2 months after surgery - a few questions about life with stoma

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 5/29/2011 6:14 AM (GMT -6)   
I just signed up today, after looking around the net for a few answers regarding ostomy bag size. The last 7 or 8 weeks have been total stress, but mainly because of the kinds of thoughts I was having, and my feelings of having been mutilated by having a stoma.
Over the last few weeks, I've gone into different situations, normal situations, but ones involving other people (this is different than being with the friends who knew I had colitis and know that I have an ostomy now), such as subway, shopping, museums, trying on clothes in shops and department stores, and emptying the bag in public toilet cabins (this was somehow weird for me) and it has all gone 100% well.
The undefined fears I had were just undefined fears I was having, and finally my inner feelings and outlook have transformed. I've accepted that I can live normally with my stoma for the next 6-7 months or so, that I have in no way been turned into some kind of mutant species. The best is, I have this feeling now that I want to move ahead in life, and focus on all the things in life (rather than focussing on the stoma and the bag). I have a stoma, but it doesn't have me.
What has also happened is that after all these weeks of getting up twice or maybe only once in the middle of the night to empty, I slept through the night and didn't have to empty until this morning. I feel much more well-rested.
Now my big question is: The bag, which was a maxi-size, was quite full, after 8 or so hours, rather than just 2 or 3 hours. Today I put on a midi-size, because I had planned on using the midi-size long term. ┬┤But now I am afraid that if I continue sleeping through the night, will the midi-size not be big enough for a full night of stool, and will it leak or even bust open before I wake up?
I'd be really glad to hear/read feedback from other people who live with an ostomy.
All the best,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 1054
   Posted 5/29/2011 8:58 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm so glad to hear you have a healthy perspective about this! And yes, once you feel well, you want to think about your future. It's great to have options!!
As for the maxi vs midi, I'd say wearing a midi to bed would definitely reqiure waking more often to empty. I used to wear midis almost all the time, but now I switch between the two. I wake up multiple times  a night to go pee anyway, so I just empty then. But yeah, that's a sacrifice for having a smaller pouch.

Another UC wife
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 2111
   Posted 5/29/2011 9:21 AM (GMT -6)   
If you are able to sleep basically through the night I would definitely switch to the larger pouch for that to eliminate an unpleasant event. Otherwise I think your subconscious will be waking you up and interfere with a good night's rest.
64 yr old male suffered with UC & in May 06 had a severe flare & hospitalized 6 days...various prednisone treatments leading to steroid dependence and osteopenia, 12 asacol, 200 mg Imuran, failed remicade infusions Jan-May 2010 Dependence on pain meds. Made decision 6/10 to have surgery which was on 12/17/10 (total proctocolectomy & ileostomy - unable to have the j-pouch) and no longer in pain.
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