Struggling with Colostomy Reversal: Seeking Normalcy

Oct 05, 2011 12:52 am

I had an 'emergency' colostomy in May 2010. I was told I had diverticulitis, turns out I had a ruptured appendix causing peritonitis. I wore my colostomy (or it wore me) for 11 months. I had the reversal in April 2011. They also repaired a fair-sized parastomal hernia. Six months later, I still have 'accidents', just when I think it's gas...I have a mess. There is always an urgency when I have to go, so knowing where facilities are is always a top priority. Carrying extra clothes is a necessity and going out on a boat is out of the question. The hernia is back, but plays hide and seek when I see my doctor. My bum is always irritated, haven't figured that one out yet, it's like baby rash. Cornstarch seems to work better than over-the-counter remedies. Food is an issue, must eat fruit with cheese or I can't go, must eat cheese with fruit or I just go and go...everything must be balanced out.
My doc says no way to know when things will settle down, if they do. No doubt this is better than the bag, but geez, I wonder if getting back to normal will ever happen. I understand how folks feel self-conscious; first with the bag, now with miles of scars everywhere and another hernia to boot. I was glad to be single before the reversal, but now I'm just lonely and can't lift anything.
This is my story and there apparently wasn't anything wrong with my colon in the first place. I can't imagine what this would be like if there had been.
I don't think reversals are a heal-all. Just something to think about if you're considering it.

Oct 06, 2011 9:39 am

Hey Rosie, I have had 3 reversals darlz and the stoma is the best thing I ever did. I understand everything you mean. But shite, I would be furious if I didn't need one in the first place hunny. What about taking Imodium? Also, Codeine helps. The problem is it's addictive, but it always helped slow things down for me. Plus, 12 or 20 Imodium tablets a day. YEAH! But I have ulcerative Crohn's disease, so really no tablets stopped the poopin', but did slow, and that's good. You know, every toilet wherever you go. I do feel for you hunny, it's unpleasant. I remember waiting in lines shopping and just starting to feel it coming on, so the more I started to worry, the more urgent it got. I used to just drop everything and RUN... Hey, if u gotta go, you gotta go. I hope your symptoms do slow down asap. xxxx mooza... Australia xxxx. Oh, remember the Library too xx.

Gray Logo for MeetAnOstoMate

Why Join MeetAnOstoMate?

First off, this is a pretty cool site with 35,000 members who truly understand you.

It's not all about ostomy. We talk about everything.

Many come here for advice or to give advice, others have found good friends, and some have even found love. Most importantly, people here are honest and genuinely care.

🛑 Privacy is very important - we have many features that are only visible to members, ensuring a safe and secure environment for you to share and connect.

Create an account and you will be amazed by the warmth of this community.

Oct 07, 2011 3:45 am

Thanks Mooza,
I understand the waiting in line thing. If I ever get constipated, all I have to do is find a line to wait in, gets me going every time!!! LOL

Oct 07, 2011 5:38 am

At least us Osto's do have a common thing: laughter. Hahahah, sorry I wasn't any help though. I used to think, "Ohh, I wish I had that bloody pouchy when I did the dunny (toilet) run." Argh, literally yeah, a pain in the arse. Oops, um, if the spelling is wrong, must be my computer. HAHA If I can remember any more suggestions, I will pop them back on here for ya. ..Ice cream container in the car!! Yikes, hahahahah, sorry just popped into my head. Omg, I think I would have used some bushes from time to time. Hahah, gross but reality. LOL, arghhh.

Oct 11, 2011 9:44 am

Hi Rosey,
I have a similar story to yours. Emergency surgery after a massive abscess ruptured the bowel, but they found cancer as well, which was removed. They took a foot of bowel and 12 lymph nodes, and 18 months later, with a hernia the size of a football and a colostomy, my partner walked out 6 months ago. I am waiting for the reversal.
They say I have Crohn's, but it is mild, and there is a risk that the reversal will fail.
I am interested in your corn starch remedy. What do you do for it, and how does it work?

Getting Support in the Ostomy Community with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Oct 18, 2011 5:13 am

I eat twice a day Metamucil wafer bars, 1 package in the morning and 1 package at night. That keeps me from dumping. I also take Imodium, 1 in the morning and 1 at night. Doing good, but trying to not gain any more weight. That's what I'm confused about. Back problems keep me from exercising like I should. I am having a procedure - a chronic pain relief stimulator - put in my back next week, I hope, so I can get some more exercising done. Bless you.

Oct 18, 2011 12:02 pm

Never heard of the cornstarch method.

Oct 18, 2011 12:08 pm

I felt better when I had my bag. I haven't felt well since my reversal. And I have a huge hernia where I had the takedown. No energy, gaining weight which makes my hernia hurt worse.