Managing an Ostomy with One Hand - Tips and Challenges

Jul 03, 2020 3:55 am

Hi guys! Freedancer here with a surgery update. My LRTI on my left hand was today and it went really well. I made the doctor laugh when he explained that my trapezium joint was basically so destroyed that there was nothing left. So I said, "So you're telling me that the joint was roached?" He grinned and had a good chuckle! The surgery went well. He took out the trapezium and replaced it with a rolled-up tendon to fill the space and also had to take some of the adjacent joint as well. He also pulled the STT joint back into alignment as it was off by 20 degrees and did some work on the volar plate. Now, I have been practicing with different tasks using one hand. I cannot even start therapy with my VA therapist for 8 weeks. I can put on my wafer and wax seal, and I switched to the closed bags and can change them just fine. I am just not sure if they hold the same volume as the drainable ones. I can tell you that they are so comfortable! I may switch permanently! The hardest thing right now is putting on my pants and underwear. It is really hard to pull them up with one hand for sure! Of course, lifting anything is out of the question for a while. I actually taught myself how to put on my CPAP mask one-handed. Most of my issue with this is with my hair. I need two hands to put it up and out of the way, but I figured out a way to put on the mask! So, right now the pain isn't so bad, but it is still numb and will probably wake up soon and teach me a lesson in humbleness! Hope you all are well!!

Jul 03, 2020 5:00 am

Hi freedancer, thanks for letting us know how it went. I hope you have a speedy recovery. Will you be able to use your arm with therapy? I sure hope so. I cannot imagine changing everything with one hand. You just proved that you can adapt to things you would not think you could. I hope this will help some people on here to see that they can get through some things they may be facing. Best wishes and stay safe

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Past Member
Jul 03, 2020 5:32 am

Hi freedancer,

Glad it all came out alright. You are a resourceful person. We can learn much from your will to adapt, as lovely said. Best wishes, mtnman.

Past Member
Jul 03, 2020 12:41 pm

Wow! Resourceful is exactly the right word! I am sitting here drinking my coffee and typing, congratulating myself that I haven't spilled coffee all over my iPad, and then I read what you are doing with one hand. And you're not even complaining! Freedancer, when you get a spare moment with that hand, give yourself a pat on the back. You've done well. I hope your recovery goes well too. Just out of curiosity, why are the closed bags more comfortable than the drainable? And what brand are they?


ron in mich
Jul 03, 2020 1:22 pm

Well, that's good news, Freedancer, especially during this time of misery with the virus and our over 80 degrees heat wave for the last 2 weeks. It's amazing how us humans can adapt to different obstacles and still go with daily routines.

Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
Jul 03, 2020 5:12 pm

Hi Free,

Wow....don't you sound chipper after being pieced back go girl! In regards to your problems........the dealing with your pants and underwear one is simple....don't. In other words...........go commando! It's summertime.......and you're supposed to be social distancing! And besides, you always wanted to know what it would be like at a nudist here's your chance!!!! One down. And now the hair problem. I solved that 2 years ago..........I shaved my head! You won't believe how much cooler you'll be without hair! I barely sweat anymore. And showering and drying off takes minutes!!! Of course you'll need to keep a hat handy when it gets cold.....but you'll be all healed up by then. So shave that head and you'll be amazed. And you can do it with one hand.....just don't slip and cut your ear off.

Seriously, glad to hear things are going well! Sounds like they did some serious reconstruction. Speedy recovery!!!



Jul 03, 2020 7:24 pm

I think the closed bags are more comfortable because the plastic closure on the drainable bags
pokes me when I wear them. The closed bags are more convenient at the moment. I just am not sure how many times I will have to change them yet because I am only on my second one. I think anesthesia and pain medication slow down the output.

Past Member
Jul 03, 2020 8:56 pm

I have a neurological disease which caused my right hand to be numb permanently, I am right-handed. You will be amazed at what you can do when you have to relearn a task!

Best wishes

Jul 03, 2020 11:00 pm

Always the jokester! What would we do without Bob?

Jul 03, 2020 11:35 pm

Always the jokester!! What would we do without you? 

Jul 05, 2020 3:18 am

Hi Free,

I too have been dealing with the use of only one hand. It sucks! I used to think my left hand was pretty much useless, but I am finding out how much it actually works! Typing on my iPhone is horrible with one hand! I have to redo so many words!

Having really bad pain in my wrist and thumb. Finally went to the doctor and was diagnosed with De Quervain's tenosynovitis. Having to wear a thumb splint right now and will be going in for a cortisone soon! Ouch! Hope that takes care of it or I may be under the knife as well.
Hope you get full use of your hand back with no more numbness.

It is amazing how we can figure out how to do what we want!

Just rolling with it!