Here in the Philippines, I have yet to find a nurse that really knows much about the stoma. Thus far in my experience the Surgeon is the most educated about the Stoma. I have yet to find a nurse that really has any higher knowledge about stoma care. I think the vast majority of the nurses are working overseas. I would say the median age for nurses here is 25! I am impressed with my Drs though, very caring and thoughtful. Easily accessible and knowledgeable. I have at least 2 of my Drs cell phone numbers and can contact at any time.
As for my situation. I had rectal cancer, did the chemo, radiation etc.. here in the Philippines. To make a long story short I had complications, I had the temporary bag removed from the right side and started trying to retrain bowel. I developed an abscess that kept getting infected. The surgeon wanted to put the bag back on for 6 months and then start over. I explained to him about the stoma irrigation and that if he would put the stoma on my left side that I would just stay that way. The abscess and infection was by far the worst part of the whole thing. I wasn't sure I could do that again. I lost about 5 kilos during the chemo and radiation. I I lost 20 with the infection.
As far as the irrigation goes, I am one of the lucky ones. I started a couple of months after my last surgery and it just kinda worked. I am able to do it every other day, with almost no accidents. I just wear a large Stoma bandage. Plus a Stoma belt to prevent possible hernia, that's my biggest fear at this time.
The first couple of times was a bit scary believe me! I live 5 hours from the nearest decent hospital.
Sorry for the long story.
BTW. I read where you had a heart attack. I hope you are fully recovered and doing well.