Stoma Stories, Episode 4: A Breakthrough (of Sorts)

Some time between 2am (when I woke up, right on schedule, with my standard lower back pain) and 6am, by bag completely filled up with gas. And then blew a gasket

I woke up to find that the pressure had blown open the seal between the bag and wafer (I typically use a two-piece bag system, where you first attach the wafer to the stoma and then a bag to the wafer), causing a stool leak down the right side of my body and onto my bed. Good times. I ran to the bathroom to empty the still-bloated bag and prevent further leakage, but it was so full with gas, I was unable to remove the end-clip without stool immediately pouring out over the toilet and floor. Sweet. (If I hadn’t been half-asleep, I probably would have “burped” the bag from the top (where it attached to the wafer) or just removed the whole thing in tact.)

I then removed the wafer, and was pleasantly surprised to find it had not leaked from under the wafer, meaning no stool had entered the pocket around my stoma or touched my irritated skin. The only leak occurred where the bag attaches to the wafer, so it shouldn’t hinder the healing of my irritated skin. I jumped in the shower to clean up, while my ever-patient and helpful wife (definitely couldn’t do it without her) got all of the supplies together for a bag change. Unfortunately, my stoma (for which I am soliciting nicknames) gets active almost as soon as I wake up, so it wasn’t long before stool had made its way to my stoma pocket and I was forced to do a saline/Q-tip cleaning like we did yesterday. It hurt, but not as bad as yesterday. Progress?

Eventually we got everything cleaned up, waited for a brief break in activity, quickly applied silver nitrate powder, stoma powder, and Cavilon No-sting Barrier Spray, blew off the excess powder, reapplied stoma powder, resprayed the barrier spray, blew off the excess powder, attached the new wafer/bag, and used a heating pad for 15 minutes to ensure a strong seal.  All of this before 6:45am. Just another day in the life of an ostomate.

This entry was posted in Complications, Ileostomy, J-Pouch, Stoma Stories, Support, Surgery, Ulcerative Colitis and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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