Navigating Emotional and Physical Challenges Post-Colostomy

Jun 27, 2024 7:51 pm

Ok, 2 1/2 weeks after the colostomy, I know it will be an emotional rollercoaster, but I wasn't prepared for feeling like a massive burden to my husband. I went upstairs to change my bag, all was going well until I moved the wipe to get my new bag. Without warning, I exploded everywhere; it was like projectile vomiting from my stoma. I shouted for my husband to come upstairs and help. To be fair, there was poo on the floor and over me. He was not happy, but because I am so early in recovery and disabled, I couldn't help him clean up. I'm upstairs upset, and he's downstairs. Not in a good place right now.

Jun 27, 2024 8:56 pm

Two and a half weeks is so early for any of us; we don't know the sensations of a "getting ready to spew" stoma yet. You will learn all of this with time. You'll have your paper towels covering everything and ready to catch any unexpected output while you get your new bag ready to put on. Your stoma will perhaps get an achy, moving sensation (hard to explain, but you'll understand soon) before stuff starts coming out. Vent all you want; we so understand the frustration. I've let out a few curses when caught off guard! I'm sure having a disability and needing help adds more to the emotional mix. Just know that, as you become more used to everything, it will get easier. I'm sorry you feel a burden to your husband; that's got to make everything so much harder. I'm sure you would help him if he were in your position.

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Jun 27, 2024 9:07 pm
Reply to eefyjig

Thanks. I know we are learning together and will get there. He's bought me a cup of tea and we had a cuddle.

Mysterious Mose
Jun 27, 2024 10:16 pm

Having an ileostomy, I cannot give you an apples-to-apples comparison here. However, you are in the very early stages and you will learn when the best time to change your bag is. It's easy to get frustrated and angry. Easy and normal. Once you have your rhythms down, you will know when the best time to do a bag change is. It gets easier with time. The hard part is accepting it as a normal part of you. None of us like having to deal with being a front pooper. But, time and practice can help make things easier. Of course, I had the "benefit" of three months in the hospital to help get used to the idea that I would not be alive were it not for my stoma. It's only been a couple of weeks for you and you have to do it at home. In some ways, that is a lot harder. But like I said, time and practice will make things easier.



Jun 28, 2024 1:51 am

I've had my ileostomy for 2 months now. It takes time to learn and I still have messes every day. But I'm getting better day by day. I was so depressed in the beginning, but this group has been amazing and so helpful and supportive. Every day I learn something new by logging in and reading all the new posts. It'll get better day by day.

Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
Jun 28, 2024 7:15 am
Reply to jshowe

Thank you

Jun 28, 2024 10:10 am


You will be fine and you're not a burden to anyone. It's very easy to beat yourself up at the beginning. In the not too distant future, you may just find yourself giving advice to newcomers... you'll see. 👍

ron in mich
Jun 28, 2024 1:34 pm

Hi HC, it's a steep learning curve in the beginning, but like others said, it's early on for you and having disabilities doesn't help. You will go through stages of "why me," anger, and so on, but you will get there and it will become second nature, like brushing your teeth. When I got my ileo almost 40 years ago, there was no internet to look at videos. I was shown once in the hospital how to do a change and then sent home. I've had a few of those spewing poo incidents and they're not fun to clean up, but it gets done and life goes on.

Jun 28, 2024 3:11 pm

Makes us feel sorry for ourselves for a day or two; it's only natural and hits harder when you're new to it all. Give yourself a treat, a cream cake, or buy something online to cheer yourself up. Another day or two and you will be back to yourself again. Keep smiling and laughing; it's the best medicine.

Jun 28, 2024 3:21 pm

As the saying goes... shit happens. 😁 Not sure why with a colostomy you're having projectile pooping. He'll get over it, you'll stop worrying about it, and both of you will look back and laugh about it once you get into a more normal routine.

Jun 28, 2024 3:29 pm

I think I've got to learn to eat less and that will help.

Jun 29, 2024 6:25 am
Reply to Hcbaggie

Yeah. At first, small meals, several times a day. A lot of food in... a lot of poop out.

You'll get to the point where you know what's going to happen when you consume certain food.

Popcorn... I'm in for some heavy sludge. Pasta or salad... better make sure my wafer seal is liquid tight. I just discovered I can safely eat pinto and refried beans. I've been avoiding them, but decided to try a little and see what happens.

Hang in there.

Mysterious Mose
Jun 29, 2024 9:02 pm
Reply to Beachboy

Don't know what I would do if I couldn't have my refried black beans. I eat them all the time in my family-renowned tacorritos! :-)

Jun 29, 2024 11:20 pm
Reply to Mysterious Mose

I love refried beans. Since my surgery, my wife and I visit the many fine Mexican restaurants near my house. I always get every meal "hold the refried beans." Finally, I started eating a little. And no problem. Now I've graduated to pinto beans. Next on the hit list... chili with beans. After my mixed nuts fiasco... I'm ready to rumble.

Jun 30, 2024 1:15 am

I found the best time when my stoma is calm is around 8:00 a.m. Around 7:30 a.m., I lay out everything I need to change my appliance, taking into consideration anything that could happen. I keep an open bag under my stoma just in case. At 7:45 a.m., I take a tablespoon of peanut butter, which seems to slow down any discharge. I have had my appliance for almost a year with no issues. Terry

Jun 30, 2024 6:12 am

This has been my biggest fear. I am 3 months post-op (emergency Hartmann's Procedure) and I still have an unpredictable stoma.

I still have anxiety around changing the appliance - I literally have to talk myself into it. Home health mostly did it for the first two months. Thank goodness I have had no nasty accidents - knock on wood.

Everyone keeps telling me I will get into a rhythm. Praying I don't have this colostomy much longer.

Jun 30, 2024 6:13 am
Reply to xxxltd

I have heard a lot about peanut butter and marshmallows. Does this only work for colostomies?

Jun 30, 2024 9:01 am
Reply to EllaG

Home health should have had you do it while guiding you along.

Jun 30, 2024 11:41 am

You will get used to a pattern; it takes time. However, if it came out as fast and as runny as you say, this is not normal for a colostomy. If you still have your colon, and you must if you have a colostomy, your poop should be more formed than what we see with an ileostomy. So, I would be looking not just at how much you're eating but what you're eating to make your poop so runny. Leave the haggis alone. Regards, IGGIE

Jul 01, 2024 1:49 am

Be gentle with yourself. My first month, things were wildly unpredictable and then started to stabilize. Even almost 5 months later, I still get surprised - it happened today - fortunately, I was in the shower when Oscar decided to shoot brown bullets. And yes, my stoma has a name, courtesy of my wife.