Three weeks have passed and they’ve been a long three weeks. I’m so used to being mobile so not being able to drive has been a bit of a hindrance. I’m still able to get out and about but still taking things easy.
Overall things are so much better than they used to be. Physically (recovery aside) I’m so much better than pre-op, mentally I’m a lot stronger and my colostomy bag has become a part of my and my daily routine.
Much like I’ve gotten to know people in the beer and running communities, through sharing my experiences on this blog I’m becoming aware of another community which will be great for advice and support in the future.
State of the Stoma
Since I last saw my stoma nurse and had bags cut it does appear that the my new bum has shrunk a little further and may be closer to its final size. I’m still getting some irritation around the stoma, which I’m trying to alleviate with some calamine, but like before, it could well be to do with the hole in the bag being slightly bigger than the stoma. I think it’s worthwhile contacting the stoma nurse to check everything is ok.
I’m still experiencing some bleeding around the edge of the stoma and whilst not overly concerned about it, I wonder at what point it will stop. At least the blood is not inside the stoma which would be a concern.
The area above the stoma does still protrude somewhat and I’m not sure if this is due to swelling that still needs to subside or if it’s always going to be that shape. Something that I will have to ask my stoma nurse and surgeon next time I see them.
If you’re not squeamish, here’s a photo of the stoma
I think it’s worthwhile contacting the stoma nurse to check that everything is normal. The larger mark is from the bag and again it’s probably worthwhile contacting them to see if it should be leaving a mark when taking off.
Pain and Discomfort
Things are certainly taking time to heal with both the Ken Butt and abdomen still causing discomfort.
My Ken Butt is still causing grief by constantly leaking from a still sizeable wound and requires daily attention from a nurse. The wound is getting better but is going to take some time to heal. It’s also still a pain in the butt sitting down and standing, such as in a queue, can be quite tiring. It is gradually getting better though.
The abdominal discomfort is still present and is noticeable as soon as I start to walk. When walking it’s a very odd sensation of my abdomen feeling numb and heavy. I have to make sure I slow myself down so that I don’t aggravate things. I am conscious of the risk of developing a hernia so am careful of certain movements such as getting out of bed so that I don’t strain something.
I’m still experimenting with different foods and drinks and I do appear to be getting along with most things, that was until the other day when I awoke with a little bit of wind in the bag which only got worse. It did make me think about just how much wind these bags can hold before popping!
My First Leakage
As I’m currently off work, I’m getting up a little later in the morning. When I wake up, my bowel usually starts to kick into action and eventually fills most of the bag. I’ve got into the habit of rather than getting up and changing it and knowing that I will have to do it again shortly after, I just leave it to fill up in the hope that I can finish pooping and then not have to change it again. Today I came unstuck!
Laying down with a full bag on my stomach means that the poop doesn’t really have anywhere to go so just pools near the seal. At some point, that dam is going to breach, and it did. The bag did a decent job of masking the odour so it wasn’t that that alerted me to the escaping poop, it was putting my hand beneath the quilt to check on the size of the bag! 🤢 Thankfully I was able to make it to the bathroom without any spillages!