Living With It
TOPIC: When The Pouch Swells Up Like A Ballon
I've had a radical ileostomy with complete removal of the large intestine and rectum. It was non-reversible surgery. I've been
living with it since October 1992. The topic I want to discuss now is when your ileostomy pouch swells up like a ballon. The most
inconvenient time this usually happens is in the middle of the night when you're sleeping. There are some appliances which have
a kind of gas release valve at the top. But I've never had much luck with those appliances.
A month or two after surgery I attended a class at Bethesaida North Hospital where a nurse talked about living with a permanent
ostomy with appliance. Everyone in the classroom was an ostomate. One bald-headed middle-aged man kept complaining to the
nurse about how his pouch swelled up like a ballon at night, so tight it could easily burst. The nurse didn't have too much advice
on how to handle such a problem.
In my case, I've learned to live with it. A number of times during the night when I come out of a deep sleep and am in that
hypnoagoic state when I'm half-sleep and half-awake, I look down at see the pouch swelled up like a ballon ready to burst.
Sometimes I force myself to get up, go to the bathroom and release it. Other times I'm just too tired to get up and go
through all this bs and just lie lightly on my side until the alarm clock rings.
As I mentioned in a comment elsewhere, the best way to stop this is by not eating any full meal after 7 p.m. and not do any
heavy snacking after that time either. I've had about four accidents over the many years and there's not a whole lot I can
do about this damn situation except what I previously mentioned.