Questions from a newbie.

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sfgiantsjo
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 420
   Posted 9/14/2007 1:59 PM (GMT -6)   
I had my surgery one month ago today. I am home, and adjusting to my new friend, the bag. I have several very dumb questions, and thought, if I could ask them anywhere, it'd be here. So, here goes:
 
 - They say that the bag doesn't show under clothes, but mine is always puffed up like a balloon, and I can't hide it. Is this just because it's new? Do I need to get those "vented" bags? What's up?
 
- This is dumb, but, I'm scared that if my clothes are to tight, or a waistband rests on the bag, then the contents won't be able to fill the bag, and it would all get stuck in the top, and cause a leak. Does it do that? Right now, I only wear huge shorts that pull up to way above the stoma.
 
 - I'm short, and the bag hangs a couple inches down my laeg, I really don't like it - should I try a different bag? My docotrs insisted that the one I'm using (A Hollister one piece) is good for beginneres, when should I start trying other styles and kinds of bags?
 
- How do you sleep? Can I sleep on my sides? Only lying on my back? Can you ever lay on your stomach again? I feel like I'm going to injure something if I do anything than lay flat out on my back.
 
 
Again these are such dumb questions, I feel stupid asking them. Thanks for any help, or any additional advice you may have. No matter how random!
 
Thanks a million!
UC diagnosed: December, 1999
Asacol: 1600 MG daily
Immuran: 150 MG daily
Prednisone: 4 MG daily (Woo-Hooo! Getting lower and lower!)
Remicade: Infusion every 7 weeks
Probiotics 4 billion CFU Daily
Glutamine 500 mg 2x Daily
 
OFF all meds!! Liver failure, and emergency surgery as soon as liver levels return to normal. ACK!


badbaggirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 275
   Posted 9/14/2007 2:39 PM (GMT -6)   
There is no such thing as a dumb question!!!!!

You will have more gas after surgery. You will always have some, but not as much when your body adjusts. I like a 2 piece system because you can 'burp it like tupperware. (but not in elevators or near anyone of whom you care for, otherwise it may be a great strategy for clearing a room of those you don't want around.) I don't use the filtered kinds because my output is watery and clogs it quickly, or it leaks a little around the filter. My stoma is high so I wear more of the hipster type of pants to avoid the waistline. I also wear an ace badage or spanx to keep the bag close to my body and output seems to go where it's supposed to without a problem. (I am also very small and for some of us, yes, the bag does show ... but there's things you can do about it, but wait till your stoma is no longer tender - for now, let it all hang out!) Call manufactures and ask for samples of different kinds of systems. They are good about that! But be sure to stick kind of close to home while you are trying something new. What works for one, may not work for you. DO try new things! I sleep on my stomach, or any way that is comfortable, but it took awhile. I do wake up and empty at night though.

best of luck adjusting. It's not easy, but you will figure it out. Sometimes it takes awhile so don't loose patience. There's lots of good advice here.....
BadBagGirl
Crohn's Disease, Colostomy due to cancer and I make darned good dill pickles.


summerstorm
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 9/14/2007 8:44 PM (GMT -6)   
the gas will go away, just give it some time, and take some gas-x that helps too. The first month or so mine stayed puffed out, lol.
You can sleep on your tummy again, i would wait a little while longer, just until your stomach heals from the surgery, it hurt me to lay on mine fro about two months, now i sleep on my stomach. I sleep on one of those waterproof pads, so that way if i have a leak i only have to take it off and throw it in the wash, not chagne the whole bed.
I am pretty short, i guess i am small, size 8, my bag doesn't show, i started buying my pants in a 10, that way it won't put pressure on the bag as badly, and there is room for it to fill up. Tuck the bottom end of the bag under your undies then it won't hang down. I use the hollister two piece, and i like it pretty good, i like being able to burp it like badbaggril was saying.
good luck!

peggy113
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1998
   Posted 9/14/2007 8:48 PM (GMT -6)   

I also use a two piece system and have had good luck with it.  Recently modified it a bit and increased wear time again.  Burping is easy to do with this if necessary, and you will notice that different things will cause more gas: ie. drinking carbonated beverages, drinking thru a straw, chewing gum, etc.  As well as certain gas producing foods.  I cut out carbonated beverages a while ago and it made a huge difference for me.

I am very short waisted at 5'5".  I wear the 12" length bag but I fold it into 1/3's and it lays very well again my abdomen.  I don't wear hipster pants - my stoma placement on a short waisted person just won't allow it comfortably.  Pressure against the stoma after you heal will not hurt it... just not too tight. 

And, yes, you will be able to lay on your stomach tho I find myself starting out in that position and ending up on my side usually.  I have an egg crate mattress pad on top of my pillow top mattress cuz I like a soft mattress, but it sure makes laying on my belly more comfy.

Please ask any quesitons you may have.  We can only share our personal experiences.  Remember everyone is difference, heals in their own time, and develops their own routines. 

Do you have an ET (enterstomal therapist) to talk with?

 


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


Clyde01
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 10/29/2007 2:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, i have only had mine for bout two weeks now and i'm still adjusting to it. I have only had experience two types of bags, Convatec and Hollister. Both bags so far have been ok. I have occasional leaks from both but i guess my skin was not as dry as i would have liked for them to form a good seal. I have to watch how i sit sometimes so as not to cause too much discomfort.
As for laying positions, so far i have only been able to lay on my right side or my back. Yeah that can be uncomfortable at times. If I lay on my back I put a pillow between my legs and sleep that way, I'm not much of a belly laying person tho. I just have to keep trying different things to find what works best.

Good Luck.

peggy113
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1998
   Posted 10/30/2007 10:09 AM (GMT -6)   

Clyde01

You are very right about finding your own comfort levels in sleeping, sitting, etc.  Everyone heals at a difference pace and you will find that you will become more comfortable the further away from your surgery date you go.  Just do what feels ok, but try new things too.

Re:  your skin being dry to apply the wafer ---  this is very important to get the best seal of your wafer.  I know that I have mentioned on this forum in other places that I use Viva paper towels during my appliance change.  I fold each one into 1/4's and use like a wash cloth and then just pitch them with the used wafer/bag.  I use one to wash, one to rinse, and most importantly for me, one to dry.  The paper towel really absorbs the dampness on the skin well and has worked for me since 1984!!!  Just my hint!  They are the most expensive paper towels, but you gets LOTs of changes out of one roll.

Good luck to ya and keep us updated on your challenges and accomplishments!

 


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


Clyde01
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 10/30/2007 11:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Peggy, so far my only real challenge is to get better so I can go back to work. In case you did not see my profile I drive a truck over the road. I miss the road already but I know that I will be better when I come back to work. I try to stay as active as possible but there are times that I get tired sooner than expected and have to take a break for a bit. I'll have to try the paper towel thing next time I change bags.
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