I can empathize with the feelings that you express. You feel blindsided by the piece of intestine that is sharing space on your abdomen. That your colostomy was not a choice that you had a say in electing can make the emotional adjustment different than those who saw a stoma on the horizon, say due to Chron’s ulcerative colitis.
My personal opinion is that psychologically adjusting and adapting to an ostomy takes a longer time frame than the physical healing of the surgical incision that was part of its creation. Give yourself the gift to time to process what you have been through. Reach out to others, as you are, that are walking/have walked a similar pathway.
I have a permanent ileostomy due to a medication error where I was prescribed an unprecedentedly High dose of prednisolone. Neither the pharmacist nor my physician caught the concentration ratio of prednisolone prescribed. Tissue thinning caused my intestine to unzip, a grave situation. An ileostomy was not something I planned.
Adjusting and adapting to an ostomy takes time. Researching available ostomy pouching products and finding the optimal system for you is key to finding acceptance and comfort. There are oodles and oodles of pouching options. Single-use, closed ended pouches are an option for those with a colostomy. No draining of fecal matter requires. Simply take off the pouch after a bowel movement, place in a plastic bag and toss into the trash. Replace with a fresh pouch. And be on your way.
The pouching system first provided in the hospital is usually a generic/simple set-up. It is well worth calling the major ostomy manufacturers and talking to their customer service staff. They will provide you with an array of samples based on your skin characteristics and abdominal topography as well as qualities important to you. Coloplast, Hollister, and ConVaTech are the three major manufacturers. Each manufacturer has unique aspects to their ostomy products. Take time to find the right system for you. The UOAA web site has contact information for each of the ostomy manufacturers. You will barely notice your stoma with a well-fitting ostomy system.
If you are concerned about wafer failures and leaking poop, adaptic seals are available. Adaptic seals are a ring of flexible hudrocolloid material that is placed circling the stoma. It acts like an O-ring or washer in a faucet or garden hose. Adaptic seals are known as: a. Cohesive Seals by ConVaTech; b. Adapt Rings by Hollister; Brava Rings by Coloplast.
There are also external strips and seals that can be used to anchor the edges of an ostomy wafer to the skin, securing the seal. Example: Sure-Seals by Safe N’ Simple; Brava cohesive strips by Coloplast.
The United Ostomy Association has a support forum similar to this forum. You will be among friends at the UOAA forum. Everything you need to know about stoma care can probably be addressed by the cadre of its members. No question to small nor too big.
An ostomy wafer adheres to the skin via a chemical reaction mediated by the body’s warmth/heat with the hydrocolloid and pectin composite that is the wafer. The seal is air and water-tight. There is no detectable odor with an intact seal.
I am a tiny/petite person. 5’2” and 80 pounds. You would not know that I wear an ostomy pouch from looking at me. My ostomy is well-behaved. I wear the Coloplast Mio line of ostomy pouches/wafers - a low profile, flexible option. Caring for my ostomy has become as routine as brushing my teeth.
There is a good quality of life to be found with an ostomy. Find support and commaraderie in connecting with others with an ostomy. People helping people.
United Ostomy Association of America: http://www.uoaa.org
Dear friend to Bella Piazza, former Colon Club member (NWGirl).
I have a permanent ileostomy and offer advice on living with an ostomy - in loving remembrance of Bella
I am on Palliative Care for broad endocrine failure + Addison's disease + osteonecrosis of both hips/jaw + immunosuppression. I live a simple life due to frail health.