Problems With My Stoma

Steve Stoma Problems

I’ve harped on about life a lot in my blogs, its challenges and how I’ve grown as a human being. No doubt doing so helped me to manage my stoma situation with a positive approach, trying not to be engulfed by the relentless issues from pouch leaks to pouch-changing anxiety at the gym, and of course the issues around sex, but primarily the continuous skin problems. 

My lifestyle does not support having a stoma.

I work crazy long days, am on my feet all day, I lift heavy sh*t for hours and then train like an animal. That, along with trying to eat to get bigger creates non-stop troubles. I’m not going to flower it up and say it’s all amazing and never causes me stress, that’s utter bull. At times it’s just hell, there’s a constant pressure on my system and it’s completely exhausting. Who stands on their feet for 14 hours a day eating anything they can get their hands-on, lifts weights on and off things and then demonstrates a million different exercises a day? 

I love my work, seeing people grow physically and mentally is so rewarding, but the demand has a huge impact on my wellbeing. It’s even worse now I have a stoma.

I know I give great advice, but I never follow my own… without a doubt if someone came to me with these issues I would be telling them to reduce their hours, eat a more balanced diet and to train less, however I’m self-employed, training is my life (after Simon and Sally Cockapoo of course) and I do love a cake or three. So, I have to try and manage things in other ways. I have to be prepared, plan properly and ensure I have my head in a good place to be able to handle what Flip (the stoma) throws at me, or throws into the bag. 

I suffer with prolapsing and sore skin around my stoma. 

A serious issue I have is that I sweat like a MOFO, not sure why but I’ve always been the sweaty one on the tube when it’s like minus three degrees, or I’m baking hot when everyone else is freezing their socks off. I never knew sweat would have such a huge impact on my health, but it creates very painful sore skin around my stoma. And with the pressure on my body I have had stoma prolapses and a couple of bowel infections which landed me in hospital. Not sure why this happened, but it’s possible my body was under so much stress that it began to shut down and my immune system was lowered. 

The sweat becomes an irritant and eating too much creates internal pressure on my guts, pushing Flip out to sometimes six inches long - which the hospital says is healthy. They may say that, but it completely freaks me out, prolapsing is a worry because damage to the stoma could prevent me from getting a reversal at some point down the line.

Because of the prolapsing I’ve got to wear a support belt to reduce the risk of damage…

However the belt makes me sweat even more, there’s all these layers and then I’m wearing a mask due to COVID and it feels like my whole body is perspiring. The sweat combined with the constant pressure results in an awful irritation which can be beyond-itchy, even to the point it makes my leg numb and causes unprecedented levels of anxiety. At times this issue would send me in to a meltdown. I’ve woken up with blood seeping from my peristomal skin and the flange ripped off due to my scratching.

It’s been a problem for the whole time I’ve had the stoma, seeing my Stoma Care Nurse again and again trying to find a solution, we have used many different treatments and changed the dressing type again and again, but nothing has completely solved the irritation. The only solution I have right now is to change my pouch on a regular basis – the whole thing every day. Annoying having to do so, but it has nearly solved the horrible problem.

My best piece of advice when dealing with skin irritations is to find a good pouch that suits you, and to use the right products you need to clean your stoma and the surrounding area properly with every change. Remove all sticky debris, shave off any hairs around the stoma, wipe all poop from the stoma and firmly fix the flange to your skin to reduce rubbing. 

Don’t let it get you down – just be ready for anything!

If you’re having similar issues to Steve, you may benefit from a variety of stoma care products in addition to your pouch, such as a barrier cream for protection against the harmful effects of bodily fluids like sweat and stoma output. Medical adhesive remover is also a great tool for many ostomates as it allows you to remove your stoma pouch gently with ease. You can sample these products and more through our sister company, CliniMed, or as a SecuriCare customer through your online account.

by Steve White

Steve White

About the author

Hey guys, I’m Steve - a Northern lad who moved to London to start a career as a Personal Trainer. An accident led to my temporary stoma and I had quite a traumatic time, but I'm doing what I can to help others. An important fact about me is that I am blessed to have the most adorable, loving cockapoo called Sally. Follow me on Twitter @SWfitnesslondon or find me on Instagram.

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