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Life Hack for Ostomy People (and others)

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

I saw this on Facebook. One of those ideas to make life easier they call life hacks. One of the things that's always bothered me with my ostomy is emptying my bag in a public place or at work. Sometimes it will do things like splash spots on the underside of the seat or even leave a brown drag mark down the inside of the bowl. I hate having to lift the seat and check for splashes and wipe them if they're there. What you do is place a tissue or toilet paper on the surface of the water before you sit down. It prevents splashes and protects the toilet from the drag marks. It also helps if you don't have an ostomy but have diarrhea but preventing splashes. I've had my ostomy for over two years and I wish I had known about this previously.

Jan

John23's picture
John23
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

 

Ostomy or not to Ostomy (that's the question?)

The website that's dedicated to ostomies of all types, and has members like you and I and everyone else here, is here: https://www.uoaa.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=2

They tell/talk all about things like splash-back prevention, taking an extra clip with you if you aren't using pouches with Velcro closing devices, Irrigation for colostomates to be able to go a day without using a pouch...... There's a ton of things that can help anyone with an ostomy that one would not know about without hearing it directly from those with some experience.

Don't use your “real name”, and keep your sensitive information to yourself, just as you should here,or anywhere else on the web.

Just as it is here, information can be great, or off the cuff, and everyone has an opinion. Some are more correct than another, so use your common sense.

Go in good health,

John

 

 

 

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1409
Joined: May 2012

I have a two piece which is the best thing I ever did for myself.  I am 3 years out and finally at a point where I am looking into pieces that hold the ostomy in place on bad days and smaller bags for good days.  It's funny how set in a routine we get and then one day say, okay this isn't working.  Great hack.

jen2012
Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

My husband always uses a small binder clip to keep his closed.  the pouch does has the velcro but twice early on, it opened and made A mess.  No more issues with that.

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1409
Joined: May 2012

When I have to do the open end bags, I do the binder clip too, it works great!

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

I'm not familiar with all the options out there for ostomies. I use a Convatec Natura. It has a pouch that attaches to an appliance that sticks to my tummy. I assume that's a two piece? I empty the bag pretty much every time I go to the bathroom. This is what they started me with after the surgery and I've stuck with it. The times I was in the hospital they used the ones with the clips but they're a PIA and the clips are awkward. I've never had the velcro on mine come undone. I've had a couple that opened up at the seam and the last batch I had 3 that opened up by the ring so they sent me a new pack for free. I wear jeans and sometimes they're snug at the waist and I ride my horse and that's hard on them but they last me up to a week and the odd time more than that depending on what's going on.

Sometimes I feel like I ought to know more about some of the things involved with my cancer treatment. I wish I'd written some things down. I find that I'm not sure what chemo I was on for either of the treatments other than oxyplatin in the mop up treatment. I can't remember a lot of the details. Type of chemo, number of treatments, how many weeks. I don't know if this is my mind just not wanting to retain something unpleasant, chemo brain, or just poor memory. 

Jan

John23's picture
John23
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Ostomy info

I wrote some ostomy info into the "blog" section of my profile page, you may find some of it handy....

They usually use Convetec appliances in the hospitals, since that company provides the stuff freely as advertising.

I use Coloplast ostomy products. I use the "Assura" series with the "extended wear" wafer and the large size pouch. It's a bit different than the Convetec appliances, since the Coloplast Assura series uses a "click lock" pouch; you snap it onto the wafer and click the locking device to lock it into place.

I strongly suggest using the cut it yourself wafers, since the stoma can change in diameter over time. You want to make certain that the wafer's stoma opening fits snugly to the stoma, with no peristomal skin exposed to the output. The Coloplast Assura extra wear wafer has lasted up to a month for me, with two weeks as an average wear time. The pouch can be changed as needed without disturbing the wafer.

I experienced a lot of problems with Convetec pouches, all due to very poor quality of manufacturing. Seams splitting was very common, as well as wafer delamination (the wafer would peel apart from the adhesive coating). Their quality control apparently needed some work.... I will say though, that their Convetec Stomahesive Powder is one thing you would want to order and have on hand. If you get any sores on the peristomal area, that powder will heal the sore overnight, under the pouch. You dust the powder on the sore area and it will crust up on the wet spots. You DO NOT use any skin prep or adhesive remover under or over the powder. It is to be used alone on the skin, under the wafer.

