Monday, November 27, 2006

"Bursting Bubble"

My bubble burst today - well, not exactly "burst" but it sure as hell did devekop a very, VERY big leak!!!

Now, I will forwarn you right now, the topic here may not be what you think it might be and, as such, may not be something you really want to read about, hear about, might just be over the top in your book with "Way too much information" and if so, feel free to back out or skip to maybe my next post down the way.

Why is that? What could this possibly be that some folks might offensive here - well the bubble I am referring to is the bag attached to the barrier that surrounds my stoma from the colostomy I had done five weeks ago today. So this bit of material may involve mentioning of some bodily functions we don't generally discuss in polite company you see - i.e. Crap!

I had taken my shower around noon, was lazing around in front of the computer and enjoying the reparte of "Meloncutters Musings" - a delightfully funny blog, I might add - and suddenly as I felt some action going on in the vicinity of the stoma, simultaneously I felt a warm, very, very wet substance spreading rapidly across the left side of my abdomen and heading rapidly down my left leg. I took a quick glance under my robe, just to be sure that what I felt was was I feared it might be and yep, I was right on both counts.

My barrier had done sprung a leak - a massive leak to boot. And, what's worse is that I had never changed the barrier all by myself prior to today! To say I was nervous, is also a bit of an understatement there. Tomorrow is the day of the week - Tuesday - for the stoma nurse to show up here and help get me oriented into all the many little procedures and nuances necessary to change the old barrier and install a new one!

The barrier -for those unfamiliar with anything to do with a colostomy and the bag one must wear - is the little apparatus that one fits to the size of the stoma and then, places it neatly so as to fit snuggly against the abdomen in a way that it completely surrounds the stoma. (The "Stoma" is what they call the opening the surgeons create in your abdomen from the intestine that your feces or crap or poop or poo or just plain shit passes through.)

Needless to say, before I got around to actually installing a new barrier there and putting on a new bag, I had a hell of a lot of mess to clean up first! Empty the old bag, find a trash bag container to place that in, clean off the stoma and area surrounding it, scrub down my abdomen and leg - a whole lot of poo to wash away there. And, it wasn't through releasing that substance either so as fast as I was wiping and washing it away, it seemed there was more there to take its place. LOVELY! Well, not really but yes because considering the issues I had been experiencing for a long, long time before the colostomy when this substance didn't want to expel itself from my body - or couldn't expel itself due to the tumor there - well, I'm very happy to see it flowing freely you see!

So, anyway - finally got the mess cleaned up and was ready to start work on fixing up the barrier to attach it to my belly. Got the little diagram out to show how big to cut the hole that fits around the stoma and took care of that. Then, minus my bifocals - which don't necessarily aid my vision process that much anyway these days, I stood in front of the full length mirror in the bathroom and carefully tried to place the barrier so this hole in it would be in just the right spot to conform to the stoma and also, to the layers of fat on my belly too! Trust me when I tell you that even with 20-20 vision, this is no easy task to do on one's own body!

Ok, I finally decided I had it in just the right place, peeled off the remaining adhesive backing, smoothed it all down, nice and flat and admired my handiwork with much pride. The stoma nurse I mused will be down right happy and proud of me and my accomplishment today.

I then attached the bag, got it all tucked in just right, finished gathering up the rest of my apparatus from this nifty adventure and away I went to grab clean clothes and get fully dressed today.

It wasn't until I sat back down at the computer that it dawned on me that I had forgotten one step in this whole procedure and that was to make sure to smear this heavy-duty adhesive goop around the edges of the hole in the barrier that aids in the cementing process of putting the barrier on to hold up against your skin!

Oh brother! Now I wonder if this contraption will hold water, as the saying goes, or in this case, crap, until until tomorrow when Heather, my stoma nurse shows up?

One can only pray and that, my friends is exactly what I will be doing now until she appears here tomorrow.


Paige said...

Oh my goodness, that sounds like a load of crap. (yes pun intended) As if you haven't heard this before.
Sounds like you did a pretty good job of getting the job done. (yes another pun)

I have always wondered about this kind of stuff/procedure. It is one of those "things" people don't talk about. But yet it is something that every single person does...poop that is.

Glad you survived the process and are ready for a new day.

Jeni said...

Puns - intended or not - are more than welcome as I consider them to be one of the finer forms of humor!

The really funny part of the whole mess today is that by rights, I was supposed to be in the doctor's office at about the time this thing broke but luckily, the dr's nurse had called this morning and asked me to please reschedule this appointment. Boy, am I ever happy I did that! Otherwise, that would really have been one horrid mess and very, very embarrassing to me and to my daughter, who would have been with me as my chauffeur since I am not yet allowed to drive!

The Good Lord does work at times in very mysterious ways, doesn't He?

Mike said...

I'm glad you didn't just give up and wait. Sounds like you did a good job there, especially with not having been trained.