New Supplies, No Leaks and Starting a New Job

The picture is my late Christmas, New Year gift from my supplier – 60 convex bags/pouches, 60 pieces of adhesive tape, Adhesive remover spray x3, Filler Paste x1 (2 more on the way), Dry wipes x90, Scented disposal bags.

Basically one months supply of kit to keep me clean, confident and leak free.

Leak free is a huge step forward, no leaks for 10 days might seem like a small thing but it is the difference between 4/5 bags a day and 1/2 bags a day. Factor in, that with leaks a bag change took 3x longer. Without a leak it is remove bag, quick wipe with a dry cloth, quick wash with a wet cloth, dry and put new bag on, job done. With the leaks, you have 2 cm of crap around the stoma, 3 lots of dry wipes, 3 washes with wet wipes – dry, put bag on job done.

The old adage that ‘shit sticks’ is so true and good old sod’s law would strike on a longer clean. Just as I had cleaned and dried up I’d be removing the adhesive backing on the new bag and my stoma would ‘baby burp’ a little pile of crap on to my stomach, requiring another cycle of dry wipe, wash, dry while trying not to drop the new bag. PS – If you drop a bag, once you have removed the backing it will ALWAYS fall sticky side down!

Leak free is confidence, confidence that you can go out, confidence that you don’t stink, confidence that you feel clean. When you have leaks, you feel dirty, soiled. Even if you ‘know’ that not to be true, psychologically you feel dirty and it’s not a fun place to be. But I’ve moved beyond that now, confidence is rising.

So, 6 weeks post op, where am I, probably where I thought I’d be, recovering, learning my new normal. The only difference was that I thought the first couple of weeks would be the worst and then it would get better. In my case the first 2 weeks were ok and it was weeks 3 – 5 that went a bit pear shaped before getting back on track.

But I am back on track.

So, this week, tomorrow, Monday (depending on when you read this) I go back to work. More than that I am starting a new job. I was due to start on Dec 11th but I had only just got out of hospital.

Confidence, I really needed that, feeling clean, ready to meet new colleagues, all necessary to function in a small office. You always get nervous about starting a new job, well I do. But this time my nervousness has been split between new job nerves and working with a stoma. One of the reasons I have decided to be open about the stoma is the fact that I fart uncontrollably and loudly. This is exacerbated by compression eg when I sit down and nerves. Tomorrow I will have plenty of both so it is just easier all round if I am open about it, anyway with a charcoal filter on the bag at least there is no smell!

This is not about being brave, open or honest. It’s just about making it easier to work with a small team in a small office when you make random, unplanned and uncontrolled farting noises. It’s practical, end of.

Food highlight of the week – Going out for tapas at Comida.

Highlight of the week (1) – A month’s supply of convex bags.

Highlight of the week (2) – Driving for the first time since the op.

Highlight of the week (3) – Getting my confidence back.

Lowlights of the week – none really.

Thank you for reading.

Take care



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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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