Today I saw my GP because I’ve been suffering all week with gastro-enteritis, and I was also concerned about the level of pain in the area around Kermit. The GP also wanted to discuss with us the blood clots they’d found on my lungs on my recent CT scan, and I’ve now been put on anticoagulants for that. She examined me, and said that there was a slight hernia to one side of Kermit.
This is a major bore. I really had hoped I’d avoid developing a parastomal hernia, but given how common they are with ostomates – after all, the adominal wall is compromised by cutting a hole in it to form the stoma – it isn’t really very surprising, I suppose. However, my surgery was only 18 months ago and I had hoped to escape for a little longer than that!
I am hoping to see the stoma nurse again next week and no doubt she will confirm what the doctor said.
The doctor said it wasn’t large, and not too serious, and nothing needed to be done. I am aware than surgical repair of parastomal hernias is notoriously unsuccessful and the hernia almost inevitably comes back; there is always a risk with surgery, too, and every time they open you up, you are likely to form more adhesions which can lead to trouble, so it’s best left well alone if possible!
I am hoping to explore further the whole subject of support garments. The pants that the Suportex lady provided for me through the stoma clinic were not very nice and I’ve stopped wearing them. There are other companies, and many of them are prepared to come out to you at home and give you an individual consultation and measure you etc. Meanwhile, I am wearing so-called “support” underwear from regular retail shops but they offer very little real support. They do keep Kermit’s bag in place, and smooth things out nicely so that you don’t get so many obvious lumps and bumps showing on the outside!
I have been wearing these in the hope of preventing a hernia, but now that it has happened, I think it is worth looking into proper support garments for ostomates again, and seeing what they can come up with. You can do it all on line, and you can get a certain number each year free of prescription.
Poor Kermit. He hasn’t been feeling well all week! His output has been very runny (equivalent of diarrhoea) with the gastro-enteritis, but over the past couple of days there hasn’t been much, simply because I’ve hardly been eating anything. I probably haven’t been drinking enough, and really didn’t feel like it anyway, but the GP reminded me how important it is, especially for ileostomates, to keep their levels of hydration and electrolytes topped up – a bout of gastro-enteritis could lead to severe dehydration in an alarmingly short space of time. This morning I made up a litre of St. Mark’s solution – a DIY rehydration drink – and have been getting this down me throughout the day.
It consists of:
20g/six level 5ml tsp glucose.
3.5g/one level 5ml tsp salt.
2.5g/one heaped 2.5ml 1/2 tsp sodium bicarbonate.
Dissolve in 1 litre of water.
Keep chilled in the fridge.
Flavour with a small amount of squash or cordial.
It tastes slightly weird but is definitely improved with a bit of flavouring – I’ve been using my favourite cordial, elderflower and rose, made by Belvoir, which is delicious.
The doctor said this was good, as was Diarolyte, which I’ve been taking too.