It’s six weeks since surgery and my new bum is becoming less new and more normal – it’ll still be called My New Bum for some time though.

Irritated Stoma

Ever since leaving the hospital, and perhaps whilst I was there, the area around the stoma has been inflamed. It’s not particularly sore but on times does appear to itch a little. I do occasionally use calamine lotion on it but it doesn’t appear to be improving.

View Naked Stoma
Pre-Swim Stoma Selfie

I have mentioned it to my stoma nurse when I’ve seen them but it didn’t appear to be concerning. I’m not overly concerned by it but would rather it wasn’t there. I have read about solutions for it but I’d rather be instructed to use something rather than experimenting. I definitely think a call to the stoma team is in order.

Ken Butt Issues

The Ken Butt is causing so many issues. Prior to surgery I thought that the stoma itself and the abdomen would be the biggest challenge to overcome but the Ken Butt is taking forever to heal.

At the moment there is a wound at either end of the new old butt that is taking an age to heal. The dressing needs changing on a daily basis either at the GP surgery or by a district nurse and I’m currently on week 5 and still have a couple more weeks booked! I’ve already treated the nurses to a box of Hotel Chocolat chocolates at week 3 as a thank you for putting up with my bum for so long and I may have to buy them another gift soon!

In addition to the two wounds. One side of the join has been healing quicker (over-granulation) which has meant that due to the uneven nature of it has become sore to touch and difficult to sit on.

Pooping and Pancaking

I’m still yet to establish a pattern and quite often I’m finding the bag filling up throughout the night resulting in a change in the early hours of the morning then being cautious about going back to bed when it starts to fill up the new bag!

I’ve also been experiencing pancaking more often during the night which I think is partly down to me not drinking enough fluids. I’ve started to take some Fybogel in the hope that it’ll help bulk things up.

Pancaking occurs when there’s a vacuum in the bag which prevents the poop from dropping down into the bag but I have a feeling that mine is occurring during the night due to my sleeping position and it not have anywhere to go other than sitting on the stoma. Eventually the poop will build up into a mound and eventually will break the seal and push its way out.

There are some tricks to try and helping such as putting a bit of tissue on the bag to try and remove the vacuum (I keep forgetting to do this) and you can also apply lubricant or oil inside the bag to help things move so really need to try that.

Medication

This week I restarted taking Azathioprine mainly as a precaution. When I saw my specialist shortly after surgery I was given the option of either stopping taking medication completely or restarting Azathioprine as a way of trying to prevent the Crohn’s reappearing.

He was quite upfront about the fact that he really didn’t know the best option as there wasn’t much evidence to go on. I was told that many people who have Crohn’s Colitis in the tail end tended to keep trying different medications rather than electing for surgery. As I’m so used to taking medication I was happy to continue with them.

Fitness

I’m gradually stepping up my fitness by walking a bit further and going on walks of a specific distance (e.g. 3 miles, 4 miles, 6 miles). I’ve coped well with these walks and the level of discomfort is certainly reducing.

I’m also continuing swimming and like the walking I’m not experiencing much discomfort. With both the swimming and walking, the most discomfort I experience is in the muscles of the arms and legs which haven’t been used as much lately!

I still don’t feel ready to try running and it’s going to be at least a week if not more before I try it out. I also need to wait until the Ken Butt has improved as I am reminded of the open wounds when walking so wouldn’t want to exacerbate things by running.

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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.

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