when I was having my bad week, I didn't yet know about this website! OK, so just imagine you never had any intestinal problems at all, and therefore no collectomy, no stoma, no bag, Normal life. If your dental problems happened with no other major health, body and poo issues, it wouldn't be major, jjust a pain in the rear and trips to the dentist. Root canal is pretty much a nightmare for everyone who has to have it.
But it happened during this terrible leaky time! I can tell you that these weeks were a time when I felt completely unstable an ddoubted I'd ever get it together and live a normal life. 3 or 4 weeks after my collectomy, just when the stoma starts shrinking, I went off to rehab for 3 weeks. I live in Germany, where the insurance pays for 3week stays at clinics if you had major surgery. You get your own room, meals with all the patients and lots of physio therapy, all designed for your situation. Phsically,it is really very good for you. But I was sent to one where they were speaking such a weird German dialect I coldn't understnad the people, and I was still feeling s sensitive after the coolectomy that I didn't want to eat meals with total strangers.
I woke up my first mornign with a leak. It leaked again at lunch time and then again in the evening and then again the next morning.
That went on for days, and the stoma nurse coming up every two days and trying out something new. But no one explainedto me that my stoma was shrinking. I thought that the system wasn't working and my body was just going to continue causing chaos and ruiníng my life. I would start a new job 2 months later and I needed the reliability that leaks weren't going to happen whenver they felt like it - and two or three times a day at that. I completely withdrew socially while I was in the rehab center, and really resented that I "all this" was happening to me and that I had to be in a rehab center with strangers, to begin with. In truth, it was out in the country and the walks into the little town down the hill were lovely. Friends would meet me there on Sundays, and then things felt sort of normal.
The last five days there I told myslf, soon we're home, and then I only had one more leak. I decided to stick with the convex-light bags, tgether with an eaken seal, because that seemed to be the most reliable system so far, and I also decied to stick with the maxi size, because that way I had a better chance of sleeping through the night, at least sometimes.
I got home and tere were leaks only about once a week on the weeked, until I realized I was having a good realtionship with my stoma, taking care of it lovingly, and admireing the way it took care of me by really handling things well even if I ate nuts, salad, cherries and some other stuff that might normally cause problems. As soon as I acknoledged that I care about my stoma, the leaks stopped completely.
Anyway, it took me three months to even start feeling like myself again.
I think the operation is one of the greatest watersheds a person can go through. It effects your identity as a human being, and as a woman. The leaks basically start occuring because the stoma starts to shrink, but I also think there is an internal process also at work, in which we are rejecting the entire issue (and therefore have leaks) and then come to accept and take care, and that's when the system starts to work.
All the best,