This is inspired by ‘MaeRee' who asked for information on Irrigation.
Irrigation is the process of putting a quantity of warm water in your colon and then flushing out what's in there.
‘What's not inside you can't come out'.
If you have a Colostomy, you should be able to Irrigate, but seek medical advice first.
November 2009 I was diagnosed with Rectal Cancer.
The outcome was that after surgery, I had a redesigned body, a new bum to die for, a Stoma and a bag stuck to my belly.
And I hated that bag, I hated it with passion.
I hated having to change the bag twice, and sometimes three times, in a day
I hated disposing the bag.
I hated the bag ballooning inside my trousers when it would suddenly blow up and NEVER deflate.
I hated the bag ballooning at night in bed. On one occasion when it was half full of ‘product - poo' the adhesive seal was completely blown off.
It's no wonder that my wife put the final nail in any intimacy - and for good.
Having a poo bag was getting me dowe. I mentioned it to my Stoma care nurse and she told me about ‘irrigating'. I'd some knowledge of it, but didn't fancy the thought of shoving a cone into my Stoma and filling myself with water.
But I tried it.
First with a ‘gravity bag' which is a plastic bag with water in it suspended above the toilet (from the Shower rail in my case). A pipe from it has a soft cone on the end which you insert into your Stoma. Water from the bag fills your Colon by gravity. You wait a few minutes, and release the cone evacuating all that's inside you through a light plastic sleeve into the toilet. And that's just about it.
I couldn't believe the change.
Although I still wore a bag (I had a supply to use up) I put a clean one on after Irrigating and 24 hours later took it off still clean. It dot like I was no longer incontinent as I had control over my bowels. Yippeeee ! !
I no longer use a poo bag but a small ‘Cap' to protect my Stoma.
In eight years I've not had an accident though you have to be a little careful during first hour after Irrigating.
I was sold on Irrigation.
Then I found out about electric irrigation pumps, and the NHS supplied me with one, a 'B Braun IriPump' (other makes are available I'm sure). The electric pump was much more efficient than the gravity bag system and it takes half the time to fill up - about five minutes.
With me it takes about thirty five (35) minutes to be sure that all the ‘product - poo' is out and that's a time when I can relax on a bed or sit in a chair enjoying the tranquility of guaranteed uninterrupted peace.
I Irrigate every day at 6.00pm, which fits in with my daily routine perfectly. I usually follow irrigation with a soak in a bath, giving the Stoma and the skin round it time to breath. I really like my hour each day irrigating.
Over the years I've learned a lot and developed simple ideas to make the process easy, clean and efficient. I'm not a paid up member of the site, but if anybody would like to know more from me do please send me a message.
If you have a Colostomy and haven't considered Irrigating, I really would suggest that you consider it. For me it made life much more bearable and I don't think of myself as being ‘incontinent'.