Logo for MeetAnOstoMate
Support | Friendship | Relationships
27,357 members


Posted by Bill


Since I had my stoma op.
my irrigation did not stop
for it’s been more convenient,
practical and expedient.

Irrigation’s been my thing,
because the life that it can bring
is vastly better than with bags
and all those toilet-finding snags.

The stoma’s rarely bothered me,
with irrigation, for we see
that life is much more normal for
us, than it had been before.

But recently I have been told,
my hernia is getting old,
which means it is collapsing
and problems are relapsing.

The solution, it’s been said
is to revert to bags instead,
and cease the irrigation so
more of my waste may merely flow.

I must admit, this fills my head
with apprehensive thoughts and dread
of going back to bags and things,
knowing what this change might bring.

I had to wear the bags before,
so now I know what lies in store
and I’m not keen to make the swap
or see my irrigation stop.

I know my stoma nurse is right,
but still, I think that I just might
do some more experiments
before I give up or relent.

                                    B. Withers 2021

See all blogs by Bill
Nov 26, 2021 7:54 AM
Caz67 : Bill I feel for you. It's a bloody nuisance but I'm sure you will fathom some way of making it easier if you do please let me in on the secret XX
Nov 26, 2021 8:21 AM
Bill : Hello Caz.
Thanks for your response to this post. Of course I will keep you updated if anything changes, but for now I'm going to see how long I can keep going with the irrigation despite the stoma nurse's warnings.
Best wishes
Jan 03, 2022 12:08 PM
Panko : Hi Bill, Can you enlighten me on the pros & cons of irrigation system?
I've only read up briefly on it but not in depth as thought once you've had a man bag or two your stuck with them??
So when you put the pipe inside your stoma does it vacuum out your poop or does it move by gravity as normally it travels or do you know that your ready to pass a good poop like the good old days & brew it up after brekky & strong coffee or orange juice then sit on the throne & bombs away?? Also if you've had a good clear out how do you know your not going to go again especially if your last meal was spicy food & could be very loose?? Do you cover stoma with a base plate & cap??
I'm intrigued as if things are as simple as you say I would love to lose a bag & become a one bag man with cap in hand! Thx Adam
Jan 03, 2022 4:59 PM
Bill : Hello Adam.
Thanks for the questions. I will try to answer them in the order you fired them, bearing in mind that this is just my own experience: 1) The pros include almost complete freedom during the day without faecal output, this has obvious benefits for us one-baggers of not having to know where all the toilets are before we travel. It also means that we are not thinking about stomas all the time and therefore have room, time and opportunity to have other things on our minds. I believe the irrigation system is cleaner, more efficient and less time consuming than bags. I also believe that the stoma caps that I use, help with my parastomal hernia - but that's s different story. They also will hold a very small amount of output if necessary - but that's very rare. 2) The cons are that irrigation takes about an hour or so. which can get to be a bit of a drag if you are like me and need to do it daily. However, when balanced with the fact that bags are also a daily routine, this doesn't seem quite like a con after all. Also, irrigation is only suitable for people with a colostomy and no other adverse complications. 3) The system that is usually recommended is with a cone and a gravity fed water bag that hangs above shoulder height. ( I don't use this system because I use pressurised water from my own device) Basically, the water is fed into the stoma and it stimulates peristalsis, which pushes most or all of the faeces out within about 30 minutes or so. (with me it's more like an hour!)This output drops through a long plastic sleeve into the toilet (unless you are like me and can't be bothered to wait so long, in which case, I fold up the sleeve and let it fill up like an oversized bag and then empty it. Sometimes (not often) I get a small amount of residual output sometime overnight, but that is catered for by leaving the sleeve on and making it up into a large bag until morning. Like most things regarding the stomas, people get into a regular routine and this is the key to successful irrigation. 4) As stated previously, I use a stoma plug (a picture of one can be seen on my profile photos).this allows me to wear a very tight hernia belt with little or no chance of output to worry about. I have no idea how you would get on with having to cater for a urostomy as well, but a discussion with a stoma nurse might give you some tips in that regard. If you are serious about exploring the irrigation technique, I would suggest that you Google 'stoma irrigation' and watch a few good illustrations on You tube. I hope this information proves useful to you and I wish you the best of luck in giving irrigation a go (after a discussion with the stoma nurses, as they will show you the practical details). There is also plenty of information in past posts which can be found in: 'COLLRECTIONS' - 'Premium content' above. Best wishes Bill
Jan 03, 2022 6:33 PM
Panko : Hello Bill,
