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Irrigation for slow inertia colostomy


Anyone have to do that? I just started last week and so far, I hate it. It's not difficult to do, I just am grossed out by it and feel dirty during and after doing it. 

Any thoughts? Does it get better? Anyone feel that way too?

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Hello Sunny. It was a long time ago that I first started irrigating but I do remember that the process felt a bit disgusting to begin with. However, I did have an advantage in that I was having to irrigate before I had a stoma and that was even more disgusting because I had no irrigation sleeve to channel the output into the toilet.  I would say that the feelings of revulsion and disgust are probably a natural reaction to doing something that is, in effect disgusting but these feelings should be balanced by the less emotional logic of catering to the necessity of the situation. I try to think positively about the reasons for what we have to do and have found that this helped me to adjust. I believe they call it 'normalisation' where if you are exposed to something often enough you just get ut used to it being done that way. Maybe a more humorous comparison might help.

When I first tried sexual intercourse, I thought it was pleasurable while it was happening but these pleasurable feelings were somewhat diminished by the feelings of disgust at having to clean up afterwards. Nobody really talked about that aspect so I wasn't prepared for it as well as I might have been. Concentrating on THE POSITIVES rather than the negatives, I soon adjusted to what was necessary by convincing myself that one more than compensated for the other and I have been continuing with cleaning up in both activities ever since.

I hope this helps

Best wishes



Hey Bill...its CH...not sure if you remember but you were one of the people that encouraged me to irrigate. I started this week and couldn't be more pleased! The process took approx. 45 minutes total time and I went 2 full days with nothing in the bag...NOTTA! My experience has been great and successful so far and I am now appliance free...I only wear a patch over the stoma and it feels like my life is close to what it was I've seen so many people that irrigate say in this forum...I'm controlling the colostomy instead of it controlling me! I wanted to let you know and thank you for the encouragement! :) CH


Hi Sunny...I just started irrigating this week and while I understand those feelings...everybody  has to deal with their bathroom's a bit more graphic but I also felt that handling the content in the bag was kinda gross too. I agree with Bill in that you have to weigh the pros and cons and try to find a way to put a positive spin on it. For me the idea of being "appliance free" makes the process well worth it. I started Monday and I continued to wear the bag the first 2 days just to see how it went and I haven't worn one since..only a patch...that's the positive part for me. Good luck to you and also keep in mind that sometimes these feelings will just work themselves out with time...everything new is an adjustment! :) CH


Hello CH.

Thank you very much for the feedback on your first irrigation efforts and I'm really glad that it is working for you.

My memory lets me down on many things nowadays but thankfully I can still remember the most important stuff so of course I remember the posts on encouraging irrigation. "I will also remember your very apt 'quote' because in  an adapted form,  'it' applies to so many things.

"I'm controlling 'it', instead of 'it' controlling me!" ---and may it always be so.

Best wishes



Hi Sunny,   My name is Marsha, and while I don't have an colostomy, and don't irrigate, I've had my ileostomy since I was 15, and that was over 50 years ago.   My first feeling were of relief,   I was going to be well, and be able to go back to school ( I'd been out with Ulcerative Colitis for 4 years).   But it wasn't so easy to adjust, especially given those old rubber pouches, plastic faceplates, and glue that could burn your skin off, it it wasn't allowed to dry properly.   But I didn't hate it....because it gave me my life back.....

Fast forward 10 years, and I just welcomed my beautiful new little baby boy....who peed so much, it became a major deal to change is diapers ( he was allergic to the pampers of those days) & clothes & sheets....    I was in tears every morning......just to get all the wet soggy laundry changed.   We didn't have a washing machine, so going to the local laundry was the only option....that and more sheeets. 

Ok...   your wondering what each of these stories have to do with each other...    I think I could have come to hate motherhood....waiting 3 years until that darling little boy got toilet trained.   I found not "hate the routine" and so not hate him.   I started to use the carriage...until he got older....less laundry.   Never learned to like real diapers....but eventually pampers improved, and he peed less when he finally got on solid food.     Funny how connected those stories are.....emotionally 

Just realize it's a new routine...    I have friends who agonize over not being "regular", and others who are afraid to be out, and caught unprepared....    I just shake my head, and deal with what I ostomy stoma & pouch.   My badge of survival. 

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