A month ago I made another big step in my journey of trying to get to grips with my stoma and the issues that can come with having one and started colostomy irrigation. So how have I got on?
What I’ve Learned
It’s Quicker Than I Thought
I’ve currently got my routine down to a T and I’m able to get my colon sparkling clean in 30 minutes or less. And that includes setting up, cleaning out my insides and tidying up. There have been a few occasions where it’s been a struggle getting the water in but on the whole each irrigation is the same as the last.
The Process Has Never Interrupted My Plans
So far, the irrigation process hasn’t caused me to be late or miss anything that I had planned. Once or twice it’s taken a little longer than expected but still hasn’t caused any disruption and I’ve made sure that I haven’t rushed it and just let it run its course.
The Smell Isn’t That Bad
Maybe it’s because I’ve already had a year to get up close and personal with my poop but it doesn’t smell that bad. Sure it still smells like poop but perhaps because it’s watered down it’s not an overpowering smell.
Only Once Has The Irrigation Not Worked
There’s only been one occasion where the irrigation hasn’t worked. A litre of water had gone in and come out but not much poop. Not long after some poop came out in the bag but then nothing more. Then during the night all of the poop that should have come out in the morning decided to come out causing pancaking and a bit of a leak. In hindsight, when not much poop had come out I should have irrigated with more water. All part of the learning process.
There have been a few occasions when there has been increased wind after irrigating. The wind continued throughout the day and at times was very vocal but I’m putting it down to how the water has going into my stoma. Each time I make sure that I prime the irrigation system by letting water run through it and try to make sure that any air inside the tube rises out into the bag but I think there’s always going to be air entering the colon and will remain in there after all the water has exited.
I’m Still Learning
As with anything new, there’s always plenty to learn, and I’m keen to learn. I’ve discovered that it’s important to make sure that there’s a good seal around the baseplate on the sleeve otherwise all that liquid poop will find its way through the gaps; I’ve learned that if I’m going to use the pegs to pin the bottom of the sleeve to the top to allow me to do other things then I’d better make sure it’s done correctly or liquid poop is going to start leaking on the floor as you’re having a shave.
Whilst You’re Here, Here’s an Update on the Ken Butt Wound
It’s so close to healing; so very close. The wound is very superficial and still bleeds on contact but is hanging on and not completely healing. I’m hoping that beneath the surface it’s almost healed and will suddenly completely heal much like the other small wound did. I’m estimating another week or two and ideally I’d like it to be fully healed by the time I see my surgeon on February 18th.
How The Ken Butt Wound Currently Looks
I have a follow-up appointment with my surgeon on February 18th and I’m hoping that my wound has fully healed by that time. The next step will then be to discuss the hernia. I have got used to it so it hasn’t been so much of a concern and I’m not concerned about it protruding beneath t-shirts. As a result of not being as concerned I’m not wearing any support wear and I’m wondering if this will have an effect on how it develops.
I have been through the decision making process before but I’m still unsure. I think I’ve accepted the fact that it’s there but I want to have a discussion with my surgeon about the long term implications and how likely it is that I will require surgery in the future. I have wondered whether I’m actually delaying the inevitable by not having the surgery.