Today was the first follow-up visit to the stoma team. The aim of the visit is to check everything is healing correctly, to check the size of the stoma, provide new supplies and it’s an opportunity to ask any questions.
Irritation and Bleeding
The irritation around the stoma was still present and they instantly knew that the stoma had shrunk and was being irritated by faeces coming into contact with the skin between bag changes. I had a feeling this was the reason why but it’s reassuring to know that there’s nothing to be concerned about.
In the first few weeks after surgery the stoma is expected to shrink so my new bum was measured up and bags were cut to the new size. The stoma will continue to be monitored regularly as it could well shrink again.
I was also supplied with some calamine lotion to help with irritation in the future.
Nothing much was said about the bleeding but they didn’t appear to be too concerned about it. I was just instructed how to control it should it happen again – just add some cold water to stem the bleeding.
At present my bowel likes to go to bed early and sleep throughout the night and then as soon as I get out of bed it starts to kick into action and I can quickly fill a bag or maybe two within a couple of hours. Apparently some people will end up falling into the routine and others may change. It’s fine going early in the morning I just hope having to go soon after doesn’t effect early morning runs.
Progress has been good and I’m a lot more mobile and am able to walk around quite a bit. I was told that I can start some simple core exercises to help strengthen the abdominal muscles. Nothing too strenuous but it’s good that I can start so soon.
Something that I’ve noticed online are ostomy belts which can help keep everything in place (aka keeping your shit together!) particular when exercising and running. I mentioned these in relation to running and the good news is that once everything is healed they’ll measure me up and I’ll get a free one on the NHS!
Old Bum Healing Time
At the moment this is what is causing me the most issues – it’s hard sitting down. Due to the old bum having to be opened slightly to help cure the infection it means that the wound needs to be continually dressed and based on the size of it it’ll take some time to heal.