Kaycie - I'm glad you have good insurance! My husband works for a small company and premiums have skyrocketed since I had my surgeries, 4 times the price they were 10 years ago - both hospital stays (12 days combined) were $1400, total, out of pocket expense. I cringe what it would be now, 20% at least. And I'm sure my ins. company would balk at ostomy supplies too (they wouldn't even pay for my last colonoscopy, just paid that off in November). I do know you need equipment for irrigation too. But for the specific ostomate this method benefits, it's the way to go from all I read. You have to give it several tries to get it to work right but apparently, people that do irrigate (from the forum on the website I mentioned above) are so glad they gave it a try. It certainly wouldn't hurt to ask if you could do this. Also, if not, colostomies are not difficult to master either. Loads of help right here on this board. I had a wonderful ET (a colostomy) nurse, she took me through a change step by step. She gave me a video to take home too, if I forgot the steps. Now I'm certain all of this info is available online. She gave me so many useful tips, some that I still use today. When I enter a public bathroom stall, I look for two things - plenty of TP and to make sure the toilet isn't stopped up. If either, I keep looking for a good stall. Before even sitting down. You don't want to realize you are out of TP when you need it the most! But one comment stuck with me - she said women adjust to ostomies in general much better than men do. At the time I thought, is this because we have periods? I went thru a phase in my 30s when I had extremely heavy periods that disrupted my daily life. I had to come home, no matter where I was. Wearing a thick maxi pad and super tampon was not enough. By the time I had my cancer I had two children as well. So I looked at that stoma and colostomy bag and thought to myself - okay self, you can do this! You've had messy periods and changed hundreds of messy diapers. And you know what - I just transferred that approach to emptying my bag, changing the wafer, etc. to a new wafer/bag, etc. I was determined not to ask for help (I had a SIL at the time, who's left the family by now, who is a nurse, I knew I could call her if I needed to, but I didn't really want to!). I just took my time and read all the material. And somehow I got thru it all. You will too if you need one. The only time I had a mess was when I didn't have the end clip on the bag, on tight. It leaked. I had to wash a bathroom rug near our toilet and clean up the mess. No biggie. The other time I went thru a complete change, put on a new bag but didn't listen carefully for the click sound to make sure it was in place before a shower. Sure enough when I was washing, I knocked it off. I had a mess again, all over the shower (good place to have a mess!). If I remember correctly, I put on a new bag. Making sure I heard that click sound!
Wishing you well and more replies on this thread!
- Diagnosed with rectal cancer, April 1999 - Stage I, no treatment necessary
(5 hour colon resection: 90% sigmoid removed, 15 inches of colon removed, gall bladder removed, given temporary colostomy)
- Colostomy reversal, June 1999
- Left with IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's every day
- On a low residue diet at least 75% of the time
- Takes Colace 50 mg each evening
All in all I do okay, I just use the bathroom A LOT! But I survived and beat cancer!