I was originally not due to see the stoma team until next week but due to my stoma shrinking and the area around it becoming irritated I brought the appointment forward so that I could get new bags cut. It’s fortunate having such a flexible team so that I can get appointments at short notice.
I have been using standard colostomy bags ever since leaving hospital and on the whole I’ve been getting along fine with them but I’ve been curious about the shape of the area around the stoma and was unsure whether the shape was permanent or still needed healing. The nurse suggested that I try a convex shape bag which may be more suited to my body shape. More than happy to try out different bags in order to find the best fit but after just a couple of hours wearing a convex bag I’m not sure. It appears to be pulling the flange down causing the adhesive section to wrinkle and come away from the skin. I’m not sure if this is just how this particular bag has been fitted or it’s just too heavy (even when empty) and is pulling away from the skin.
The stoma team know that I’m keen to get back running so I’ve been encouraged to start building up my core with some gentle exercises. These include abdominal crunches, knee rolling and pelvic tilting and would be done in a careful and controlled manner. The benefit of doing the exercises is that it can help prevent a hernia forming which is a common complication after having a new bum installed.
Being new to something I like to read about it as much as possible and in doing so I’ve come across different manufacturers of colostomy bags and read and listened to people talking about why some may be better than others. I’ve seen the box of bags from different manufacturers in the hospital and once you have your prescription you will keep using that brand. You would only switch to a different bag from that manufacturer or switch to a different manufacturer if the bag wasn’t working correctly.
I’d seen bags that are slightly different shapes or have Vitamin E added so with a case of FOMO, I asked the question about the different bags. The answer I was given was the best one which is don’t spend any time thinking about other bags and soon as the right one is found just get on with living a normal life. Like anything else in life, these companies need to sell their products so will always make tweaks to try and differentiate their product from competitors. As long the bag you’re wearing fits well and holds your poop, there’s no point in thinking about any other bags.
I’ll be heading back to the stoma nurse next week and if everything is going well with the new bags and the stoma has stopped shrinking then I’ll be able to have a prescription set up. Shortly after seeing the stoma nurse I’ll be seeing my surgeon for a review.