Colostomy or not?

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Obieone
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/20/2009 7:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been a c5-c6 quadraplegic since 1978 and all these years have used Duculox suppositories to have a "predictive" bowel movement.  Unfortunately, for the last year or so, my body has gotten "immune" to the laxative whereby that I have now what the doctors are stating as "lazy bowel syndrome".  I no longer have predictive bowel movements, a mess here, a mess there, no fun.  I have a family and work full-time and it is causing very high family stress on the wife and kids and my quality of life is not where I want it to be.  I refrain from going anywhere, work included.
 
I am beginning the research to see if there are GI doctors that have had experiences with paralyzed patients with this syndrome, but no success yet.
 
If the research with GI doctors is not a success, I must consider a colostomy.  I have no colon cancer, so I would be taking a healthy colon "offline" to a colostomy solution located on the ascending colon.
 
My question is: What is the quality of life with a colostomy?  I would still have to have someone like my wife to care for the ostomy and change the bags as I have limited use of my hands.  What are the pros (greater quality of life, etc) and cons (infections, messes, smell, sounds, expense, etc)?
 
Thanks...........
 
 
 

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 2/21/2009 7:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Obieone---welcome to the forum! I am not a colostomy expert, but I think they can be irrigated which would make things easier for you...Once a day your wife could "irrigate" your stoma, and if all works properly, you'd only have to empty/change pouch once a day. Colostomies are usually (when no disease is present) a more formed output.

I have had an ileostomy for about 9 years and don't have any problems with infections/messes/smells...my supplies are covered by my insurance...ileo's are noisier, but it is nothing embarrassing (I usually just cover my stoma with my had if I am worried).

I hope my answers help:)

justjenjen
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Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 518
   Posted 2/21/2009 11:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, irrigation would be great for you b/c you do it once a day (takes a while from what I understand) and then you can wear a small pouch or even a cap for the rest of the day. If the time needed for the irrigation was not possible with your schedule than you could still use a bag.

Quality of life is great with an ostomy. Most of us have had our surgeries due to crohn's or colitis and the difference is night and day.

--I've never had an infection due to my ostomy
--It's only messy if it leaks and once you get find the right appliance leaks rarely happen
--If you use a bag the smell is not much of an issue. There are deodorizers made just for ostomies. --most of us just use hydrogen peroxide b/c it's so much cheaper!
--The cost really depends upon your insurance. If you pay out of pocket for everything it is quite expensive but most insurances pay something (some pay everything).

summerstorm
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Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 2/22/2009 10:09 PM (GMT -6)   
we have a family friend who has spinabifida (sp?) anyway he is paralyzed from the waist down, and when he was about 6 or 7 his mother had his colon taken out and got him a colostomy because she thought that would be better for him, going to school and all, since he was wearing a diaper before. Anyway, he also has a a bag for pee, for the life of me i cant remeber what those are called!

it was much easier for his mother and he was able to have a little more freedom. Leaks dont happen much at all, i had UC and have an ileo, but the concept is the same.

He did have more problems than usual, but his problem was that he is very very large, which can make a good seal hard to get,and also since he cannot feel down there he cant feel that the bag is full, and while he isnt' dumb by any means, he has problems grasping some concepts and checkign it was somehting he couldnt get.
Anyway, as a result he would have more leaks cause it would get too full.
but if you keep a close eye on that it should be much easier for you
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