Archive for the 'ileostomy' Category

Hot flashes

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

I know it’s weird for a twenty-five year old male to have hot flashes. But a couple of weeks ago (about two months after my surgery), I started having these periods where I would just have to stop and wait for a minute while whatever mental thing it was passed. When it first started, these “episodes” were preceeded by my skin getting all read and hot. I thought they were quite weird but got used to them enough that I didn’t have to stop and wait them out. But they had me a bit concerned.

So the next time my mom and I were talking on the phone and she asked how I was, I said that I was doing well except for these little spells. I didn’t figure she would have any input, but she said “oh, that’s a hot flash”. I was sure it wasn’t, but the more I explained the symptoms, the more she said “that’s a hot flash”. So I guess I have more in common with middle aged woman than I thought.

Luckily the hot flashes only lasted about three days before whatever hormones were at work balanced out again. My hormones must have been (and still are) in a major state of flux since coming off the Prednisone and whatever else I was taking as well as just being so depleted.

Baby wipes

Monday, June 9th, 2008

This may seem like a weird post title, but since I have had my ostomy, I have used baby wipes during bag changes to clean up and dry everything before putting the new bag on. I have an awesome wife. She is very big on cloth diapering, so while she was making a set of cloth baby wipes for my daughter, she made me a set also.

I started out using several of them each time I changed my bag, but now I’m down to usually only using two. They work very well and we just toss them in the wash afterwards and they are ready to use again. It’s a very workable system.

And since we do have a baby around, there are plenty of disposable wipes for when we are traveling and it’s not workable to have a bunch of cloth wipes around. I took several of these and have them in a zip-top baggie for when we are traveling and I have to change the bag. This works very well also. Just use them to wipe everything off and then dry any wetness with a piece of TP and then I’m good to put the new bag back on.

It’s not the fanciest thing around, and I’m sure the medical supply companies have something else that you can buy to use, but this is a very easy and economical solution I have found for cleaning up while changing my bag.

Ostomy Bag Care

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

I have had my ileosotomy for a little over three months now. I’m still experimenting with various things to try to figure out the best way to do things. I am going to be trying other types of bags, but out of the Hollister products I have tried, I have settled on the one piece model with the roll-up opening and a pre-cut hole. When I first started using these bags, I would work really hard to try to squeeze all of the contents out of the bag and through the tip so that I wouldn’t have to clean out the inside of the opening, but that was a pain and time consuming, as well as a bit messy at times.

I have since figured out a much better way. I still try to work everything out so that the bag is empty and all of the “air” is expelled, but I don’t work at the opening much. Then I take some toilet paper, fold it over a couple of times and slide it along the opening. This squeezes out some of the stuff that is left at the tip and also cleans off any that might have dripped over onto the outside.

Then I take another bit of toilet paper (about three squares of 2-ply toilet paper–1-ply vs. 2-ply will have to be another post some day) and fold it over and roll it up so it ends up being about the thickness of a cigarette. I hold open the opening and then use this roll to wipe along the insides of the opening. I usually grab in the middle and make two passes (one for each end). Then I can use the center of the roll to get anything that might have dripped over the edge.

It may not be the best system in the world, but until I find something better, it has proven to be the most workable. It gets the job done and keeps my hands clean and I don’t have to stick my fingers inside the bag to wipe it out.

Beginning a new blog

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

Welcome to My name is Jared and I’m just getting started on this blog. I had Ulcerative Colitis for nearly a decade before I decided to have a colectomy and an ileostomy. While I had Ulcerative Colitis, I can honestly say that I tried just about everything to get and keep it under control. It worked off and on for quite a while, but it finally became too much once I had a baby (March 2007) and things really showed their true colors. I had pushed too long and too far without getting the situation handled, so now it was time to terminatedly handle it so that I could get back from the zombie like state of lethary and become a useful, productive member of society, a pleasant husband and an active dad.

When I was deciding whether or not to have the colectomy and the ileostomy, I found that there wasn’t a whole lot of information available about the day-to-day effects of having that surgery. The nurse gave me a book to read (Alive and Kicking by Rolf Benirschke), which did give me some idea and I really appreciated reading it. And after I had my surgery, I joined a couple of Yahoo groups on the topic and that has been very helpful too. But I didn’t find these things until the very end of my Ulcerative Colitis and after my surgery.

So I thought I would try to help fill the void for anyone that might be going through Ulcerative Colitis or facing a potential ostomy (whether ileostomy or colostomy). I figured I would let people know what I had tried, what I had figured out, what’s going on and how things continue to go in the future. It’s just going to be my experiences (and anyone else I have post), but I think it might be useful to someone facing these unpleasant situations and looking for real, down-to-Earth specifics. Hopefully it will help shed some more light on these areas.

P.S. I’m just getting this blog up and running, so there will be some structural changes or the next little while as I get it set up how I would like it.