The Velcro on the "Assura" series pouches have never failed me since I started using that brand/series in 2006/7. You have to accidently drop a clip into a McDonald's toilet to fully appreciate the Velcro alternative. Stop laughing.

So Jan..... The entire unit, both the one piece and two piece types are called an "appliance". You have a "wafer" and a "pouch" with the two piece types. The area around the stoma is called the "peristomal" area.

If you ever have a prolapse, where the stoma starts unreeling out of your abdomen like a snake, take some common table sugar and pour it on the stoma. The sugar will cause it to contract back into your body. Head for the hospital and tell 'em what happened. A surgeon will stitch it again and solve the problem.

There. enough for one day?

Be well,

John

LivinginNH's picture
LivinginNH
Posts: 1458
Joined: Apr 2010

My dear friend, you are too modest - your blog wasn't only "handy", it was an absolute Godsend!  :)  For anyone new to using the pouches, John's blog is an absolute must read -  he really knows what he's talking about, trust me.  John, you will always hold a special place in my heart as you helped Rick immensely when we had no idea how to heal his stoma.  He was in so much pain, but using that ConvaTec powder he was healed within 24 hours like you mentioned. 

Take care, hugs (())!

Cyn

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

I have meant to check out your blog so many times and then forget to do it,John. There's a link you can post, am I correct? Or do I go through your profile?

I use the Stomahesive powder every time I change my pouch. I put it around the stoma and then again after the wax wafer is on. I can't imagine going without it. The McDonald's episode? I didn't laugh but I gasped and my mouth dropped open. Yikes!! Extremely interesting about the sugar although I can't imagine having it come out like that. I think I'd have a heart failure. When I was in the hospital for the blood clot I went through a number of roommates. One had internal hemmorhoids (sp?) that would pop out and she'd be in excruxiating pain. The nurses would come in and put sugar on them to help them go back in. I wonder what it is about it that helps with that type of thing.

I'd like to add that when I was in the hospital with the blood clot the young nurses all had been trained to cut the stoma opening in the appliance to 6 mms oustide of the stoma. I kept telling them that my stomach acids will eat my skin but they always acted like I didn't know what I was talking about. Despit that they always did what I said and made it only slightly bigger. I'd forgotten about that. I meant to address it with the school they'd gone to.

Jan

John23's picture
John23
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Blogs, stomas and stuff

Jan........

Just click on my moniker to get to the profile page and at the top, click on the "blog". Once there, click on the header of an entry to get the full data. There's a "read more" link also, but clicking on the header is faster.

The hole in the wafer should be cut as snugly to the stoma as possible. I cut mine slightly smaller and the stoma slides into it just fine. The idea is to not allow any waste to get onto the skin. If it does, it will damage the skin and erode the adhesive, allowing more waste to get under the wafer and damage even more skin.

The pastes are useless. They are for filling in big depressions (dimples), but it is not of adhesive quality and is eroded easily by the waste. There are wafers and appliances designed for problem cases, some using Tagaderm type material as part of the wafer/appliance. It conforms better to very uneven geographic conditions of the body. I haven't had the need and haven't tried them; cannot offer an opinion.

You'll find (as I have) that there will be times that your body's chemistry will change and what's worked well for you will no longer work well. The adhesive each company uses are formulated to be used on "clean, dry skin", and do not attempt to conform to other products applied to the area surface. No "skin prep" should be used with an ostomy appliance for best results and wear time. No adhesive remover should be used, since they all leave a residue in the skin pores and degrade the integrity of the adhesives. And all manufacturers attempt to formulate their adhesive to accommodate various skin chemistry..... therein lies the problem!

After one surgery I endured, the Coloplast products would no longer stay stuck to my skin  for more than a few hours. I switched to Convetec (I had some samples on hand), and the Convetec stayed on for a week or more (as had my Coloplast ones).
Eventually my condition changed again, and I switched back to Coloplast. So body chemistry does matter, and is a reason that one product may be great for some, and not for others; you have to experiment. But your noting that the Convetec seams split is indeed a quality control problem. I sent numerous boxes of pouches back to Convetec engineering department (as requested), after noting and taking pictures of uneven and often misplaced seams that will result in the pouch splitting open with use. I guess not much has changed across the years since?

