There’s No Crying In Ostomy….Or Is There?

It’s 12:18 a.m.  I just put my baby to sleep.  Why is that you ask?  Because we just finished changing our ostomy appliance for the third time today.  Yep.  It’s all kinds of fun around here.

Z woke up this morning with a wafer we had placed last night.  It looked pretty good until he moved.  That’s all I’ll say about that.  You are welcome.  I decided to put a one-piece bag on as we were on our way to Walter Reed to see our favorite ostomy nurses.  I didn’t want it too secure as I knew we were going to be trying out a new product to see if we can get more life out of them.

Our nurse had some new bags and wafers to try from Coloplast this time.  They looked promising, but I dislike that they have a closing device that looks like a chip clip….you know, like you would use to keep a bag of chips fresh.  I just can’t see how sleeping with that would be comfortable.  Since our current Hollister ones keep leaking, I was willing to give it a shot.  Actually, to be more accurate, the wafer ripples and then stool tunnels through.  The nurse and I got the new appliance on and off we went.  It lasted until 9 tonight.  That’s 7 hours.  What the heck?

Wafers are supposed to last 3-5 days.  We got 48 hours over the weekend and did a happy dance.  There was no dancing tonight.  There was muttering under my breath, tears by Z and by me, Skyping with big brother in Colorado as a diversion and Cut The Rope with our other big brother while mama worked hard to get the stoma paste off.

Stoma paste is applied on the edge of the wafer closest to the stoma to add another barrier against leakage and to help seal everything.  When it hasn’t been allowed to set for 24 hours it is extremely hard to get off and this causes lots of irritation to the skin.  We started working on it at 9:30.  Late to be sure, but it’s summer and our Mustang arrived today….We finished at midnight.  It has never taken us this long, but we could not get that paste off.

Zack is NOT a fan of wafer changes.  Who can blame him?  It’s like having a big gooey bandage ripped off your stomach, even when we use adhesive remover.  Add in the crazy stoma paste that will not come off and you have an explosive situation on your hands.

Once we finally got the goop off, we had to wash his skin to get all the adhesive remover off.  Think goo gone in a wipe form that is a bit greasy. Our insurance sent a box of 100 for a month.  Pretty sure we used at least 10 tonight.  They cost $51 a box.  I don’t really want to run out!

We got Z’s skin washed, dried, skin barrier wipe applied along with stoma powder for his now highly irritated skin, more stoma paste for the wafer, slapped that puppy on, added the bag and prayed.  Because really, what else can we do at this point?  Oh yea, cry.  We cried all right.  It stunk.  It was a suck fest.  And then I got mad……

I’m pretty stubborn.  I don’t like to lose.  This ostomy stuff may be sucking the life out of us at the moment, but we will figure it out.  We can’t keep doing this.  Starting tomorrow I’m on a quest to figure out the right formula for Zachary’s skin and we are going to start kicking butt and taking names.

Tomorrow I’ll post some fun pictures of Zack in his new Mustang.  He and his dad put it together today and the battery is charging.  It will be ready to go at dinner time.  There will be much celebrating and much excitement!  Stay tuned!!


0 thoughts on “There’s No Crying In Ostomy….Or Is There?

  1. Oh friend, how discouraging! I am so sorry. We will be praying that you get it all figured out and that it becomes a quick everyday (or three day!) process with no distress. So glad he is continuing to heal and is home! Cannot wait to see pictures of his new ride!

  2. Dawn, Jimmie and I continue to pray that the right solution appears for Zack’s wafers. Hang in there. A solution is right around the corner.

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