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Question for colostomies or ileos

lmliess's picture
lmliess
Posts: 331
Joined: Dec 2008

I had my colostomy surgery March 10. I still feel like everyday I am either battling a constipation and gas stomach ache or that laxative feeling stomach ache from having to take one. Do any of you deal with this? Will it ease up? I ate a tiny bit of grapes and salad yesterday and the gas stomach ache was horrible. Will I ever be able to eat and feel normal?

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

...ostomy nurse told me that by trial and error, we would find out what we can eat or not. I had a grilled chicken caesar salad for dinner one day, and my stomach was feeling soooo bad! It hurt! so I took some Gas-X which relieved it, then a few weeks later, I had another salad, and was able to eat it with no problems! the greens do give off alot of gas usually, but maybe if you take beano or Gas-X before and after you eat the salad stuff, it may help, I actually had a soda yesterday for the first time since my colostomy and that's supposed to give bad gas pains also, but it didn't, so maybe in time there will be things you can eat when it's healing.

lmliess's picture
lmliess
Posts: 331
Joined: Dec 2008

Thats what they told me too, trial and error but I thought for sure salad would be okay by now. Yes, the gas pains were awful! I just get frusterated. I LOVE salads and fruits but I guess I have to be patient introducing them. I would love my daily Diet Dr Pepper but I haven't had one because I don't want the 'bubbles'!

Do you stool softners daily or take fiber to keep regular?

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

I do take a stool softener each day, and I like Miralax mixed with my White Cranberrry/Strawberry juice, I'm sure in time, you'll be able to tolerate those foods better, I was surprised that I was able to have some soda yesterday, and not have any gas, I actually drank it really slow, and not guzzled, and it may have helped. I hope in time you'll be able to eat salads as well, isn't it sad that the stuff like salads and some fruits are bad on the stomach, even though it's healthy for you to eat??? My onc said it could take a few months, maybe even 6 months to tolerate more foods, since it does take awhile for the colostomies to heal, I even had popcorn at the movies last weekend, and it went down nicely, didn't constipate me or anything, and that was the first time I was able to eat popcorn since!

Try just a little of something you like each week, and maybe it will build up the tolerance, we do need the greens for our health, that's for sure. Have you tried Beano or Gas-X?

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6691
Joined: Feb 2009

I had an ileostomy the end of March and at the two week point I was already eating salads. I'm just over a month from surgery and I eat a salad every day, egg plant, zucchini, asparagus, pop, green onions, cucumbers, and nothing has given me gas nor bothered me. I just received a copy of a diet I should be following from the dietician yesterday and all that stuff that I have been eating should have been a no no for at least two more weeks. Obviously, my tummy and digestive track is working well. I know with ileos we cannot eat all that we want (like nuts, popcorn, corn, etc.), but at least I can eat most of my vegetables which I love.

I don't eat breakfast but drink a lot so therefore my mid morning output is the most watery of the day. After I have eaten lunch and dinner it firms up. I know we are supposed to drink more than a colostomy because we loose the liquid faster.

Hope you find a good solution.

Kim

nudgie's picture
nudgie
Posts: 1482
Joined: Sep 2006

I am assuming that you had your colostomy reversed? If so, my surgeon would not let me leave the hospital until I passed gas, which took quite awhile. I also remember terrible stomach pains before passing any gas. My surgeon also had me on stool softener for awhile which also helped. In regards to the consitpation, I was alwasy constipated, so I guess being DX with colon cancer was blessing.

I am no longer constipated, but passing gas is another story. I eat a lot of fruits and veggies which do not help the siutation, but to stay healthy you gota do what you gota do.

