I had a temporary colostomy for 2 months and had 1 day to prepare myself for it. For 3 weeks I knew I had rectal cancer (1 inch tumor, barely inside) and was going thru a battery of pre-op tests. 2 days prior to my simple, 1 hour "scooping out the tumor, via dilation", a rectal ultrasound was performed. It revealed my tumor was penetrating the third bowel wall tissue, so I ended up having a 5 hour procedure, 7 day hospital stay, creation of a temp ostomy, etc. I had a wonderful ET nurse. I would first recommend you find one and if the one you had assigned to you isn't very sympathetic, find another. Mine actually sat and held my hand one day, while I cried and just cried. She told me that men usually have a harder time dealing with colostomies than women. After she left my hospital room that day, I remember looking down at my stoma (they had me using clear bags in the hospital) and I thought - okay, I've had 2 babies, changed hundreds of very messy diapers, prior to that, babies using cloth diapers when I babysat at a teen, also experienced very heavy periods where I would flood for entire day. So I just said to myself - you can do this! Was it easy? Oh no, I had to call my ET nurse a few times, she was ever so kind. You had to leave your call back number because she was almost always with a patient, but she would call me within an hour or two. I had a sister-in-law who is a nurse who said she'd come over and change my bag, etc. I decided again, that I would do these changes, even if it took me an hour. A few times I messed up, didn't install the bag until the click or something. And off the bag would come. Oh my washer ran a lot back in those days, I'd miss the toilet bowl and I'd be washing the bathroom rug a lot. And my clothes, towels, but if you tell yourself that you will figure this out, you will. I also had a video with detailed instructions, that did help, I watched it a few times.
When it was reversed I thought it wasn't that bad - at all - to have a colostomy. In many ways, my day to day living was different and possibly better than it is now. Yes I can sit on any public toilet and relieve myself but I go all the time now, much more than when I had an ostomy.
Sometimes I wish it hadn't been reversed (but mine was a temporary one, my ET nurse said my stoma would have looked different so it had to be reversed).
I do wish you well. Lean on members here. They are very kind and will help you all they can.
- Rectal CA 4/29/99, Stage I, 90% sigmoid/15" of colon/GB removed, temporary colostomy, reversed 6-26-99
- Chronic IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's, on low residue diet
- Colace 50 mg, twice daily + Probiotic: Renew Life/Ultimate Flora/Critical Care/80 Billion daily