how do you know if your bag is leaking????

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chili123
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 300
   Posted 3/15/2008 8:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I feel like I guesstimate as to whether my bag is leaking.  I was convinced tonight that it was leaking so I rushed home to take it off and it was perfect.  I really kinda kicked myself for taking it off because it was a perfect seal and it was one of those conventac duraseal so it was really stuck.  I have been paranoid since I have been trying to figure out a way to make these one piece coloplast seasure's to work.  I love them because they are lite-weight but I have yet to have one not leak.  Even the ones that the stoma nurse puts on me ends up leaking so I got so frustrated a few days ago that I put the conventac on but then I thought that was leaking.  I just bought the convex one piece so I thought that they would fit my stoma shape but I am sincerely paranoid.  On top of that, I bought opaque so I feel like I have no clue what is going on in there.  I love how it looks better than the see through ones but I miss not being able to see how tight the seal is etc......  I just put it on tonight after rushing home to take the other one off.  So, my question is, how do you know if you have a leak?  I thought a tickle but I was feeling a tickle all night tonight but there was no leak.
Pancolitis - July 2006
Surgery - Temporary ilestomy on 2.25.08 at Cleveland Clinic. Next surgery in 6 months
Medications:  Predisone - 5mg (and tapering to zero)
Supplements:  multi-vit, calcium
Reason for surgery: Steriod dependent and allergic reactions to imuran and 6mp. Elected not to try remicade.


summerstorm
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 3/15/2008 9:09 PM (GMT -6)   
if it is leaking, there will be poop all over! or you will be able to smell it very strongly. hopefully, you will be able to catch it before it makes an awful mess! but trust me, it's it actually leaking, you will know!
but, it's not uncommon to be paranoid about it at all. I had a leak Thurs night, and since then i have been constantly checking to make sure everything is right, lol. You will get where you are more comfortable with it, and don't worry so much, whne i first got it, all id id was check it, all the time, lol

peggy113
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1998
   Posted 3/16/2008 9:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Chili,
 
When my wafer is 'breaking down', I get horrible "ITCHIES".  On my, they are horrible, annoying, uncomfortable, etc, etc.  A place you just can't scratch!  Sometimes, I can get them to calm down by rinsing the pouch out with cool water --- ahhhh!  I prefer to change my appliance first thing in the morning,  so if I get the itchies the night before, I really try to hold off changing it until morning. 
 
But I have to agree with Summer, when you are beginning to get a real leak, you can smell it --- starts off just slightly.  Once you get thru trying different products and settle on one, you will adjust and know just when you need to change it to avoid a leak.  But I know, once bitten, twice shy, right?
 
You are doing well... hang in there.  You have good instincts.  It's been less than a month since your surgery right?  And you are still adjusting to the various products.
Peggy
      
Diagnosed with CD in 1979, many resections and meds
Perm Ileostomy July 1984 at Cleveland Clinic
Disease free since surgery 
 


chili123
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 300
   Posted 3/16/2008 9:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I am still adjusting to finding the right pouch. I have not had a total leak that came out of the entire pouch but I have had several leaks within the pouch that has broken through the seal. I have a part of skin near the stoma that is cracked from the irritation from one time that the poo broke through the seal and sat on my skin. I have yet to have a leak that results in smell and all over my clothes etc but I just don't want to have the poo sitting on my skin for multiple days and me end up with some terrible rash. I have found that the conventec duraheavise 2-piece appears to be a safe shot for no leaks but I just don't find it to be the most comfortable pouch all around. I am really hoping that I can get this sesure one piece to work now that I have ordered the convex kind because it is so much more comfortable for me.
Pancolitis - July 2006
Surgery - Temporary ilestomy on 2.25.08 at Cleveland Clinic. Next surgery in 6 months
Medications:  Predisone - 5mg (and tapering to zero)
Supplements:  multi-vit, calcium
Reason for surgery: Steriod dependent and allergic reactions to imuran and 6mp. Elected not to try remicade.


