A surgical treatment to redirect the bowel out of the abdomen is known as ileostomy surgery. This treatment involves the removal or bypassing of the colon and, in some cases, the rectum. The surgeon brings the ileum through the abdomen to form a stoma.
After surgery, you will not have to go to the toilet to empty your bowels. The stoma will evacuate feces in an ostomy bag. With the entire colon gone or bypassed, the waste coming out of an ileostomy is more watery. Your feces, therefore, will be runny every time they will leave your body.
The stoma of an ileostomy is commonly on the right side of the abdomen. Its size may vary from person to person, but according to common observation, it is generally the size of a 50 pence piece. The stoma remains moist all the time, and it may bleed when you touch it, but it is not something alarming. The bleeding decreases with time. Your stoma will start looking like the inside of your mouth once the bleeding stops.
Ileostomies can be temporary, given the remaining part of the intestinal tract has a chance to heal. After the diseased part recovers, you are going to have to undergo another surgical procedure, in which the doctor will reconnect the functional part of the intestinal tract with the healed part.
Your ileostomy will start working in a few days after surgery. You may have to remain hospitalized for 1-2 weeks, depending on the pace of your recovery. During this time, a stoma nurse will take care of your stoma, and will teach you the right way to take care of your ostomy.
Why would you need an ileostomy?
You may require an ileostomy due to an underlying condition affecting your colon. This condition could be Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease. Damage to the colon due to an injury resulting from an accident may also be the reason you might need to undergo ileostomy surgery.
Life after ileostomy surgery
There are going to food restrictions for a few weeks after ileostomy surgery, but those restrictions are not going to remain in place forever. It’s all about your intestinal tract getting used to its new length. Once your GI tract heals, you will be able to eat anything you want. Nonetheless, you may have to follow a diet plan that will be more about the eating schedule rather than what to eat.
Your ileostomy will not stop you from returning to the pre-surgery life. You will be able to go to work, travel, and do anything you have been doing in the past.
This year has been interesting when it comes to health. Businesses have been shut down for no reason in some cases and most major stores have been allowed to stay open. The scary thing is that some stores that sell medical devices and even manufacture them have been shut down. I am here to say that ostomy supplies and medical devices are essential. There is no reason why anyone should shut them down or even consider it. The reality is that most of our gear comes from overseas but if it is not being allowed to be sold here then we are in trouble. It does sound like I am on an angry rant, but some people across our country have been hurt by the shutdowns and riots across the Nation in 2020. So many stores are suffering and the customers of these stores are also struggling in some locations.
One thing is certain and that is having ostomy gear is essential and that if your local stores are closed, burned to the ground or deliveries are not possible in your location, then you need a backup plan. This is a very important thing to have because some cities stopped being shipped to and many pharmacies got burned to the ground from illegal rioting. Criminal law aside, the fact is that many people had to go out and beyond their normal channels to have a supply of ostomy gear. This has really put some anxiety into my life from the unknown. It really is sad to think that regulations and politicians could hurt their own citizens, but it has happened. This means we all must be self-reliant. I have decided that in order to make sure my own body is safe that I need to be prepared for the worst.
Being prepared is something that is wise, but until this year I thought would be unnecessary. Our supply chain has never been broken like this in the United States and we saw in a flash that our own elected officials could destroy our lives overnight and no constitutional right would stop them. This went to show that we need to have enough ostomy supplies in our possession to live through round two of the COVID-19 Pandemic. It looks like our officials will kill off our freedoms again and if that happens we need to have enough sanitary and medical supplies to keep our stoma's safe. I am suggesting stocking up over some time.
I don't plan on going out and buying two extra months' supply of all my ostomy gear, but I plan on working up to having that much stored up over time. It is very costly and will be complicated to do but it seems that safety is worth it in my own mind. I want to be anxiety-free and know that if our country shuts down a second time or rioting shuts it down from elections in 2020 that I won't be reliant on anyone but myself. It is not a selfish choice, but a wise choice considering the facts that we no longer live in the same free country we used to. My own state has been ripped of its freedom by a statute that gave our Govoner unlimited emergency powers and our politicians are unwilling to take it away. We are now a slave to one single man's will. Take care and be safe during these troubling times.
There are many things in life that give me joy. One of the most refreshing parts of living is being outside and enjoying the great outdoors. This is something that I was worried about not being able to do when I found out my colon needed to be removed. The fear of not having a normal life was something I struggled with for many days, months, and in some ways years. But I have fought hard to not change my life, even though of course some daily routines have changed. What I learned was that with the proper ostomy gear I was able to have the confidence to live and the ability to live a normal life. So there are some things that are important when thinking about being in the great outdoors. The weather, altitude and simply the ability to carry your own ostomy gear is important.
So what do you need to think about first when going outside? Personally, I think being in shape is one of the most important things. This can not only be in great jogging or strength training but knowing what your body is capable of and being able to get over any issues if they happen. I personally am more worried about my ankles then my stoma when I am outside. I have terrible ankles that have been sprained many times over. I have lost years of true mobility from my life and I think that keeping those parts of my body safe and secure is just as important as having the right ostomy gear on me in case something gets broken or lost on the outdoor adventure.
The next thing I think about is carrying the extra gear that I need or may need. I am usually fine with the ostomy bag I have on me, but what if something happens and I fall down a hill while hiking? I know that I will need to have extra gear on me and sanitary supplies in order to change it out if something goes wrong. I also keep ankle braces and wrap in my backpack as well. For most hikes, I feel that a 20L or more backpack size is good to carry my extra gear, water food, and enough room for an extra layer depending on the weather. If it is really cold out then it is important to probably have a 30L bag and more layers prepared for bad weather.
This is also a time to talk to manufactures of ostomy gear about the weather, altitude, and what gear is needed in what conditions. We all live in different places and each place and condition may change a whole lot about the gear you use and bring with you. Staying safe is first and foremost very important. If you are traveling to a new location talk to your doctor or manufacture about what is needed in that new location.
I think having a plan is also a big part of being safe in the outdoors. It is important to let people know where you are going and plans on when you plan to be at one location or another. It is important to me to have others aware of what I am doing just in case I am no longer able to get out on my own. I have injured my ankle before and luckily I was able to walk to a nearby road and get help. But if I had fallen and broken my phone I would have been in serious trouble. So stay safe and have fun!