CRP wrote:Over the past year, I have occasionally posted concerning an seldom discussed option for low rectal cancer survivors whose bowel function has been adversely affected by the removal of some or most of their rectum. The program is doctor approved, supported by research, 93% effective when done properly, drug free and takes about ½ hour per day. The program consists of a large plain water enema taken every morning to empty the middle and lower section of the colon of stool. ... Before you start the program you should discuss it with your doctor. Whatever you do, don’t get a colostomy before you give this program a serious try. I think it is better to have your bag hanging in the shower than on your side. Think about it.
Y'know, the daily enema does work for some people. And it's not really 'seldom discussed.' In fact, in the yahoo! CRC support group The Semi-Colon Club, it's come up every 3-4 months for the last two years or so.
It works because it's remarkably similar to the process of irrigating a colostomy.
It is medically approved.
However, as you mention, it's not a permanent solution--once you begin daily enemas, you have to continue them. Stop them, and you are no further ahead in your quest for bowel control.
An ostomy, on the other hand, does offer the patient some options to regain a certain level of bowel control and regularity, even without irrigation.
As an ostomate, I feel somewhat 'belittled' by judgemental statements like "whatever you do, don't get a colostomy before...(fill in the blank)" and "I think it's is better to have your bag hanging in the shower than on your side." Those are your opinions, and you're entitled to them--but the language is a little insensitive to those people who do have ostomies, whether temporary or permanent.
A daily enema is one solution for bowel management after surgery and treatment.
An ostomy is another.
Neither solution is inherently better except from a highly personal perspective. In either solution the patient is still in the position of having to micromanage his/her bowel habits, and is no longer able to eliminate as s/he did before surgery. Whether there's a medical indication that an ostomy provides a more fool-proof long-term solution or enhances survival by removing microscopic cancer in an area where it's difficult to operate, especially for recurrences, remains to be seen.
In any case, judgmental statements which prey on the misinformation, preconceptions and fears people have about ostomies in a forum full of people who HAVE ostomies seem a little out of place. I'm glad that you found in the daily enema a solution that works for you, and I think it's great you're willing to write it up for others--but please, would it be too much to ask for a little sensitivity in your language about ostomies out of respect for those of us who made another choice (or perhaps didn't *have* a choice).
You might want to take a look at this thread to get a sense of how some people are trying to meaningfully discuss some of the fears people have about ostomies. Perhaps you have some perspectives to share in that thread which might make it clear why you have such a negative attitude toward ostomies.viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5080