Changed the wafer and bag for the 1st time

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 552
   Posted 7/11/2008 8:19 AM (GMT -7)   
My daughter came home from the hospital on Wednesday evening (she had step 1 of a 2-step j-pouch). On Wednesday afternoon the ostomy nurse changed her wafer and bag and talked us through what she was doing. During the 6 days she was in the hospital, my daughter learned to empty the bag.
This morning around 4:30, she calls me to her room because she is a bit nauseous and dizzy. While on my way there, she realizes that she has a leak. Her wafer is moist as is the surrounding area. Mind you we had a visit from the home health care nurse a few hours earlier and we discussed probably changing everything over the weekend. So she has a leak and we need to change everything. Her incision is very close to where the wafer is, in fact, the ostomy nurse had the wafer edge over the incision (and then the incision is covered with gauze).
So at 4:30 am, I am searching through the stuff they sent us home from the hospital, the stuff that got delivered, and hoping we knew what to do. The hospital gives out Convatec supplies (10 wafers/10 bags, etc). The ostomy nurse put a Hollister New Image 2-piece on my daughter and she likes it. She also sent us home with one extra one. We got a box from Hollister that the ostomy nurse ordered but really hadn't looked at it yet. I am also trying to remember everything the nurse said we should have nearby (scissors, something to put over the stoma, etc.). Of course, I ended up making numerous trips throughout the house because I kept forgetting things.
Well my daughter's stoma is currently 1-1/4". The wafer she is wearing is 1-3/4" (that can be trimmed). The box from Hollister contains items that are 2-1/4". I am not sure if there is a way to make them work but at 4:30 in the morning, I don't want to figure it out. So we use the one extra set that the nurse sent us home with. The dressing on the incision has a little bit of leakage on it so that has to come off. We clean it as best as we can (now worrying about whether or not this will cause an infection).
Her stoma is quiet while my daughter is taking everything off and being cleaned. Then comes the task of trying to trim the wafer so it doesn't go over the incision, remembering what to do, etc. Of course the stoma decides it is time to play. And play. And play. We finally get everything on including redressing the incision.
That whole little escapade took us an hour! And probably 1/2 a roll of paper towels. But I have to say my daughter was a real trooper. She did alot of it herself. I have a call in to Hollister to find out if the 2-1/4" stuff will work or if we need a better size. In the meantime if anything happens, she will have to use the Convatec stuff from the hospital. Not bad, but she likes the feeling of the New Image stuff more.
We still have no idea where the leak was. It didn't look like the seal was broken. We couldn't see any holes in the wafer or the bag. I hope this was a one time happening and everything will go better from now on.
--Mom of bratcat (17 years old)--
Daughter bratcat was diagnosed with pancolitis October 2006
Current meds:
Asacol - 4 pills/3Xday, 15 mg prednisone, Remicade
11/14/06 - started prednisone; 1/28/07 - finished prednisone!
3/3/07 - began to taper off hydrocortisone sloowwly! Summer 2007 - slowly began tapering Rowasa. 9/07 -- flaring? Nightly Rowasa. 9/21/07 -- added hydrocortisone enemas. 9/30/07--added prednisone. 10/31--started 6-mp, stopped the enemas. Started lowering prednisone. 3/08-another flare!  7/3/08-Step 1 j-pouch surgery

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 7/11/2008 11:02 AM (GMT -7)   
i am sorry that happened to you! sounds like you got through it all right though. It's alot easier though, if you ahve the wafer cut, before you take all the stuff off. Something i do that makes it easier on me, is i have two boxes and they always have what i need for a complete change in them, wafter precut, bag already closes, wash cloths for cleanup, bag for disposal and paste. that way, if i have an emergency, i can just grab a box!
You will get the hang of it really quick!
As for the leak, sometimes you just get mystery leaks, especially at first i had a few of those, lol.

Charlotte Gilman
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 100
   Posted 7/11/2008 2:33 PM (GMT -7)   
I would add that all of it was a lot easier for me when I did it in the bathtub. Not that she has to shower everytime the whole kit needs to be changed, but that way when the stoma does what it does, you can just let it and bleach out the tub later.

It will take a lot less time as she gets more fluent with the system, and as she's less sore from the surgery. By the end of my three months it was about a five-minute operation, even if the stoma went active (see above: I just bent over at the waist and kept going!)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 7/11/2008 6:31 PM (GMT -7)   
when i started it took me nearly an hour as well, and my mom had to help me as well ( i'm grateful to caring moms)now i'm down to about 10-15mins...20 if im half asleep lol a little longer if i take a shower cuz i wanna make sure im dry. I wouldnt invest toooooo much in pre cut wafers because her stoma is likely to shrink...which is where i come in and say that convatec's moldables are great for oddly shaped or shrinking stomas...u dont have to cut them u just roll the back and they turtle neck over the stoma to prevent leaks....i like them alot u should see if u can get some samples (and for the record if u do get samples, they say durahesive is better for ileostomies than stoma hesive)
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 has been my Godsend...Thank you

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