because he could get clogged/constipated since he has a tumor inside his colon blocking some of the path. It was recommended iron through IV, but most private clinics are closed due to Good Friday, and we only have pills available. My father seems alert, according to my brother, but he sleeps most of the day and does not want to talk.

Please advice, and God bless you all!

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6220
Joined: Feb 2009

Sorry to hear of your father, and most that he is in a country that has socialized medicine which can be very difficult to deal with.  If he is able to buy some iron pills himself from a pharmacy with his doctor's permission maybe he could try that but that is not a solution to his problem.  He needs a doctor soon if he has a blockage. He needs a good medical staff that has a plan for him and it sounds like right now they don't have something like that to offer.  I'm sorry that I'm not more encouraging.  Hope he can find better medical care.

Kim

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 436
Joined: May 2011

Hola,

Thank you very much for your feedback. I snet him some iron pills, but we are concerned about him becoming constipated. We are trying to get him to an oncologist, private, tomorrow. We'll see what he has to say. 

Thank you very much for responding!

abrub's picture
abrub
Posts: 2097
Joined: Mar 2010

The iron supplements I took also contained a stool softener (Docusate Sodium) to help avoid constipation. Would that be an option for your dad?  If you can't find the combination, perhaps ensuing that he takes a stool softener with his iron might be helpful.

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 436
Joined: May 2011

That sound like a good alternative, thank you so much!

beaumontdave's picture
beaumontdave
Posts: 996
Joined: Aug 2013

That is what I take now, though I start and stop the Colace, depending on how soft things get, but it works for me, taking iron and Colace............................Dave

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 1292
Joined: Oct 2010

We attack anemia with any simple liver dishes, 1 - 2 tablespoons per day boosted Hgb for my family from 10 --> 14, after surgery.  No problems.  Also bone broth from scraps and marrow might be especially useful.

My wife was able to navigate 95+% initial obstruction and anemia for 4 weeks (then surgery) by diet.  How much carefully chewed or juiced or hydration or useful cheap drugs, dunno which mattered most.  There is a whole ethnobotanical approach with knowm leaves and pits that I would not discount in this situation.  We've heard discussions but I am not well versed.

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 436
Joined: May 2011

Yes, liver could help. My brother has been looking for it, but he has not been able to find any. We will continue the search. My father is driking all kind of possible juices to help him raise his red blood cells. In fact, he had blood work today and the RBC are the same. At least these are not going down.

Thank you very much for your input!

Twinzma
Posts: 212
Joined: Jan 2018

I would try to get him to also eat foods, if he can, that are rich in iron. Beans, lentils, cashews and spinach would be good choices. I hope he feels better soon! 

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 436
Joined: May 2011

Afortunatelly, many of these foods give my father gas. I is ona soft diet, since one of the tumors is inside the colon. However, there is still room for him to have bowel movements.

Thank you!

miller1123's picture
miller1123
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2019

Hello Fayard,

 

If any medicine or prescription medicine is not found in Venezuela so you will try an online pharmacy. I have also used an online pharmacy for my cancer care prescription. I am suffering from throat cancer.

 

[Content removed by CSN Support Team.]

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 436
Joined: May 2011

Hola Miller,

I appreciate your feedback. Some of it was removed. If you can, please send me a message with whatever was removed.

Thank you and good luck with your treatment!

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 436
Joined: May 2011

Hello,

I wanted to share with everyone an update on my father’s health. He is in the process of having a colostomy. The doctor said that is best to have it done now that he is still sort of strong than waiting until he has an obstruction. We are now very stressed about the bags he is going to need. As I mentioned before, Venezuela is not a country where you can’t easy find food, so much less colostomy bags, not to mention the costs L He is in pain constantly: lower back, legs and around tumor. I have sent him some CBD oil to try for pain, but it has not arrived yet. He currently takes Tramal/Tramadol and also a shot of a similar pain killer when the pain is unbearable.

Does anyone know about any retail online store where I can explore prices? Donation centers? Leftovers from anyone? I have been trying to find out the type of bags my father will need, but it has become a challenge. I am not sure if the bags just come in one type/size? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

God bless you all!

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 3327
Joined: Jan 2010

You can get on-line and go to web sites for Coloplast and Hollister.  You can request samples, they will be glad to send them to you in USA free of charge.  

There are almost too many to choose from...I personally use a 2 piece drainable.  This allows for emptying rather than replacing the bag when full.  It also allows for you to just replace the bag if necessary and the flang is still holding well.

I would also suggest that you get flang which already has opening rather than one that needs to be cut to size....just easier.

The size of the flang will be the unknown until the ostomy is done...size varies...also some shrinkage after a short period after surgery.

