From Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) Ostomy Outlook Nov 1996:

My Day with my Colostomy

by Bill Drew, Education Chairman, Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) UOA, Nov 1996

As people differ, so are colostomies. What mine does and what I do with it is doing things my way and that's not for everyone.

Before my colostomy I would defecate several times a day. That continues now. Before my colostomy certain foods would upset my system or give me excessive gas; that continues today. To pass most of my stool in the morning, I irrigate. To reduce upsetting my system, I either don't eat or eat very little of the things that upset it. Also, I eat smaller meals, more meals per day and use Citrucel, and have a small dish of cereal before going to bed. I do not change this routine.

I play golf or tennis early every morning. I irrigate to pass as much stool as possible so that I am not bothered by that activity while I am playing golf or tennis. Some people do not irrigate or only do so occasionally. During the night I do not have any stool passing into the pouch. When I get up in the morning I have a cup of coffee and soon stool starts to pass. After about 20 minutes I start the irrigation process. I will empty about one liter of warm water out of the irrigation bag, but not all of that really passes into my colon. It takes me about 10 to 20 minutes.

When I have finished running in the water, I flush out the irrigation pouch, fold it up, clip it, put on some clothes, shave, have breakfast, and walk around in my garden. This promotes further passing of stool and after about 40-60 minutes I flush out the additional stool material in the irrigation pouch, put on my regular pouch, clean all of the equipment, dress, and I am ready for golf or tennis.

I have a two piece unit and rotate three pouches. I wear one, one is soaking in water with Polident, and one is drying. After 3 to 4 months I use new pouches. I wear my wafers for eight to ten days.

When I travel I take plastic bottles to have a supply of water handy for irrigation. Also, I take with me the base of a music stand and wooden dowling that fits into the stand and has a hook on it just in case I need it to hang my irrigation water bag. Sometimes motels don't have everything arranged just right for irrigation. Also when I irrigate I sit on a wooden stool facing the toilet with the irrigation pouch in the toilet. I take this stool with me on trips when possible. During the day I am able to remove fecal material from my pouch by just removing the material with toilet paper and flushing it down the toilet.

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Content last revised 1996-11-03