Can your stoma gear survive a hurricane?

Last year we saw a lot of emergency situations take place in the United States.  Usually we have hurricanes and also tornados which can shut down location for up to a month.  This is really bad, but last year we saw riots do the same thing. It was super sad to see. Now my family is planning on criminals attacking already and it is not a fun thing to think about.  Citizens have been shows by police that they won’t be held accountable for crime and that means that this election year our economy and ability to receive items for an extended amount of time could happen.  Last year it happened and we won’t forget it.  So what it was like was just like a normal time of crisis and emergency like a hurricane.  To me this simply said, that I need to be prepaired for a new type of emergency because I have a stoma and I need gear to live safely.

It is not dumb to prepare for something that has happened and can happen again.  When you see this exact situation happen and in my case, it was 12 months or so back, then why wouldn’t I be prepared for it now when it is likely to happen again?  That is what I am doing and I want people to be prepared just in case they lose the ability to get their ostomy gear.  I say this because our country runs on just-in-time delivery.  Even for our medical gear, we wait until we are about out for our next shipment to come in.  For me, this happens every month and most of the people with a stoma in this country are the same way.  But in many major cities pharmacies where we get our emergency gear if we run out were closed, burned down, or blocked by criminals.  It was simply not safe to go out and get new gear and the post office and amazon were not delivering in the parts of my city that were overrun with looting and rioting.  The news did not show those cities and still, riots are happening in 2021 and they do not exist on all major media.

I now see that the news is flat out lying and I am no longer going to worry about their lies.  I am going to simply have enough stock on hand to be safe.  I have never been a prepper, but I now have two months of extra supplies on hand.  If the worst happens and I have locked in again due to COVID-19 and illegal riots then I will be just fine.  But many people won’t.  If an emergency happens they will be in trouble and that is why I am writing this.  Don’t get yourself into a situation that you have to go out into danger just to get an ostomy bag.  That is insane to me.  There is nothing crazy about being safe. 

I am now prepared for a likely situation to come and I feel confident in having the extra gear. I am not worried anymore about the economy failing for a small amount of time or that I will be stuck with reusing old supplies that are now unsanitary.  Anxiety is lower on my end because I am ready and will be just fine, I hope you will be too.

A landscaper with an ostomy

As a young boy, I loved to help my father any time he had yard work to do. It was fun to me. The first memory I have of helping my dad was sitting on his lap on the sit-down lawnmower while he mowed the yard. When I got older, I knew I wanted to have my own landscaping company. 

As a young boy helping my father with yard work was very fun for me. I enjoyed that he asked for my help. I remember when I got my own little plastic push mower so, I could follow my dad around the yard as he mowed. As I grew up, he relied on me to do the mowing, and he would do the trimming with a weed wacker. I loved the little combo we had. We worked well together. One day while I was out mowing, I felt an odd sharp pain in my abdomen. I tried to ignore it, but the pain only got worse. I told my parents about it, and they immediately brought me to the doctor. We got a scan done to see that my large intestine has been almost completely destroyed by a disease. The doctor told me that we would need to perform an ostomy procedure immediately and take out my intestine so the infection does not spread. I was scared. 

When I woke up from the procedure, the first thing I noticed what the reddish pink puffy thing on my lower abdomen. The doctor explained that this was called the stoma, where all my bodily waste will exit and be dumped into the bag that is fixed over the stoma. I began asking so many questions like how this would affect my life. He told me that I could still live my life as usual without any issues other than having a bit of restricted movement due to the bag. He said I could remove the bag if I choose to but will need to replace it when I feel a movement coming. 

As I grew up, I learned to accept my situation and cope with it. It was not much of a hindrance as I was thinking it was going to be. When I got out of high school, I started my own lawn care business. I would do mowing, trimming, mulch laying, and fertilization for the grass. Not one week after I had a site up on the internet, I was receiving calls left and right for jobs. This was so rewarding and encouraged me to keep going as I knew this was right for me. As the years went on, I continued to work hard in my business. I was even able to hire some of my close friends to work for me during their summer break from college. After some of them realized how well I was doing and how fast the business was constantly growing, they decided to drop out and join me. 

I never expected to have my own business be this profitable and busy, but I am glad that it is. Having an ostomy does not really prevent me from doing my job. I use to sit down mowers as they are the quickest and make my job a bit easier. I love what I do, and I never really think about my ostomy bag as I’m working. I’m glad that I was able to hire some of my friends as employees too, as it is very nice working with some great people. for

Stoma Reversals and Their Benefits

What Is A Stoma?

