Saturday, June 18, 2011

My 'le Loop' Stoma, Changing the Bag & Other Practicalities

This is le loop or Lil SquiRter-- as he's known in the gang circles. Mr double-trouble is still super swollen considering it's the 18th and I just had the surgery on the 8th, and though I look pretty skinny still, I'm still swollen abdominally considering where I was before I entered surgery. (So don't expect yourself to be back to normal by this time. I was seriously emaciated going in, so slightly puffy I just look more normal.)

So here's one of the big-ass Coloplast bags they sent home with me.  I'm ordering ones that actually fit me soon, so I'll update as soon as I get those. Oh yeah, this is a one-piece bag, meaning that it has the wafer thing built on, which I ADORE compared to the two-piece, which leaked like crazy and never stayed on right.

In the hospital with my stoma nurse, we determined a good size for cutting the opening, since mine is irregular. I trace that onto the back and cut around it.

The wax

Once you've cut the bag to fit and squished the wax around the opening

place bag over those little fuckers as closely to the bottom as you can (but not too tight, the wax is there to fill in gaps) then gently wiggle stomas into the fashioned hole and press down on the sticky wafer thing to create a kick-ass seal. Make sure it is flat and smooth on your skin. If it's buckled even a little bit, even with the gummy wax, shit is going to seep out. Not cool.

Yup. It's on.

Yes, sometimes your little squirter is going to begin to operate while you're changing bags. I change mine in front of the sink just in case this happens, which it doesn't too frequently. I keep Clorox Wipes under the sink for this reason. Seriously people, don't let your family members/ housemates suffer with feces germs and shit. Hmm... well, maybe if they're horrible. Then it serves them right.
Also, a tip here, change your bag at least an hour before you eat anything, and seriously don't eat right before you change your bag. Some peeps do it first thing in the morning, but I do it whenever during the day.

If you're changing the bag for your child, wait until they are kinda sleepy or at least chilled out. like, they aren't really excitable or angry that you pulled them away from watching cartoons. Before you even bring them into the water closet to change their bag, cut that pouch, have all your supplies out and ready--this will make the process go much faster. Trust. Just like giving a squirmy cat medicine, you might want to have another person there to assist. Unless your kid is naturally obediant and quiet. (Yeah right.) HERE is a great site with links for children and ileostomies. Or ostomies in general.

For changing the bag, depending on how fucking nasty it is, I'd say every 2 days. If it's loose or leaking, change that shit, cuz man, the acids in your feces are gonna fuck up your skin. If it's your kid with an ileostomy, or just an ostomy in general, they might start to get fussy or uncomfortable, or if they're older, they might complain that it's itchy or it burns. That's when THIS occurs. So change that bag, okay?

For emptying, wich you do a handful of times a day, also depending, I keep a pair of plastic gloves in the Water Closet that I slip on for these special occasions. I'm such a fancy lady, emptying my shit-bags with gloves on.
 With the Coloplast ones I have here, I unroll it from its delightful velcro wings (seriously, velcro wings on the flange are the greatest. So much fucking better than the clips) and squeeze it open at both ends so the hard plastic remains open while I drain it.

(In this pic I'm not wearing gloves as this is a new bag but whatev)

So, to best drain, some sit on the toilet and drain the bag from between their legs, but I've had trouble with UTI's and I'm not exactly keen about liquid feces going past my vag and urethra so I get on one knee, to romance the toilet, and drain that shit like so---->

And yes, as you can see a bit of watery blood drop in my bag, your stoma's gonna bleed a bit. It's the inside of your intestines folded back and sewn to your abdomen, for gods's sake. Of COURSE it's going to bleed. Expect it. Sometimes I bleed like, a 1/4 cup a day, sometimes nothing. Depends on if the little tomato's been rubbed or is upset or not. Whatever. It's not worrisome unless its' a shit-ton of bleeding, and trust me, seeing blood may be scary, but you will know when it's seriously time to call the emergency room. I'm talking about a FUCK TON on blood. Tablespoons of blood even if not anything to be stressed over. Chillax.

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