I'm a 41 year old with rectal cancer. Had everything "down there" removed a year ago and an ostomy installed permenently. I know there are different kinds of ostomies but I don't know what kind I actually have.
So, the surgery was a shock, my new body overwhelming so at first when I heard of irrigating it felt beyond me. However, a few months ago I was browsing youtube and came across the below video. I checked with my medical supplier and the prescription on file included irrigation supplies. So I ordered them after watching the video and tried irrigation when I had a few hours alone time. I was successful in my attempt and I wore the stoma cap which is a very small bag for twenty four hours with only little leakage into the cap for a few months, irrigating every morning. I have also skipped days with little leakage into the cap on the skipped day. It takes about an hour and interruption is really intimidating at first so consider it not an option, but now that I'm comfortable I put a snugglie on with the back open and another on (holdling the sleeve end I'm already wearing tight as I put on the second one so they layer flat for me) the other way so I'm ensconced in privacy visually but my body and bag are very free and easily accessible and can be removed easily and put on again for walking around intermittently. You can even answer the door for a delivery this way if need be. It looks like a caftan, ladies and monks robes for you gentlemenies
Currently I am in irrigation celebration mode. Its such an upgrade of life for me. I only wear a band aide over my stoma during the day and night while I sleep. Sometimes there is some expressing but I just change the band aide; easy. I use the four by four ones that seal around the stoma but allow everything to breath. Even a tablespoon of loose leakage is stopped and held in place until you can change, even if it means "not immediately". Solid leakage of small amounts is just a quick change too when convenient but you can smell it, others say they can't but I can. To address that I find that folding up a peice of gauze and putting it directly on the stoma and pressing the stoma flat while pressing on the band aide to adher helps in noise reduction while lemon oil or even Desitin on the gauze is really a social aide. If you use lemon oil fold it into the gauze to avoid membrane contact cause there's no nerves there, desitin can cover the stoma to moisturize and the scent floats quite a ways Also, gas is less frequent with irrigating, constipation is also eased.
During irrigation I've also found spraying a fine mist of oil into the water of the toilet prior to emptying the sleeve into the water and immediately flushing minimizes smell during irrigation in the home. The oil creates a smell barrier and the bag empties right into the water just below the surface if you choose to arrange it that way. Then you clean the end of the bag and wrap it with some paper towel or toilet paper and tuck it up into the belt and you can ...as the guy in the vdeo says "go make some tea".
After irrigating, a shower with lots of good smelling hair and body product and steam from the shower eliminates any remaining smells. The biggest drawback is cleaning and reusing the irrigation sleeves. They are open ended bags that are long enough to drop into the toilet as you stand over it. I drape mine into the toilet while I sit on a bench in front of it that is padded and I read for awhile sometimes just hanging out in the bathroom as I see fit. But the bags are over four dollars each and my insurance pays for four a month. Ew. I'd like thirty please. One every day. Oh Lord hear my prayers and deliver it to me
I've seen a posting here for a stoma stilfer but apparently they are not available in the United States. I might be best to post this question separately in that thread but as an aside here, does anyone know a way to purchase with cash or insurance a stoma stifler in the US? I intend to modify it to wear under a shape wear cami just placed over the band aide and held in place by that, no other appliances. I have high hopes for this improving my life experience given this new body for which I appreciate being able to stay in longer; I have three kids to raise! It's been an adjustment and sometimes even still its a bit much to process but it IS better than cancer pain and I do hope to bounce grandchildren one day and stare into the grown up faces of my now little kids and I do have this technology to thank for that since cancer did get a good hold on me. Now, I'm going out that door I came in and feeling good and consider that good feeling to be the greatest thing.