Colostomy Decision - Give me Pros and Cons PLEASE

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Peace & Prayer
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/29/2008 10:07 AM (GMT -6)   
I was in a car accident in '98....was dragged on my right side.  I lost my right gluteus maximus.  Ever since I have had problems controlling bowel movements.  I didn't have insurance...so I have basically been on my own since '98.
 
I finally got medicare last year.  At the same time my stool incontinence has worsened to the point that diet and timing of eating does nothing.  I'm sure everyone here is well aware of the difficulties of changing and cleaning in public restrooms.
 
I finally asked my primary care about a colostomy.  He was amazed that I asked (he said he has never received a request for one) and thought it was a wonderful idea.  He said my life would change.
 
I have an appt for the consultation Tuesday with the surgeon.  I hope he'll be straight forward about everything.  I know there has to be some drawbacks.  But I was wondering what people who have had one thought.  I do know of two people who were very annoyed and disappointed with theirs.  One actually complained of having 'accidents'.  If that is the case...I don't need to have major surgery to continue to have accidents. 
 
Can anyone tell me their pros and cons since having one?
 
Thanks!

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 10/29/2008 10:20 AM (GMT -6)   

Peace & Prayer--welcome to Healing Well!!!  This is a GREAT site to have all your questions answered (and even the ones you didn't know you had!!) and has been very helpful for me since finding it a year ago:)

I have had my ileostomy for about the last 8 years...and I did ask for it!!!  Granted, I had had one prior, due to surgery complications, had it reversed and lost my "quality" of life (again)after that reversal.  After talking it over with my husband, I decided to go for #2 and I haven't looked back!  In fact, this year was a BIG change for me because my stoma is now permanent yeah

An ileostomy is different from a colostomy and I believe a colostomy is more "trainable" than an ileo...which means you could irrigate to "go on command" so to speak and NOT have to wear a pouch.  Ileostomates don't have that choice since ours are "on" 24/7!

I am sure many others will chime in with their input/comments.  I know I am super happy that I chose mine and only wish that I did it sooner...life began after surgery and I now have nothing holding me back turn

I got carried away with the smiley faces tongue but again, welcome!!!


Peace & Prayer
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/29/2008 10:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much Ohio. I love your smilies. I didn't realize the difference. I don't think I would be able to control 'going on command'....since I have NO control. I don't have a right 'butt cheek' and no nerves there...so I can't control anything...at all (neither can I tell if I'm sitting on something...so I'm always blamed when no one can find the remote control).

So I've already learned something. I believe I would need the ileostomy and have the pouch. Personally, I would rather change a pouch than a diaper. Maybe the person who had the complaints of having accidents had a colostomy....it sounds like you can still have accidents with that.

Wow...thank you again for helping me to learn. I am so glad you are at a happy point. I can't wait until I go smiley crazy!
Car Accident in 1998- dragged and thrown from car
lost right gluteus maximus, fractured hip, skull injuries, punctured liver
Hospitalized for 6 months
numerous reconstructive surgeries
also suffer from depression, high blood pressure, thyroid


RoxieXander
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/29/2008 7:22 PM (GMT -6)   

I found this post, so it answers my previous question mostly.

Did you have a Jpouch or a complete reversal after your first ileo? I had the BCIR internal pouch after a good ileostomy, but I still fight the battles with lots of pain med, antibiotics, valium, antidepressant, Ambien as I have serious cases of insomnia. On top of it, the internal pouch leaks, so my skins stays sore or it leaks at the worst time.  confused             

OHIO76 said...

Peace & Prayer--welcome to Healing Well!!!  This is a GREAT site to have all your questions answered (and even the ones you didn't know you had!!) and has been very helpful for me since finding it a year ago:)

I have had my ileostomy for about the last 8 years...and I did ask for it!!!  Granted, I had had one prior, due to surgery complications, had it reversed and lost my "quality" of life (again)after that reversal.  After talking it over with my husband, I decided to go for #2 and I haven't looked back!  In fact, this year was a BIG change for me because my stoma is now permanent yeah

An ileostomy is different from a colostomy and I believe a colostomy is more "trainable" than an ileo...which means you could irrigate to "go on command" so to speak and NOT have to wear a pouch.  Ileostomates don't have that choice since ours are "on" 24/7!

