After years of struggle, I finally faced the inevitable and had surgery which resulted in an ileostomy. I endured the same fears, depression and hopelessness common to anyone undergoing this type of traumatic procedure. With the total support of my family, I faced each day to my hospitalization. Finally a milestone - I would get to see my 10 year old daughter! It meant walking all the way to the visiting area, but, rolling my IV stand and holding onto my sister-in-law, I knew I would make it.
My nurse placed a fresh ileostomy bag on me and I started my "journey." Within a few minutes, I felt fluid draining down my leg and knew the bag had broken.
Back to my room. Call the nurse. Replace the bag. Start again.
Halfway there, the bag broke again. Is this what my future was to be? Was there something about me that caused the breakage? I was in tears as the nurse placed a new bag on me.
When the third bag broke, my morale was completely destroyed. My daughter was still waiting, crying now to see her mom.
A new nurse came in and in a matter of seconds was able to turn disaster into quick and happy reunion with my badly shaken daughter.
What magic did this new nurse perform? None. But she did know that drainable pouches require a clip at the end to hold liquids in!
Yes, the first nurse had been "exposed" to ostomy care. But her skill was so minimal that she could not identify the various forms of pouches. And as a result, she inadvertently put me through 60 minutes of sheer hell.
Will I help promote ostomy familiarization training in our hospitals? You bet!!