On Friday I phoned the stoma clinic to see if they could fit me in on Thursday morning when I am due to see Mr. Pullan about my rectal discharge. They promised to phone me back but were very overstretched and understaffed, and I didn't hear anything until today. They say they can fit me in, and all I need to do is tell reception when I arrive, and they will be available once I come out from seeing Mr. Pullan. None of it should take too long.
The reason I want to see the stoma nurse is that recently I have noticed that my body has changed shape again and the moat around Kermit seems to have disappeared. Where the convex flange of the bag sticks onto my abdomen it is now leaving a reddish mark - not sore or anything, but it may be indicative that the bag is now putting undue pressure on my skin, and it may be that I no longer require a convex flange. I need to see the stoma nurse so she can have a look at it, and she will know whether I can return to flat-backed bags. It is now 7 months since my operation and I thought my body had stopped changing shape, but apparently not!
I have also noticed with the last two bag changes that there had been a bit of seepage of output underneath the flange. I am surprised there was no skin irritation, but it has been fairly thick output recently, and that may be something to do with it. I shall tell the nurse about this and see what she has to say.
When I spoke to the nurse on the phone today, I mentioned that I would like to go on their register of volunteers who are willing to meet with newbies and encourage them through their initial stages, pre- or post-operatively. I am managing so well now, and although I'm only seven months into my stoma journey, I know that I can encourage others on this path, and reassure them that it will get easier, and help them to come to terms with having a stoma. It is a huge change, and can be very frightening and daunting, but once one gets through the initial teething problems, there is no reason why one cannot live as full and normal a life as one did before.