When I started irrigating, I was told that if things went well I could expect to move to using stoma caps. This week, I started experimenting with them and it’s great! This feels like another step in sorting out issues I’ve been having and heading towards the original goal of not having to worry about having a stoma.

The Aims of Irrigating

When I started irrigating I was told that if it went successfully and my body adjusted to being emptied every day, I would be able to move on from wearing a bag and switch to a smaller and more discrete stoma cap. The cap is a much smaller version of a bag and is designed to be used by people with a predictable output as it can only hold a very small amount.

How Have I Been Getting On Since Starting Irrigating?

Things have been going really well, and much better than I had expected. Apart from one incident early into irrigating where my bag filled up over night, I haven’t had any issues with output going into the bag. Occasionally there is a very, very small amount but overall there’s nothing. And through experience I know that if not much has come out during irrigation I may need to put more water in. 

After 6 weeks of wearing an empty bag I felt that it was time to try out stoma caps so after a conversation with my stoma nurse a dozen were sent to me to see how I get on with them. 

What Are Stoma Caps Used For?

Stoma caps are mainly used by those who irrigate and have a predictable output but can also be used by those who participate in sport, swimming and to help in more intimate situations. For those that don’t irrigate you would only wear them for a short amount of time and then switch back to a larger bag.

They are similar to bags in terms of the materials used and they also have filters to help with smell and gas. 

How Have I Been Getting On With The Caps?

It’s very early days but it’s been great. It certainly feels different wearing something so much smaller. When I was wearing a bag it would frequently pop out from beneath my t-shirt which was never really an issue in terms of it being on display but I’d still have to tuck it back into my jeans. With the stoma cap that issue has been eliminated. 

I’ve only worn a cap for two days but there hasn’t been any output and no ballooning from wind (not quite sure what would happen in that instance). This feels like another step in sorting out issues I’ve been having and heading towards the original goal of not having to worry about having a stoma. I’m more than happy with the effort involved with irrigation and if I can have no output between irrigations then that would be ideal. 

Wound Update

So what’s happening with the Ken Butt wound? Well, after a little setback last week due to being too keen to get back to running it hasn’t changed much in a week. It’s still a superficial wound but judging by it’s appearance it’s still going to take time to heal. Heading into January I was expecting it be have been healed during that month and wasn’t expecting to go into February but here we are heading into March with no sign of it being fully healed. I’m reluctant to try and attach a date as I’m fed up saying just  another week of so. Realistically it could be well into March/April or beyond before it’s fully healed. 

Photo for the curious
That doesn’t look like it’s going to heal anytime soon
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Diagnosed with IBD in 2002, I have experienced the usual ups and downs of having a chronic disease and tried numerous medications but the time finally came in 2018 to elect to have surgery to improve my life. I had the surgery in 2019 and this is my journey having a 'New Bum'.

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