The engineering may be good, but the quality control stinks. I have never experienced the problem with Coloplast pouches. Other brands may be as good or better, also.

Use "Convetec Stomahesive Powder" sparingly and dust off any excess, especially on areas it isn't needed. It's a fantastic product that can heal any sore overnight, and is used by many wound care facilities! Just make sure it's used alone, without skin prep under or over the powder.

Oh, one other thing...... The peristomal area should be washed with only hot water and NO SOAP. All soaps leave a residue in the skin's pores, especially the skin softner types! And it's best to use paper towels to dry the peristomal area afterwards, since any paper or towel product that is "easy on the skin" usually contains a lubricant that makes the skin feel smooth. I had used toilet paper to dry the area, and the wafer lasted a few hours before leaking. My wife buys the toilet paper that's "soft to the skin".... it was the stupid stuff they add to the paper that kept the adhesive from sticking properly. Paper towels usually do not contain any additional junk. And using a wash cloth or towel that's been washed with a fabric softner or wrinkle free product will result in the same failures.

Sometimes the most simple things in life can be made to be so complicated. Basic is best!

Best wishes,

John

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Thank you John! I have found that some of the things I've been told not to do don't make a difference for me. I use baby wipes to clean the area that's covered by the appliance and I use a solvent based cleaner to get rid of the lint and adhesive that sticks there but I've never had one fail because of that. Also, I use lots of the stoma powder and end up with some on the area wher the appliance sticks but haven't had a problem with that, either. Maybe I have skin that works well with the adhesive. I had a leaker this morning but it lifted under the wax wafer and my puch was so full it felt like a football so it was pulling the appliance away from the skin. Normally I wake up but I haven't slept well for a few nights and didn't empty it during the night like I normally do.

Jan

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1409
Joined: May 2012

Mine is a toss away so it's remove bag, wipe, replace bag and go. No velcro, no cleaning.  Thankfully my insurance covers it.  It so beats having to deal with the bag that you empty if your insurance covers it.

It's a peel and stick and that bad boy really does stick.  Not sure what the sticky part is made from but you can peel it back and reattach several times. There are two choices.  I got samples of both before I chose one.  I ended up going with Coloplast Sensura because the wafer is more gentle to the skin.  The other option is Convatec Esteem which I found hurt my skin.

Wafers:

http://www.stomabags.com/coloplast-10021-sensura-std-wear-cut-to-fit-barrier-10-45mm-red-3-8-1-3-4   (this is the one I use)

http://www.terapeak.com/worth/convatec-esteem-synergy-10-box-ref-405457-ostomy-wafers/252072044682/    (I found the tape on these harsh to the skin)

Toss and go pouches (notice they are closed on the bottom):

http://www.convatec.com/products/pc-stoma-esteem-synergy-two-piece/esteem-synergy-adhesive-coupling-technology-closed-end-pouch  (I don't like the opening of this pouch)

http://www.coloplast.us/sensura-flex-closed-pouch-en-us.aspx  (I like that the mouth is more open on this one)

 PS I also tried the click locks that John tried and those hurt when I wore jeans because my jeans are tight so I did the peel and stick instead.  Also the powder is only supposed to be for when you have irritated skin, it doesn't serve much other purpose.  If you do have to use it, you can ensure that it sticks by using a 3M wipe which makes the powder adhere.  

 

 

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

What do you do with the disposable bag? Is it flushable? Thanks Helen!

Lopezusa
Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2018

My ostomy is leaking by both sides of the crease. What can I do to get it fixed ? 

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

The crease in your tummy? I used to use a wax spacer because of that and it helped a lot. Some people use the paste for that. You should talk to your ostomy nurse or the people where you get your supplies from. I have used tape to make it last longer. It's a white bandage tape and I used it to make sure the sides stayed down and there was less pressure on the flange.

Good luck,

Jan

Lopezusa
Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2018

Janjan63. What is the name of the white bandage tape ?

Mikenh's picture
Mikenh
Posts: 777
Joined: Oct 2017

You should definitely see your Ostomy Nurse as it's hard to diagnose this stuff via forum board. They likely have supplies in their office that would work too.

My approach is convex wafers, ostomy paste and hypafix tape for a more secure hold on the wafer.

Lopezusa
Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2018

Thank you for your prompt response

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5226
Joined: Jan 2013

Tru

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