Leaks, more leaks and finally a solution

The leaks have continued, and some have been pretty nasty and a tad demoralising. The issue is that a couple of weeks ago my stoma shrank quite dramatically from 40mm to 30mm and it slopes down on one side. As a result, with a standard bag one side of my stoma is below the seal on the flange of the bag, the crap then gets under the seal and pushes it’s way through and out. When it gets up to full production speed my stoma can really get a motor on, you can go from feeling safe to looking for a toilet in less than 20 minutes!

My stoma nurse had suggested several possible solutions that involved paste, protective seals in 2 sizes, mouldable rings, extra tape, olive oil, blocking the filter, none of which really worked. They just delayed the inevitable. Then this week she bought over a bag with a convex flange that can be pushed in to the gap between my skin and the stoma so that the complete stoma is proud of the seal and flange. Result – no smell, no leak, confidence perking up.

So, the solution is a bit of paste, a convex baseplate, spray the inside of the bag with olive oil, put a seal on the filter so that the bag inflates a bit, a piece of adhesive tape and a belt. It sounds a bit over the top but as I said last week confidence is king and by last Tuesday my confidence was heading south at a rate of knots.

There was one tiny issue, she only had 4 convex baseplate bags. I put an order in with my supplier but that would take 10 days to arrive. The bags have been allocated as follows, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Eve. In the mean time we are back to paste, protective seals, extra tape, olive oil and firming up my output with Loperimide Hydrochloride, the active ingredient in Imodium, topping this up with Jelly babies! It makes the leaks more manageable but cannot stop the smells seeping out, but manageable, knowing there is a solution is a good place to be.

A note on branded medicine – Imodium Melts £6.99, Boots Own Brand £3.99, generic Loperimide Hydrochloride 99p. All of them contain 6 pills with 2mg of the same active ingredient – go figure!

Recovery from the surgery and that scar continue to go well. Increased my walking to 10,000 steps a day this week, still doing the exercises on my core strength and even tried braking in the car. The engine was off, so there was no danger to anybody other than myself. The small steps continue to go well.

Food highlight of the week – Slow roasted leg of lamb with chorizo and cannellini beans.

Event of the week – meeting some friends down the pub for Christmas drinks.

Lowlight of the week – those bloody leaks, again.

Highlight of the week – A sick note ending on January 7th so I can start my new job on the 8th.

Late news of the week – received a package in the post from my Stoma nurse – 6 extra convex bags – I can now celebrate 10 days of Christmas!

Thanks for reading – have a great Christmas.


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A 50 something film and digital photographer based in Kendal, Cumbria. Blogging about mental health, mental wellbeing, living with a colostomy and music memories.

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