peggy113
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1998
   Posted 3/16/2008 9:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Chili --- you really should try the Eakin Seal strips around the stoma opening of the wafer. I too had to switch to a convex wafer last summer/fall. I actually just bought the convex rings to fit inside of the flange of the wafer. I had several boxes of the wafers and I didn't want to waste them. So these rings just pop inside of that rim of the flange making it convex. And it really is the cheaper route to go too.
Peggy
      
Diagnosed with CD in 1979, many resections and meds
Perm Ileostomy July 1984 at Cleveland Clinic
Disease free since surgery 
 


chili123
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 300
   Posted 3/16/2008 9:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Peggy,
I had tried the Coloplast Seasure with no convex and put a holiister ring (like you are talking about) around it. I put the ring snug around my stoma and then put the wafer thing on. I thought that I did a really good job getting everything tight and cut right to be snug etc but it leaked. In fact, the stoma nurse that came to my house did the same thing with the ring but she put it on the wafer first and then put it on me and it leaked. Like I said, though, I have never had one leak out of the wafer but had I not changed it when I did then I know that it would have eventually. I just don't want the poo on my tummy making my skin all screwed up. That sounds like a nightmare having an irritated rash and having to put a sticky wafer pouch on top of that. Sounds like a nightmare that I am really trying to avoid. Sorry to be long winded but last night when I had that convetec one on, I really was convinced it was leaking because I really thought I feel it seeping out. I was shocked when I took it off last night and it was tight as a button...........a perfect seal. I just find that conventec to have no flexiblilty. I can "feel" the appliance like attached and hanging from my stomach.
Pancolitis - July 2006
Surgery - Temporary ilestomy on 2.25.08 at Cleveland Clinic. Next surgery in 6 months
Medications:  Predisone - 5mg (and tapering to zero)
Supplements:  multi-vit, calcium
Reason for surgery: Steriod dependent and allergic reactions to imuran and 6mp. Elected not to try remicade.


Indabag
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 3/16/2008 10:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Chili:

Sometimes I perspire around the device and I swear that I'm leaking. I rush to the bathroom to check and then everything is ok. I think, especially if your skin is irritated, you may be more prone to that sensation.

I am starting to believe that I get my best seals when I take a few minutes after applying to 'warm-up" and press down on the wafer. Yeah it takes some extra time but it seems to work. I also apply the seal to the wafer before applying and it seems to work better than applying the seal directly to the skin.

I know we're all different and I hope you find the answer soon.

Richard
Indabag
 
Ileostomy since August 2005.
As result of surgery (modified whipple) for necrotising pancreatitis. Removal of gallbladder, 2/3 of pancreas, resections of large and small intestines. Massive infection. 


praying4healing
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 3/16/2008 10:16 AM (GMT -6)   
chili, the one and only leak i ever had i have to admit i didnt smell it, but it was in the very very early stages. So if i ever think i'm leaking i tend to run my finger around the edge of my flange all around the back to see if i feel any moistness. If not, then i'll wait a while to see if the sensation goes back to normal. Also if im home, i go in front of my full length mirror so that i can lift the bag and see under and around it. I know the feeling of paranoia, i'll be returning to work on thursday and i have a feeling i'll b in the bathroom every two seconds just to check! i use two pieces (convatec) i wish i didnt need to b/c i feel theyr kinda bulky, but, b/c i prefer the opaque (like you im not crazy about staring at the mess n e more) and i cant see inside at my stoma, i'm afraid to use a one piece b/c i cant tell if the whole is the right size. I hope u find the right system soon!
25 y/o female- crohns disease since 14
Ileostomy pending-very worried
Tried asacol,pentasa,prednisone,remicade,6mp,azasan, no avail
Seatons placed
Worst year ever!

