life with an ostomy. candid, not sugar-coated. empowered, not embarrassed.

Apr. 9, 2007

You've got questions?

I've got answers.
Here's a green light to anyone with questions about my ileostomy.
Go ahead! Ask away! A nice lady named Roxanne did!!

Roxanne's first few questions...

R: Your stoma looks like it really hurts; does it?

J: No, the stoma I can't really feel at all. I can only feel pressure on it. The peristomal skin is what sometimes hurts. That's the skin just around the stoma; a small ring of skin has never completely healed. I've had Enterstomal Therapy nurses (aka ET nurses, aka wound care specialists) say it should heal, but many ostomates I've talked to haven't had it heal completely.
Most of the time the peristomal skin doesn't hurt... it only hurts when it marinating in liqui-poo that's slipped under the flange - which indicates it's time for a bag change! - and it hurts when it first comes into contact with the glue I put on underside of the flange - there's alcohol in the glue.

Actually, the peristomal skin feels somewhat orgasmic when I take off the flange and clean it with a wet cloth... ahhhh... it bleeds at bit, but not for long. And honestly, the pleasure of the itching and rubbing is divine, even though it hurts a bit.

R: Is it constantly flowing so you have to wear your bag all the time? Even in the shower, and at a swimming pool?

J: The output from my stoma sometimes slows down depending on what I eat and drink, but it never completely, or predictably, stops. I used to eat a banana 30 minutes before each bag change, because it would slow my bowel activity down for about an hour, but now I don't bother because I've become pretty adept with a quick bag change.

I occasionally take the bag off in the shower - when I do, the poop uncontrollably flows down my front, and it gets to be a ridiculous game of soaping the skin to clean off the poop, and then my stoma erupting again. Plus, poop in the pubes is pretty unappealing. But then again, it feels nice to have that skin exposed for ahile and under the warm water.

Yep, I wear my bag swimming too. I usually wear a speedo, which keeps the bag really tight against my abdomen, plus the patterns on speedo suits are great for obscuring the hard plastic ring where the bagsnaps into to the flange.

R: How does farting work?

J: When I 'fart' - it's usually not like farts coming out of an anus, because I don't have a rectum, or any other kind of receptacle at the end of my digestive tract where gas, or poo, collects before coming out all at once. So mostly my farts come out in small bubbles, just whatever air happens to be cruising through my intestines before peeping out into the light of day (or the light of my bag at least). There's only sometimes a sound, and those are mostly very quiet. Although a few times it's been hilariously loud - like when I farted while talking to my landlady, and she looked at my tummy and said "wow- you must be hungry!"

Some ostomates I've talked to have bigger issues with noise. One woman I knew was a lecturer and she used to hold a small pillow against her tummy at all times to muffle the noise. She had a colostomy though, and I think having a larger stoma, with a portion of your large intenstine intact, makes a difference.

About 25% of the content of my bag is gas when I wake up at about 6am to empty it. Often the bag is like a goodyear blimp floating on my abdomen.

R: Can you anticipate the gas and poo coming out, and can you feel it when it does?

J: Sometimes I can feel the gas coming, but it's a subtle feeling. Sometimes I think a fart is coming, but it's not. But like I said, it's mostly little fart bubbles that come out, and I don't feel that at all.

I only feel the poop coming out when there's a big surge of it. and no, there's no more sense of urgency or satisfaction from pooing. I miss that. well, I would say there's a mild satisfaction after some particulary exciting eruptions, but nothing so satisfying as the days when I had explosive diarreah, or that feeling of laying a huge log after awhile on the toilet.


Blogger Anna said...

I have a question of my own, actually...what is there now where your anus used to be? Is it, like, stitched up or something?

Great blog, by the way...your honesty and frankness is truly admirable! :)

4:36 p.m., April 14, 2007

Blogger Michaela said...

Hi. I got across your blog completely random - upon googling colostomy so I would know *what* it is. It started with fascination and ended with admiration and honest interest - thank you so much for this fantastic blog. It´s challenging, informative and all kinds of awesome.

And right, my question! How about your diet? Any foods you had to omit completely? But, my main question would be: how does it work with hydration - I mean, how do you compensate all the water your body would absorb back from the poo wasn´t for your ostomy? Just how much do you have to drink?
Thank you.

5:51 p.m., May 12, 2007

Anonymous loubylou07 said...

Hi, I love your blog, it's great. I have had my ileostomy since I was 11 and am now 22. This is quite random, but I keep trying to find photos of pregnant woman who have an ileostomy or something similar on the net but I can't find anything. I don't want kids yet, but I want to know what it's all going to look like whenever I do get pregnant. Weird I know! But I don't suppose you know of any? I've vowed that when I do get pregnant I will post loads of pics for others to look at if they want! It's so frustrating! Take care xXx

12:41 p.m., October 10, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My question --and forgive me if you've been asked this a million times before-- why do doctors install the opening in the abdomen instead of a more "natural" place, like the area-formerly-known-as the anus?

10:29 p.m., August 19, 2008

Anonymous jackets said...

I don't know what has happened to our wonderful author. I truly miss her. But to answer the question from above. You have to ware a devise to capture the waste material (poo). The "natural" location would be next to impossible to put the bag on and off and keep clean. The opening may just be the most functional location.

9:52 a.m., December 16, 2008


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