I am sure many others will chime in with their input/comments.  I know I am super happy that I chose mine and only wish that I did it sooner...life began after surgery and I now have nothing holding me back turn

I got carried away with the smiley faces tongue but again, welcome!!!


summerstorm
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 10/29/2008 7:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Peace and Prayer-having control with a colostomy doesn't have anything to do with your butt muscles. You would still have a stoma, except you would have yours from your large intestine, which means your colon is still there. Those of us with ileos have no colon at all, so we have nothing to do soak up all the fluid and that's why we can't control ours. A colostomy's output is more like what comes out of your bottom, only it comes out of your side.
Now, as for having a bag, it's not a big deal at all, it can be very convenient at times actually, lol. I laugh when someone goes to the batrhoom and is in there 15 minutes going number 2, and i go in and out in 2 minutes. Or when people say they won't eat such and such cause of the horrible smelling gas they will get. that doesn't matter to me or anyone around me, lol.
What you were hearing about accidents may have been people with the j-pouch, which with your problem you probably would not be able to have, cause that is where tehy attach you back up to your rectum, and that seems to be your problem.
There are times when you might have a leak or something like that, usually it's user error and once you have been doing it for a few months you will get where you dont' have problems. When i first got my bag i had some user error problems, nothing bad and nothing like what you are going through now. a colostomy probably has less chance of leaks than an ileo.
anyway, if you are unhappy with life now, which is sounds like you are, and you have an option tomake you have a better life, which you do, then i think you should take it!
I actually asked for my ileo too, i told my dr that either he was gonna get someone to take it out, or i was taking it out myself.

slim18996
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 10/29/2008 8:45 PM (GMT -6)   

Peace and Prayer,

My personal experience so far (and this is only my personal experience) is the people who I have met who complain about having an ostomy (either ileo or colo) seemed to have had a fairly normal life up to the point that some complication caused a need for their ostomy (cancer, injury or such).  Those of us who in fact led some pretty rough lives prior to getting our ostomies (Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn's disease, incontinence and such) seem to cope with it better (again just from my experiences).  Leaks are a reality but once a person finds what works for them, gets a routine that prevents from using an appliance beyond it's limit, and just generally gets used to what things to be prepared for it becomes a very "normal" way of life.  There is still a possibility, even with a prepared ostomate, that some situation beyond their control will happen but with preperation that is a very rare.  It sounds like your chances of having accidents with a colostomy would be incredibly smaller then what they are with your current situation. 

As far as pros and cons.
Pros:
1)  Virtually no incontinence, the waste goes into a pouch attached at your stoma and you dictate when to empty it.
2)  Odor free, all gas that you may not have been able to contol either goes into the pouch that is either filtered or you vent it when and where you want.
3)  Most ostomy supplies are easily hidden under most clothing, no drastic wardrobe changes are needed to accommodate.
4)  You will be able to go out in public confident that you will not have an accident.  Myself I was housebound since I never knew when or where I would have to go at a moments notice.
 
Cons:
1)  You have a different way of dealing with bowel movements.  You are more of an active participant in the process.
2)  To be prepared you do have to pack a small back of "just in case" suppies and take with you when you go out.  My case is 4"X5"X1", far from being a hinderance.
3)  I can only speak for an ileostomy but it is emptied 4 to 6 times a day, but again at my convenience.
4)  The appliance needs to be changed on a regular basis so you get fairly familiar with your guts and their schedule.
 
That is just a few I can think of and as you can see I am biased, I enjoy my ostomy since it gave me back a life without all the problems that led up to it.
 
John

Total Colectomy with End Ileostomy May 27th, 2008


Peace & Prayer
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/29/2008 9:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you soooo much everyone. Summer and Slim you are both so right. As it is...I've had to get a purse large enough to carry a diaper, wet ones and powder - so carrying items is something I'm very use to.

One thing I'm hopeful for is that I can SEE my front to clean. Trying to clean my accidents in a public restroom is close to ridiculous. How I wish they had mirrors in those stalls...so I could see the BACK of myself!

I am basically homebound...it has gotten so bad. I use to be able to 'control' somewhat with what I ate and when, but as I age (gracefully, of course) the muscles that worked with gravity...are now giving way. I am so use to wearing a diaper...I would continue that, so from what you both say, I should not have problems any worse than what I'm use to.

That is what my primary card doctor told me. He said my life would be so different. You're right Summer...it probably is people who had a healthy digestive system that are horrified. My 15 year old grand-daughter, who is familiar with me 'running away' and covering for me, when talking to people, was the one that said with no hesitation 'go for it.' She is so looking forward to when we can walk in the park again. Right now, any sort of exercise starts a bowel movement.

I am so glad I was lead to this site! It is so wonderful to be able to speak with people who aren't afraid to tell you how it is.

Thank you all again. I hope to be writing with smilies for the new year! Wow...that would be wonderful...to NOT BE the baby in the diaper for New Year's!

Thank you, new friends - I send you all peace & prayers!
Carol
Car Accident in 1998- dragged and thrown from car
lost right gluteus maximus, fractured hip, skull injuries, punctured liver
Hospitalized for 6 months
numerous reconstructive surgeries
also suffer from depression, high blood pressure, thyroid

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