What I actually had was a pseudoileus, which is when your colon acts like it has an obstruction, but may not actually have an obstruction. Everything gets bloated, and I had an "acute, marked distention of the transverse colon." Interestingly, the colon itself can't be seen on an Xray, but the air blockage can be seen. Leslie and I had the chance to see the Xrays and it was, well, dramatic. Apparently my intestines were swollen by 50-60%, and if that was to continue to grow, there are more dangerous effects and high risks.
There is a standard treatment for conditions like these, but that that was "contra-indicated" by my recent heart surgery as the treatment interferes with the heart rhythm in a major way. And for sure we did not want any emergency surgery at this point.
The good news is that the condition does usually go away on its own. In my case, it lasted through Thanksgiving weekend, but on Monday it was gone. Literally disappeared off the Xray. They of course kept me through the whole time in the hospital under observation, and in the end it really just meant a rather long hospital stay and that a lot of holiday events happened in the hospital instead of at home. Diet was not really restricted, and my sister brought in a wonderful orzo chicken pasta with turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Whether it was the turmeric, Andrew's transverse colon dance, a cup of coffee, or the two buttons the kids bought for me in the photo above, something worked and I am back to normal rehab.
Tomorrow, more fun as I will post a picture of my scar. Trust me, you will laugh. See you then!