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Colostomites

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jun 2010

No, not some nasty bug, but folks with the bag.

I had a full rectum removal on 1-10, and came home on 1-17. Today we saw the surgeon and had the drain removed.

I have been unable to sit, and am in bed most of the time. I go for walks (shuffles) buy they are pretty shrt and I use a cane for balance.

Now, to top it off, my wafer is leaking out towards my belly button! (taped that, should hold for a bit). Seems like no reason for it, been having well formed BM's...

Is this a normal path to recovery, or am I fading?

coloCan
Posts: 1873
Joined: Oct 2009

Is wafer securely affixed to your skin? Is size correct? Are you using anything between skin and wafer,powder for instance?.How soon after you put it on do you notice leakage?
First time me and girlfriend tried changing mine I got so nervous we ended up calling 911 and the two male EMTs, who I'd hoped would complete the process, knew nothing about colostomies so we ended up in ER
.....steve

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jun 2010

the stoma nurse is still cutting them.

Sureprep From MedLine, a kind of adhesive enhancer.

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2998
Joined: Jan 2010

One of the reasons for leakage or less than perfect seal can be some kinda lotion or additive that is still on the skin.

When you wash the area during change time be sure not to use any soap with any kinda lotion or aloe. Even with a good rinse and dry, it will leave residue on the skin which prevents a good seal. This type of thing can also come from toilet paper, or wash cloth or towel which have had a fabric softener used. I personally use paper towels with an antibacterial soap to clean the area, use just a damp paper towel to clean off soap, and then a dry one to make sure no moisture left. Any kinda skin or fabric softening enhancement to products used on this area are not your friend.

It can also be that the area around your stoma has some hills or valleys. If it is consistantly leaking in the same place it may be there is a valley there. There is a product called Stomahesive by ConvaTec which is used as a filler for this type of problem. I am sure there is a similar product by Holister and other manufacturers. You put a bead around the wafer (skin side) kinda like caulking and then put on wafer. It comes with more detailed instruction.

Once in a while I have also noticed that frome the get go a wafter may not seal just as it should...guess just a defective one. If it isn't too big an area, I tape it and go on. However, I don't use any of the regular medical tapes as they tend to be either to hard on my skin or not adhesive enough for the job. I use one from 3M called Medipore which is more of a cloth like product which is sticky and pre-perffed. It is expensive but really works well and is gentle on the skin with little residue and no chaffing.

Hope this helps.

Having a stoma is definately a learning experience, but one that will be come second nature soon, I promise.

Hugs,

Marie who loves kitties

coloCan
Posts: 1873
Joined: Oct 2009

products when taking off a wafer as its much easier on your skin than just pulling it off, like a bandaid...One such is "Uni-Solve" by Smith&Nephew,Inc, called an adhesive remover wipe......

Lori-S's picture
Lori-S
Posts: 1287
Joined: Sep 2010

make sure that you wipe the remover off and dry it well before applying your new wafer so that the remover doesn't keep the new wafer from sticking.

coloCan
Posts: 1873
Joined: Oct 2009

are better than one)

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jun 2010

Called Amy, and she was over within an hour! She cleaned me up and switched me out to a convex wafer. She also pre-cut one just in case.

It also seems the stoma is stabilizing, so I may be able to use pre-cuts in a week or two!

Too much to type right now, but this all led to a breakdown where I cried for about 45 minutes. Now I just want to sleep!

Crow71's picture
Crow71
Posts: 681
Joined: Jan 2010

Man, I've been there. Having ostomy problems can really suck. I broke down all the time at first. You've just gotta roll with it and move on. You'll get the hang of it. Some folks use lots of products - spray cleaners, prep wipes, paste etc. I've been at my best when I didn't use anything - just stick the wafer to clean dry skin. I try to lay still in bed for 10 or 15 minutes to let the wafer 'cure.' That time makes a difference.

The real key, as others have said, is the cut. If it's too tight, the stoma gets irritated. If it's too big, the poop gets to the skin and works it's way under the wafer causing a leak, as well as some irritated skin. I am extremely fortunate to have my wife cut my wafers for me. I could't cut worth a darn to begin with, haven't been able to since kindergarten. Now my fingers are pretty neuropathetic, and I'm even worse.

I've had a colostomy and I now have an ileostomy. Both times it took well over a month for the stoma to settle down. Chemo caused changes in the shape and size as well. Sometimes I think Mr. Dribbles just changes for no other reason than to piss me off.

I'm always here to answer questions as best I can. You can also vent when things go wrong. We'll understand.

Take care. Keep walking.

Roger

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2998
Joined: Jan 2010

As the guys have said, been there done that.

When I was first home I used a walker I was so unsteady on my feet.

I changed to a no cut wafer as soon as I could get out for them. I never could get the cut just right. Just don't stock up too much as the stoma will probably shrink in size over the next few weeks. Your home health nurse or the ostomy nurse should be able to give you a stoma guage (cardboard with different size holes) so that you can tell what size you need.

As for the emotions, I too suffered from the "will I ever get better" feelings. The surgeon gave me a prescription for a light antidepressant. I used them for about 2 weeks and by that time I was feeling better physically, eating small meals and getting around better. Don't hesitate to ask for something from your doctor.

It does get better, but for me it was not as fast as I thought it should be, hence the depression.

So hang in there. It will get better, even if it is slow baby steps for the first month.

Hugs,

Marie who loves kitties

karguy's picture
karguy
Posts: 1024
Joined: Apr 2009

Been there,done that.Untill my stoma stablized I had to cut my own wafers ,and sometimes it would cut into my stoma.I had trouble at first also.Now I use an adhesive remover,wash it off real good with a wet wipe a couple of times,then wipe the area off with an alcohol wipe,then put about a 1/4 inch of adhesive around the edge of the stoma,and skin,then put on the wafer,and let it set for about 10 minutes while pressing around the edge to help it seal.When I started to go for walks I used a walker with a seat so I could sit when I got tired,then as I got better I used a cane.For about the first month or so I could not sit up,or lay on my back,I had to lay on my side.Good luck.

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