"For God has not given us the spirit of fear....."
Where does mine come from?!
 Temp Ileostomy performed 1/29/08
Still Adusting
 Healingwell.com has been my Godsend...Thank you


Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 3/16/2008 4:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Chili- 
I can certainly understand how upsetting it can be...I am a new poster, tho I have been reading posts for a long, long time.  I have had my ileo for 6 plus years (this time) and know that the beginning was always stressful, and changing on the day I had to work was the worst!!  I did even have that horrific day when, sitting at my desk, I knew I'd blown a leak...Luckily, I ran home, fixed it up, and got back to work in less than a half hour.
 
I agree with Peggy about the Eakin Seals.  My ET nurse changed me to them many years ago, and even with my VERY ACTIVE life, I have not had a leak in years.  I also need convexity in my wafer and combined with the Eakin, it's my ticket.  I have had to recently change to a Convatex Non Mouldable wafer because of my new stoma (Proctocolectomy) and the mouldable didn't have the strength to hold up.  My ET nurses have also reminded me on many occasions not to use a soap that leaves a residue.  I think Dial/Ivory/Neutrogena are good choices.  I also use Skin Prep for extra security and powder if I notice a red spot. 
 
It will also take time to understand what it going on underneath the wafer.  The itchies are a good indicater, but sometimes you may have to just put your hand over the wafer for the warmth, rinse the pouch with water, or take a deep breath.  I don't run to change everything unless those others haven't worked.  Sometimes it might just be the "sore" spot that is already there, not a leak.
 
One last comment/question, does your ET nurse know the problems you are having?  It might be worth an appointment to see what other products might work for you better.
 
Good Luck!
OHIO76
 
 

peggy113
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1998
   Posted 3/16/2008 6:37 PM (GMT -6)   

OHIO76 -

Welcome to HW.com!  So glad you are posting and not lurking anymore....  I am a former Buckeye.  What city are you in?  Where did you have your surgeries done?

I keep advertising the Eakin Seals cause they are working so well for me.   I was a stomahesive paste girl for 22 1/2 years until it quit working for me.  But I found that I also needed some convexity added to my flange.  (I gained about 20 much need pounds - probably a bit of it in my abdomen.)

Anyway, so good to have you aboard!


Peggy
      
Diagnosed with CD in 1979, many resections and meds
Perm Ileostomy July 1984 at Cleveland Clinic
Disease free since surgery 
 


chili123
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 300
   Posted 3/16/2008 7:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I have considered any poo that has seeped even on my skin but still under the wafer "a leak". Is that the wrong terminology? I have been thinking the objective is to achieve no poo on the skin at all so that is what I am trying to achieve. I will try the actual brand eakin seal on my next pouch change. My nurse is scheduled to come tomorrow and she is discharging me because I go back to work on Tuesday and she said that she cannot visit unless I am homebound. I travel for a living so I am headed to Texas tomorrow on business so wish me luck.....I hope all goes well. I am still tapering on prednsione and feeling alittle nauseous now that I am down to 1mg so I am hoping I do okay. I certainly loose my enthusiam when I start feeling sick like this so I hope this pouch behaves while I am gone. I have yet to have a leak that goes out of the pouch so if that happens while I am working...........well, I will be on the next flight home :)

Thanks for you posts.........it is SO helpful.
Pancolitis - July 2006
Surgery - Temporary ilestomy on 2.25.08 at Cleveland Clinic. Next surgery in 6 months
Medications:  Predisone - 5mg (and tapering to zero)
Supplements:  multi-vit, calcium
Reason for surgery: Steriod dependent and allergic reactions to imuran and 6mp. Elected not to try remicade.


Shaz032
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1243
   Posted 3/17/2008 6:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Usually I catch a whiff of it and that's enough to alert me. Sometimes though, the first thing I notice is a wet patch lol I never notice a leak while it's still under the wafer - it has to seep OUT from under the wafer to get me to take notice. If it's leaked on to the skin under the wafer, it's going to come out under the wafer sooner than later so try not to be too paranoid about it all (easier said than done, I know).
I have had an ileostomy for 32 years now due to UC.
 
Moderator of the Ostomy Forum
_______________________________________________
 
I'm not a complete idiot - some parts of me are missing!

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