Eventually, your colon will adjust.

hollyberry's picture
hollyberry
Posts: 176
Joined: Nov 2008

I had a colostomy 15 months ago and I take stool softeners everyday and bean-o before meals. It seems to help. I also learned how to irrigate my colostomy and feel more "control" over the my bowel movements. This is not for everyone but, it sure helped me. I irrigate for 45 minutes everyday and wear a stoma patch that looks like a big band-aid.
Eventually, you will feel more comfortable with your body, but I don't think it will ever be as easy as when we didn't have an ostomy. Keep your chin up and know that we're all in this together!
Much love,
Hollyberry

menright's picture
menright
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

I hope to get to the point where I too can irrigate and get along through the day without dealing with a colostomy bag. How soon did you begin irrigating? I have had the colostomy for just 3-weeks.

Any information and advise would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Mike

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

....But, what does it mean to irrigate your colostomy??

menright's picture
menright
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

As I understand it the process of irrigation is simply a regular enema that provides a clear system for the day. My thoughts are that this will work well for my work environment. I work in an office and would like to remove any regular colostomy bag maintenance from my day in the office and train my body for evenings only. Wish me luck.

Mike

hollyberry's picture
hollyberry
Posts: 176
Joined: Nov 2008

Mike,
That's exactly right- an enema for your ostomy.Actually, it's a gravity-fed sytem; you have a bag of water that you infuse into your stoma and the waste works it's way out by peristalsis. I started after 3 months and my colon was "trained" within 2 months. It takes a while for your bowel to get the hang of it- some output after irrigating, so I wore a mini-bag for the first 3 months just to be safe.
I now wear a stoma cap and love having anywhere from 24 to 48 hours stool-free. It is a sense of control that I sure didn't feel after surgery.
I, too, worked in an office; in fact, I was up close and personal with my patients, having to take their blood pressures and do exams in a medical office. Irrigating cuts down the gas, also.
The American Ostomy Association has a great board for irrigators and that is where I learned how to do it. My ostomy nurse was no help. They have detailed instructions in one of the back posts; just ask a fellow irrigator. You can get an irrigation system from your osotmy supplier.I use Convatec's sytem; it really is a matter of personal preference and trial and error.
Best of luck to you,
Hollyberry

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I am also doing irrigation. I started one month after chemo ended. Takes a while to get the hang of it. But, it sure helps quality of life. Not everyone can do it. I was told I might not be able to, coz I had radiation (for rectal cancer). But, I can. I'm happy to answer any questions. And there is great info on this on several osteotomy websites.

Tara

hollyberry's picture
hollyberry
Posts: 176
Joined: Nov 2008

I forgot to mention the United Ostomy Association of America. They have a website with boards for all kinds of issues and have helped me greatly. I hope this helps, as it is a whole new world when you're not checking your bag every couple of hours at work. I just felt much more confident when I got the irrigation procedure down-pat.
Good luck to you,
Hollyberry

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

I'll have to read up on this, I think I'd be afraid to try it, it sounds kind of scary, especially since I had diarrhea a couple days ago, and it leaked out the side of the wafer, and as I was changing it...here it came all out, it was sickening, and disgusting, I hate not having control of it, but I'm getting used to it, what a mess it causes when you don't have the bag though...man, now this was an awkward yucky post, but oh well, I feel like I can say anything here...lol..

Hugssss!
~Donna

menright's picture
menright
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

Tara:

Thanks for the comments. I will be having more chemo for the next 3-6 months and you made the point that you started afterward. I suppose I will have to wait. I am encouraged by the comments on freedom and the ability to work more easily in an office environment. I too had radiation for a rectal tumor and since had it removed (AP Resection). I hope this does not preclude me from irrigation.

Thanks for the information, you have provided me some much needed encouragement.

Mike

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

The only reason I waited till after chemo -- as advised by my stoma nurse (who taught me how to irrigate) -- is because chemo often causes diarrhea -- and so not a great base to start from! But, I guess you could consider, depending on your situation.

Yes, I had AP resection so same situation. It wouldn't preclude you.

Good luck!

Tara

menright's picture
menright
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2008

Hollyberry:

Thanks for the encouraging information. I look forward to becoming a fellow irrigator. The freedom is exactly what I want.

Mike

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