Hello Danielle. Thank you for your post as it poses some interesting questions. The first point that I would make is that if you have been irrigating for 6 months, then you probably know as much about it as most of us. However, in the interests of sharing, I would say that I have tried all sorts of different approaches to irrigation and have come to the conclusion that there is no right or wrong way to approach the matter. It's just a question of experimenting until we find the right solution for each of us as individuals. Personally, I irrigate every evening and the reasoning for this is:
a) I tried leaving it for as long as possible to see if I could get away with 2 days but I found it only lasted for about 30 hours, which meant I needed a bag midday on the second day. (not convenient!)
b) My system is slow, so the process takes me over two hours to complete and even then I am likely to get output some time later. Thus, it is best for me to do it in the evening so that there is plenty of time to finish before retiring to bed.
c) I used to use the time productively, by sitting on the loo and writing, But recently I have found that by getting up and walking around with the sleeve pinned up like a big bag, the process is much more quick and efficient. ( but I'm not getting so much writing done!)
d) I usually wear a bag at nights in case there is output. However, when I am having pains in my bowels, it is a sign that there is still some output to come and I leave the sleeve on overnight because the output is likely to be too much for a bag.
e) I had lots of problems with sleeves not staying stuck to my skin whilst irrigating, which can be really messy! So, I made my own baseplates with two safety belts and stick the sleeves to those. Since then, I have have no problems.
There are a number of past discussions about irrigation in the 'CONTENTS' section under 'Premium Content' and 'Irrigation', which I would encourge you to read, as there are lots of tips and information from other past members which is still relevant today.