Thanks for the info as very interesting & im sure the Coloplast website as more in depth info as well as they manufacture their own brand of irrigation equipment as I'm sure I browsed it a couple of years back?
Any way as far as stoma belts go I've had night mares with them at first as I did not know you could get them with an opening for both stomas as I mentioned earlier my first stoma nurse should of stayed in retirement & not dug up as she was a waste of space as she just watched my parastomal hernia grow & then it pushed out my stoma making it prolapsed like another cock poking up!
Eventually I got in touch with the stoma belt company who started making me a bespoke 2 hole stoma belt just after last new year in January, I gave them the measurements & was told it would take a few months to make which I was fine with anyway this belt turned up & fitted where it touched! Both hole centres were inches out & the back of it never even touched each other as should of over lapped by 6 inches at least to grip the Velcro! So this went back & forth about 3 times up to about 2 months ago when I had an appointment with another stoma nurse who did care as she is a cancer survivor so I told her the story & she said leave it with me & she will chase things up which she did & just before Xmas I had a rep call in to see me & measure me up in person so making the measurements four 4 sure! She recommended I only have a belt with one hole for the Urostomy as my colostomy had quite a big hernia & needed more support, so she left me a belt with one hole that was a tad on the small side I can use & making me one up that will be with me very soon I hope, so as I usually have my daily output in the morning I can wear my belt tight to my body like you said you do to,pull the hernia in & let my Urostomy bag swing in the breeze so to speak? I also have found theses excellent high waisted trunks on the Coloplast site which are a god send, they can be pulled above your trousers or pants as you call them & then tuck your bag or bags in the 2 pockets which work wonders! Better out than in I say with your shirt long hanging over your man bags!
I will look into this method as I think I might get on with it & also if I know I'm going out to eat I would recommend taking loperamide or trade name Imodium in uk as it is fast acting & stops you passing any output for 6/12 hours it's like inducing constipation without the stomach cramps then next day take something that you know makes you go like fresh orange juice? Marshmallows & jelly babies slow your bowel movements too & peppermint helps with the flatulent side of things. I always remember Jack Nicholson saying in an interview that I never forgot “ Never Trust A Fart” So true a word!
Thx Bill
Jan 05, 2022 4:16 AM
Bill : Hello Panko.
Yes, I remember the problems with trying to find the right hernia belt. I tried several different ones without any joy. Then I found a firm CIU who offered to make one to my specifications. This was fine except that I was allergic to the elastic the edged the top and bottom of the belt. However, I found that I could fold it over top and bottom so that it no longer touched my skin and that solved that problem. The other problem I had was with the parastomal hernia: What I felt I needed was a belt that would cause pressure directly on the stoma. after lots of failed experiments, I 'borrowed' a seat belt from one of our wheelchairs. This had a relatively bulky clip fastener that went directly over the stoma to give me the pressure that I required. Now I tend to wear both belts during the day which keeps me comfortable and safe. Fortunately, I have never been a follower of fashion and nobody (except my wife) has ever commented on the stuff I wear.
As for the loperamide/Imodium: I was on it at one time, but found that it was far too strong for me in the tablet form and caused the predictable problems of blockages. However, one of my surgeons said that it was available in liquid form. This was ideal, as I used a small syringe to measure the dosage precisely to suit my needs.
Then there's the farting! Well, I did contemplate this subject on a previous occasion and produced a rhyme for my elderly clients on the welfare bus. I hope you enjoy it.
Best wishes


Let me tell you from the start.
I don't think people mean to fart.
And, as far as I can tell.
They've no control on sound or smell.

When someone farts upon the bus.
This is a subject to discuss.
When people will their wind uncork.
Most folks might find it hard to talk.

Many reactions I have found.
Are simply to that trumpet sound.
Such sudden surge of sentiment.
I think it's called embarrassment!

Once a fart's within earshot.
People do not say a lot.
The fart will tend to mesmerise.
As if one's thoughts are galvanised.

An instant instinct like an itch.
Make noses like a rabbit's twitch.
Expressions on their faces tell.
That they await an awful smell.

Instinct tends to make us think.
That every fart will always stink.
When someone farts we cannot tell.
If it will come with its own smell.

If our own farts don't smell one bit.
We're glad we've got away with it.
We can sigh with great relief.
That we've not given others grief.

Some may giggle, some may smile.
Some might show that they're hostile.
But when it comes right down to it.
All our farts can smell like shit.

So if the fart's not one of yours.
I hope that you will try to pause.
Try not to scold or to indict.
Just consider the farter's plight.

B. Withers 2011 (on the bus)

(In: My Colourful Rag-Tag-Bag 2012)