Can you spot the difference between this week’s photo and last weeks – you’ve got until the bottom of the post to work it out, no prizes, unfortunately if you spot it.
This week has been about consolidation, getting more confident and adept at bag handling, I’m still at the conscious competent phase. Taking short walks, meeting a few friends and just getting out and about with my #manbag.
I have started a food diary, just to see if there are certain foods that have a major impact on my stoma. It might sound a bit anal, pun intended, but while I can essentially eat anything, I do need a bit of care around flow and consistency. Believe me there is nothing worse than trying to handle a bag of liquid crap. I am trying to use foods, rather than medication (Movicol/Immodium), saving the medication for emergencies eg constipation or diarrhoea.
My go to foods are jelly babies and bananas for consistency and a slightly low level of potassium and prunes for getting things moving (Three prunes before every meal if you’re remotely interested.) – Update – 9 prunes in one day was a bit too much, really turned on the production line – so a bit of finetuning required!
The good thing about a colostomy, well at least from a food point of view, is that by the time food reaches your colon your small intestine has ripped out all the nutrients and good bits that you need. The colon then removes water and salt and forms the stools that you expel. So, with the exception of the caveats above re flow and consistency no special diet is required. But you do need to drink at least 2 litres of water/liquid a day and have the occasional salty snack. I’ve gone back to the old childhood staple of Ribena (no added sugar) and Walkers Ready Salted crisps (Other varieties and brands are available)! The key is to start with small simple meals and then begin to build up the variety that you ate pre colostomy. Finally, whatever you eat you are advised to chew your food well, until it is almost a pulp, before swallowing.
Food highlight of the Week – Smoked Haddock Thai Green Curry – I didn’t eat the chillies.
Slightly sad moment of the week – Putting my running kit away in the cupboard – knowing it will be 3 months before it reappears.
Crappy moment of the week – 2 leaks on consecutive days, the first was ok, the second was a bit messier in an ‘all the clothes in the washing machine, and ten minutes in the shower’ way.
The issue with the leaks isn’t the clearing up, it’s just a process. But it kicks my fledgling 16 day old confidence squarely in the balls.
A couple of comments were made last week about the fact that I didn’t mention my scar. The answer is that I don’t actually ‘see’ it. Whenever I take my top off I am focused on my #manbag either because I am going to change it, have a shower, get dressed, whatever, the #manbag is the focus.
The ‘scar’ becomes the focus of my attention when I am dressed and thinking about my recovery. Having had a surgeon slice a six inch gash in my abdominal wall my core is compromised and there is a 60% risk of a hernia post colostomy.
So, I have a gentle exercise program based on 3 x 10 minute walks a day and a set of 4 core exercises, again 3 times a day. Over the next few weeks I will slowly build these up and strengthen that core which will, hopefully, enable me to resume driving and start my new job in January.
Thanks for reading
PS – The Frankenstein clips have been removed #smallsteps.