COVID-19 and Ostomies: Any Advice?

Apr 10, 2020 2:43 am

I have presumptive COVID-19 because AZ test labs will only take police officers and front line responders to the proper labs. The swabs they shove in our brain (ok, I exaggerate!) are used to rule out the flu!! I have been a mess for nearly 2 weeks and now I'm having new pain. It's double over pain that feels like I'm passing a 12# baby out my butt. I have an ileostomy and only a small rectal stump. I also have incredible pain in my sides and stomach. Does anyone have any advice or does one have nothing to do with the other?

My doctor has no clue about ostomies. I know they're very busy.

Appreciate you, Vicki

Past Member
Apr 10, 2020 4:05 am

Hi Vicki,

I have an ostomy, and I'm not sure what symptoms the coronavirus has, but I would try to talk with your surgeon. Most importantly, I would talk to your ostomy wound care nurses; they can probably get you some answers and an appointment, I would hope. When I have an issue, I call my ostomy nurse.

And perhaps Google symptoms for both the virus and related to your ileostomy. I'm sorry you're having this pain. Please update us.

Take care and find out what's going on. Be safe.


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Apr 10, 2020 4:16 am

Hi Vicki

I'm so sorry you are feeling so horrible. I have an ileostomy. Back in December, I suffered terrible pain and even though I don't have a rectum, it felt like a tree stump pushing through the area. I ended up in the hospital with a partial blockage. The pain was terrible. I hope you feel better soon. Take care.


Apr 10, 2020 4:29 am

Hi Vikki,

This sounds very worrisome. Two weeks is way too long for your pain. I would strongly suggest a visit to emergency (since your doctor does not know about ostomies) despite the fact that medical staff are busy. You are important too. Perhaps, if admitted into emergency, they will give you a test as a precaution. I am not religious so praying might help; I am not sure.

In Alberta if we suspect Covid-19 symptoms we are encouraged to do an online self-assessment tool that will direct us to the next step in the wellness process. Does your state have a process like this?

Something does not make sense here. I have been listening, now and then, to your prez's daily speeches. He continues to say that everyone can get a test and that the US has the best testing process in the world. I am doing the math here and according to a per capita calculation (2 million out of 350 million) is less than the population of Calgary. That's not something to keep telling the good citizens of America especially when I hear stories such as yours - and others as I have family living in the states as well.

Also, I am not sure how many ostomates have actually been tested for the virus.

Please seek medical advice to rule out anything serious. I would also use the fact that you have an ostomy (a possible blockage) to get some quick medical attention. We have a Health Link Call Center and if you have only one working kidney or heart problems, or an ostomy, you are one step closer in getting help BEFORE someone else who may have a lesser emergency. This has served me well in the past. Actually - I would rather give birth than deal with another blockage again.

I will be thinking of you.


Apr 10, 2020 5:50 pm

Hi Vicki, sorry you are having such a problem. I also have a stump and at one time I had a lot of pain in my rectum. It hurt for several days then I passed several lumps of kinda hard stuff. What I later found out was your rectum still produces mucus like it did when you had regular bowel movements. It can build up in the stump and cause pain. I have not had a build up but that one time, but now pass mucus a good bit. Now I did not have the pain in my sides like you say you have so should get it checked out just to be on the safe side. Best wishes

Staying Hydrated with an Ostomy with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Apr 10, 2020 8:13 pm


Please go to the emergency room for care. You have been suffering way too long. Are you having regular output through your stoma? It does not sound like COVID-19 for that is a respiratory disease like pneumonia. I would imagine some muscle aches and fatigue but not the crazy pain you seem to be in! Keep us posted!
Hang in there.


looking forward
Apr 12, 2020 12:33 am

Hi, I'm so sorry for you. Please contact your surgeon. I had a great one, and even though it took a while, I have no problems. I think your doctor will know and can help. Feel better!

Apr 13, 2020 7:29 pm

Thank you for your response, Karen. Today, I think I'm feeling a bit better. I have had such horrific experiences getting stuck in an ER with an ostomy and being treated like I'm an idiot... or treated like I'm there for the "drugs"... I can't even stand the thought of going to the hospital. I am trying to be patient and accept even small steps as progress. I know our "leader" says there are plenty of tests "and they're beautiful tests!!" but he uses his political position to threaten local governments by withholding help. Apparently, we haven't been nice enough to him. It's such a shame!

I will see if I can find an ostomy/wound clinic at one of our hospitals, though.

Thanks for your advice, Vicki

Apr 13, 2020 7:53 pm

I truly hope I'm getting a little better. You have to remember there are tons of people with COVID that don't have ANY symptoms. Along with a ton of other symptoms, I do have respiratory issues... my doctor assures me it IS COVID. He just has no idea how my ostomy would be affected. In order to get into an emergency here, I'm convinced you have to break in or KNOW someone special. We're a retirement community, not a high priority. I have heard from/about several people that have been sick for 3 or 4 weeks. Some are even saying they started to get better then relapsed for a couple more weeks. As I think back, I may have been infected around March 1st. Thanks, Puppy. I truly hope I'll be giving a real happy report very soon.


Apr 14, 2020 2:02 pm

Vicki, nbsp

I do hope you are getting better as well. Everyone seems to be different in symptoms and time with them. Hope you have all that you need to stay in your home for the duration. Nbsp
Sad that you cannot even go to the hospital. My husband did have an upper respiratory infection a few weeks ago that was not Covid19. How can your doctor say that without testing.  Do not hesitate to go to the ER if you feel you need help that you cannot get at home. I understand how they feel about us young folks! Lol  Luckily my doctor does not feel that way.  It is their job to take care of you! I learned a long time ago with my mother that an ambulance ride solved a lot of ER issues. No waiting and they get you taken care of sooner. Just a thought if needed. Hope you don't !