If you have a colostomy low on your left hand side, you may be able to irrigate it. While I no longer have a temporary colostomy, my colon surgeon has suggested I might consider having an inverted colostomy, as low as possible, one that I would give my self an enema of sorts (irrigation) once every 24 to 48 hours. You wear a large bandaid (called an Am Patch) in between irrigations. I got the impression the stoma is flush with the skin or slightly rounded, not sticking out like my former temp ostomy looked).
At this point I am avoiding any and all surgery. We have extremely high copays and individual deductibles for our medical insurance. The level of insurance we have now compared to 10 years ago when I faced cancer and 2 colon surgeries is like night and day. I simply cannot afford to have a huge medical bill right now or the ongoing monthly expense of colostomy supplies (which I know our insurance would not cover).
But it's worth asking if this is a possibility. Irrigation is something very new my colon surgeon says, it's just now beginning to catch on and for the correct candidate, it's very easy to maintain.
I'm just not there yet (mentally or financially!).
- 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!