Another variable is also the position of the stoma.  Some a more protruding than others.  Depending on this you will need to either have convex or concave.

Don't be confused too much.  Just get the samples and have your dad let you know what works or what doesn't.  There are a number of companies which are set up for sales of the two major companies products...just search internet for ostomy supplies.  I think you can also get on Amazon.  Pricing, as with anything is a crap shoot depending on the day.

Best wishes to your dad and to your search to help him.

Marie who loves kitties

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 436
Joined: May 2011

Hola!

Thank you very much for your detailed reply, I greatly appreciate it! I am going to searchmore online right now. Asking for samples is a great start.

God bless you!

LSU2001
Posts: 24
Joined: Dec 2017

I don't know anything about ostomy's or supplies but I would like to mention some exprience I have with chronic and often times severe rectal pain. I see above that your father has some Tramadol available but that is a very weak pain med.  it is a very small amount of opiod with a lot of acetaminophen.  For me it help a tiny bit but was not even close to enough to give me decent pain relief. I am currently prescribed fentanyl patches and a sublingual spray for breakthrough pain but to be honest when my pain is only moderate it seems to me like driving a nail with a sledgehammer.  I have found that using medical marijuana in the form of a concentrated oil (Rick Simpson Oil)  helps  relieve the pain tremedously and helps me use less of the opiod meds another good effect is that it really kicks up my appetite so I can eat even when I really don't want to eat.  I mention this even though I have no clue as to the availablity or legality of making this oil in Venezuela  but I will include a link to a video about this option.  When living in a country where even basic survival is a daily challenge, medical care very limited, and even basic supplies are difficult to find. This may be a helpful alternative to prescription pain meds and it may even help with some anti-cancer properties.  

Video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DK0NJRJAZag

Tim

 

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 436
Joined: May 2011

Hola,

Yes, Tramadol is weak, but it is what we can find. It is difficult, and if found mega exoensive, to find a stronger prescription. I will pass this along to my brother to see if it is doable.

Thank you very much for sharing! 

abrub's picture
abrub
Posts: 2097
Joined: Mar 2010

In fact, the 2 may be taken concurrently to enhance the pain relief (tho no more than 3,000mg of acetomenaphen/day).  Tramadol may also be taken with an NSAID (Ibuprophen or Naproxen) but please check with your pharmacist.  I believe I was sent home from my most recent surgery with Tramadol and Acetimenophen.

Alice

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 436
Joined: May 2011

Thank you!

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 436
Joined: May 2011

Hello everyone,

I wanted to let everyone know that my father is having his colostomy on Monday. My brother had buy even the scrubs the doctors need to perform the surgery, as well as needles, gloves, mask, anesthesia, etc. Fortunately, he was able to find everything needed.

We still don’t know the kind of pouch my father will have, so I am still waiting to order some items here and send them to him. We are now in the stage of planning for my father’s care, and I have some questions I thought some of you can answer:

What brand would you recommend for reusable pouches?

Do you have to wash the inside of the pouch after emptying it? The Hollister website (Ostomy brand) recommends not to wash the reusable pouches, because it diminishes the pouch’s life spam.

Do you have to wear gloves while cleaning the pouch? I watched a video in the Hollister (Ostomy brand) website, and it did not mention anything about gloves. They also mention cleaning the opening with sanitary paper in the inside and use a wipe for the outside.

Every piece of advice is greatly appreciated: brands, skin barriers, tapes, accessories, etc.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6220
Joined: Feb 2009

I'm glad that your father is finally having his surgery but your brother having to buy the scrubs and related items for your fathers surgery just seems so far fetched.  It's hard to imagine a country where someone has to buy these items for a surgery.  Socialized medicine can limit the type of care you get so it is sad to see your father in this terrible situation.

The pouch will depend on your father's stoma once he gets it.  There are so many different stomas depending on how the doctor places it and how it turns out.  Many ostomy suppliers will glady send samples out for free for trial just to have the patient try which works best for them.  I'm not sure about his country, but USA has home health care come in for about 3 weeks after surgery to help assist the patient so what you say about his health care, I'm not sure if that happens.

You don't necessarily have to wear gloves, but it's a good idea after changing to wash your hands completely.  And no, you don't wash the pouch after using.  Depending on the pouch he has it can last up to 4-5 days in between changes.

Wishing him the best of luck for the surgery and let us know how he does.

Make sure that he walks, walks, walks after surgery as this will help him heal.  He might hurt, but it will get things moving for him.

Kim

 

 

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 436
Joined: May 2011

Hola Kim!

