Last week Kermit (my stoma) decided he was fed up with his goodie-two-shoes image that I’ve been putting about, saying what a good little stoma he was, and how well behaved he was. While I was still in bed I realised that a leak was imminent – I could see it creeping under the banana flange – these are flange extenders that give you a bit more security as they increase the area of protection around the bag, and can give you a bit more time to deal with a leak.
I got up to deal with it immediately, and as I started moving, the other side of the bag (with no banana flange) failed and started to leak – I staunched the flow with loo paper while I emptied the bag and prepared to change it for a new one.
The reason I’ve been having leaks (and much less since using convex bags) is that my body is continuing to change shape, and I’ve developed a crease on the right hand side of the stoma as I look down, and this is the danger area, so I always use banana flanges on that side. I am looking forward to the new Coloplast SenSura Mio convex bags to come out – the Mio bags have a very soft flange that moulds itself well to your body, and I think this will help me a lot in leak prevention.
Next time I order from my supplier I am also going to order some of their Silex silicone flange extenders which are extremely thin and flexible and the best banana flanges I have sampled so far.
I much prefer to choose my bag changing times when Kermit is not active – doing it to deal with an emergency usually means I have to deal with a leaky stoma while trying to clean up and get the new bag on.
When I took the bag off, Kermit did behave himself very well and I thought I was going to get away with it, but suddenly he erupted like Mt. Vesuvius and sprayed brown liquid down my leg and onto my slipper, onto the storage tower where I keep all his equipment, and down the bathroom wall! This is what is known on the Inspire forum as a “Code Brown”! This is the first time it has happened to me, and I am just glad that it happened at home, in my own bathroom, and not while I was out and about! I have read horror stories on the forum of people having to deal with major eruptions in the middle of business meetings! I always go out with an emergency bag changing kit, and a change of clothing for my bottom half but so far so good!
The only other problem I have with Kermit is wind – the bag can blow up like an airship at times! These bags have a carbon filter which is supposed to allow gas to escape without odour, but I don’t find they work at all. One bag I tried did seem to release a smell (the bag deodoriser I was using) but the bag still blew up. People on the forum generally say they are not happy with filters and often enquire about bags without filters, which seem to be few and far between.
When ostomates get gas, just like with butt crappers, the gas makes a noise when it escapes! While I can no longer fart like a butt crapper, Kermit does make some very interesting noises at times – nearly always when we have company! He knows. Stomas are like children and animals. They always let you down at the wrong moment! The other day I had a visitor and Kermit made a prolonged, high pitch whistle! At other times he makes little froggy croaky noises (hence his name). When I’m on my own he’s usually as quiet as a mouse.
The joys of life with an ostomy. You have to see the funny side and just deal with it. I always tell people, and make a joke of it if he makes a noise. Everybody who knows me knows what has happened to me this year and it’s no secret, and everyone is very understanding. If I’m in a public place with strangers, I just say, “Don’t mind me – it’s just my stoma making his presence felt!”