Somedays…

having an ostomy really stinks. (Yes, literally and figuratively). Yesterday was one of those days. Due to my own bad judgement Sunday afternoon ( I ate pineapple on pizza at the in-laws after church), I had a partial obstruction for about 24 hours. The bloated feeling started around 8pm Sunday night, followed by the cramps, the nausea, and all the other loveliness that goes along with a bowel obstruction.  By 1:30am my pouch was leaking because my abdomen was so distended and hard. Nothing more fun than rolling out of bed at that hour, fumbling around to find the ostomy supplies, banging into the bathroom door (and waking the dog in the process), and trying to do a complete wafer & pouch change in the light provided by the plug in nightlight because if you turn on the light the dog will think it’s morning and you’ll never be able to go back to sleep.

I got up Monday morning and manged to put clothes on, make a lunch for Jaidin and get her ready and to school on time. Back home I came and went down to my office to try and work. I sat at my desk with the heating pad, hot tea, and prayed to the ostomy gods to PLEASE relieve my suffering. I answered  the phone with my right hand and massaged my tummy non-stop with my left , hoping with all hope that the blasted pineapple piece would just pop out of there already!!

But the ostomy gods were hell bent on trying to teach me a lesson. At about 10:30am, I discovered that my pouch was leaking – AGAIN, so I headed upstairs to change it. During this change I discovered the fire engine red skin around my stoma that I had missed  in the earlier change done by nightlight. Oh joy. I have some nerve damage in the peristomal skin since my last surgery, so I cant always feel when my skin is compromised. No bueno!

I finished my shift at work at 4pm and moved myself to the couch where I resided the rest of Monday evening. Finally at about 8pm I got a major “movement” and started feeling better. Crisis diverted and no Emergency Room trip.

Today I’m sore as all get out and feel wiped out.  All that from a couple little pineapple tidbits. I know – most of you are saying ” Why in the world did you eat the blasted pineapple, dummy?” (Mom- I see you reading). Well, I ate it because my diet is a bit like playing Russian roulette. 9 times out of 10 I can eat “problem foods” (pineapple, nuts, coconut, mushrooms, etc) with NO PROBLEM. But, occasionally – that 9th time out of 10, they give me an issue. After years and years of a restricted diet due to IBD, and having my ostomy for 19 years, sometimes I feel it’s worth the risk  in order to occasionally eat a food I enjoy. Maybe I’m hard headed. Or maybe some days having an ostomy really does stink…

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3 responses to “Somedays…

  1. Hello, I have the same situation but with corn… yes, i gave in and ate one corn on a comb last summer… result: 2 days at the hospital… I was able to stop the pain by removing the corn with a q-tip… I know it`s gross but it worked… the nurse was sure it wouldn`t work but it did!

    I don`t really eat pineapple but i `ll be careful when I do!

    Take care 🙂

  2. Yes, some days really do literally and figuratively stink. I’ve most often played Russian roulette with popcorn. In my case, popcorn seems to have a much higher risk of obstructing (40-50%?) then other hard-to-digest foods, but the cravings for popcorn also are much greater for me than any other food. (I joke it must be what opium addiction is like.) I’m getting stronger, however, and rarely give in to my popcorn craving these days.

    Fortunately when the odds don’t play out in our favor, most ostomates know their bodies and their limits. Tell a GI doctor that you went for 24-hrs with an obstruction and many will react like you’re crazy. (I know – I’ve seen that reaction.) But we usually can sense when there is a chance things may clear on their own, and when an ER visit is the better/necessary option.

    I hope your days that stink remain few and far between!

  3. I am happy to hear someone else admit to playing the Russian roulette with what others label as “bad food for an ostomate” I have the same addiction as Kevin with popcorn and unfortunately it seems impossible for me to see a movie at a theater or at home without POPCORN! I have had people ask me why I still would eat that knowing I could possibly get a blockage and be in horrible pain with an NG tube sticking out of my nose for gosh sakes! Although I have never given birth I think a blockage must be similar for shortly after the pain is over I forget how much it hurt and go enjoy my popcorn at the latest flick! Okay maybe not super shortly…but it isn’t long! Glad to hear there was no need for the ER Kristen! Hope you keep enjoying your pizza blockage free!

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