Thank you very much for your detailed feedback. Yes, socialized medicine actually hurts citizens. It adds a layer of stress to situations already stressful. I am going to contact a few manufactures here, since in Venezuela that does not work. No, there isn't any nurse sevices coming to your home, unless you pay HUGE bucks for it. That maybe the case for my father. Thank you very much for the advice. I will definitely let my father know about walking after surgery.

Have a great Sunday!

Butt's picture
Butt
Posts: 318
Joined: May 2018

i have never been to South America. However, I have been in 30 plus countries. Many not so well developed countries may require you to pay something to a doctor, give Some money to a nurse and buy pre surgery supplies and bring them on a day of a surgery. Those prices are very low in comparison with US ones and US salary. I had a leg injury while in Kosovo for 3 weeks for work. I got all services on a very high level  but I think it was about $350 or so. Well worth it. I suspect some dollars can go a long way in your country.....

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 436
Joined: May 2011

Hola Butt,

I hope this message finds you well, and everyone else too!

Yes, the dollar is a strong currency, but inflation is completely out of control: in the hundreds of thousands percent per year :( The cost of living is almost as much as any city in the US: chicken between $4 and $6, loaf of bread between $1 and $2, toothpaste $3 a medium size tube, etc. This is without mentioning the lack of electricity, water, transportation and others. I support my entire family, and some neighbors, because I am blessed to be able to send money and supplies there. However, the minimum wage is $2 and $5. No one can live with that, not even in South America. One of my sisters died in 2016 from a pneumonia from which she never recovered. She was 53. Her medical insurance covered her expenses for 3 days. She was in the ICU for 7 weeks. I was paying around $600 per day in a private clinic, because most public hospital are infected and don’t have supplies. And you are correct, that is way cheaper than it is here, but most people can’t afford it with $5 a month. It is very depressing, sad and frustrating, but there is nothing I can’t do to change it. I pray every day that no one in my family becomes sick :( I am sorry all this sounds terrible, I didn't mean to be negative, it's just reality Cry

Thank you for your feedback!

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6220
Joined: Feb 2009

What an awful situation to be in.  I've heard that the citizens are having such a hard time, but just didn't realize how bad medical was there and also how expensive things are for the wages they make.  I'm praying that your father does well.  You sound like a very loving and kind daughter and I'm sure he is proud to have you.  You also are a great caregiver that is trying to desperately help her father in a difficult situation.

Kim

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 436
Joined: May 2011

Kim,

Thank you very much for your comment. I appreciate it!

Butt's picture
Butt
Posts: 318
Joined: May 2018

i have never been to South America. However, I have been in 30 plus countries. Many not so well developed countries may require you to pay something to a doctor, give Some money to a nurse and buy pre surgery supplies and bring them on a day of a surgery. Those prices are very low in comparison with US ones and US salary. I had a leg injury while in Kosovo for 3 weeks for work. I got all services on a very high level  but I think it was about $350 or so. Well worth it. I suspect some dollars can go a long way in your country.....

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 436
Joined: May 2011

Good morning! 

 

My father finally had the procedure yesterday,

and everything went well!

He still has some brain fogs: he wants to remove the colostomy bag and the catheter.

I hope it is still the anesthesia in his system, since this morning my brother sent me

a video and my father looked fine.

 

For now, he has a bag the hospital actually provided, but it seems to be

universal. I am not sure. It is very difficult to get detailed information.

I am praying that everything continues going well.

 

Thank yo very much for your support!

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6220
Joined: Feb 2009

I've been thinking about your dad and have been waiting for an update, so this is wonderful news that the surgery went well.  It's very normal to have a foggy head after surgery.  Also, it can be normal for other sensations to not be the same right after surgery for several days, even sometimes a couple months after surgery.  My strength in my hands disappeared a lot after surgery and my husband lost his taste.  Others will also tell you they had things not the same, but eventually it goes back.  Your dad will get back but it might take some time.  Wishing your dad the best in recovery.  Thanks again for the update.

Kim

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 436
Joined: May 2011

Kim,

Thank you very much!

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 3327
Joined: Jan 2010

I was reading an article which said it is very difficult to get medical supplies shipped from US to Ven. due to customs authorities there and that many shippers are not sending there.

I am unaware of what travel between South American countries is like.  Is it possible for your brother to go to another country and carry the supplies back with him?  Purchasing in another country might be easier than trying to get them in from USA.

I am glad to hear that surgery went well and wish your father best recovery.

Marie who loves kitties

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 436
Joined: May 2011

Hola Marie,

Thank you very much for your thought!

Yes, it is difficult, but I have been using a shipping company, own by Venezuelans, that has worked well. Bringing goods into the country is also difficult. 

You pretty much have to know someone at the airport and pay that person so customs won't still your stuff. 

Thank you very much again for your feedback!

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