A stoma is a way to release feces from the body after a major or minor surgery. Part of the bowel is brought to the surface of the abdomen and a small pouch is placed there to collect excrement. This solution to remove waste can be a permanent or a temporary solution, depending on your condition and your doctor’s recommendations.

What Are Stoma Reversals?

If your doctor thinks that your condition is temporary or that you have recovered well after surgery, they may elect to perform a stoma reversal. This means that you can reconnect your bowel and your colon and close up the site of the stoma.

To determine if you are eligible for a stoma reversal your doctor should do a thorough inspection of the stoma site and your bowel movements. They should examine your rectum and your sphincter muscles to ensure that they are strong enough for bowel movements. They should also give you an enema to ensure that there are no leaks or tears in your bowel. Your doctor may also elect to give you a CT scan to check for any diseases that could affect your bowels.

What To Expect From A Stoma Reversal Surgery?

If you and your doctor agree to pursue a stoma reversal surgery, you can expect to have one anywhere from three months to twelve months after the initial surgery. This gives your muscles enough time to heal and helps ensure optimal function.

If there are no complications, the procedure should take about two hours to perform. You will be placed under general anaesthetic. After surgery you will only be allowed to eat liquids and will be advised to stay on bed rest. This gives your body time to heal and helps to ensure you will not have any bowel movements that could infect the area. After a few days, your doctor will recommend that you eat soft foods and move around to help aid in your recovery.

Typically, people stay in the hospital for about four days after a stoma reversal so that a doctor can keep close eye on recovery and ensure that there are no complications or infections. If you do not experience any of these things, you will typically be released from the hospital around day four.

Similar to other surgeries, you will not be allowed to lift heavy objects for at least six weeks. You will have a post-op check up around the same time. If you experience any unusual symptoms or are in severe pain you may need to contact your doctor immediately.

Returning To Normal Life

A stoma reversal is a serious, but routine, procedure. It can take months to regain full control over your bowels. Many people who have had a stoma reversal often experience diarrhea or constipation, pain, soreness, and incontinence. These things can make recovery a challenge, however the more you move and exercise the better your recovery will be.

Eating a good and well balanced diet can also help aid in recovery after a stoma reversal. You may choose to use wet wipes when cleaning your stoma area to help ensure you remove all bacteria. It can also make the area less painful. Using wet wipes can protect your skin and help you return to life quicker.

Common Stoma Complications to Watch Out For

Stoma patients often experience a host of related issues. Thankfully most of these are easy to take care of. But one first needs to identify the issues before determining how to treat them.

Skin irritation

This is the most common issue among ostomates. Skin around the stoma can easily become irritated or even inflamed. If this is related to a colostomy than one should consider whether fecal contamination might factor in. Ileostomy patients might have similar concerns for acidic leakage.

The problem also might come down to the stoma bag. It should fit securely around the stoma. It shouldn’t dig into the skin or cause any cuts or bleeding. Some people also suffer from allergies related to the applience’s material.

Leaking from the stoma

Ostomates should expect to encounter leaks every now and then. But if this happens on a frequent basis it might suggest an underlying problem. An ill fitting stoma bag is the most common cause of frequent leakage. One should check to make sure that the hole fits around the stoma correctly. People with a flat or retracted stoma might want to discuss convex wafers as well.

Bleeding from or around the stoma

Bleeding around the stoma usually seems far more serious than it actually is. The most common cause is simply chafing of the skin around one’s stoma. However, it’s important to talk to a doctor or nurse if the bleeding is coming from within the stoma itself.

Prolapses

This refers to situations where the stoma pushes out to an abnormal extent. This can occur for a number of reasons. But the most common causes are those in which one’s body mass increases. For example, pregnancy or rapid weight gain can cause a stoma prolapse. While this isn’t an immediate danger in most cases one should still consult with a doctor or nurse to discuss it.

Retractions

This is in many ways the reversal of the situation one faces with a prolapse. A stoma usually extends a little above one’s skin. If the stoma is at the same level as the surrounding skin, or is recessed, it’s considered a retraction. The biggest concern with a retraction comes from issues related to the bag’s fit. One might see increased amounts of leakage or skin irritation as a result of retractions.

Hernias

Sometimes loops from one’s intestine can push through abdominal muscles in proximity to the stoma. It’s usually felt as a physical mass or lump directly behind the area of one’s stoma. This can cause physical pain. And most of the other symptoms can come along with a hernia. This is in large part because the physical mass interferes with a bag’s proper fit. The physical symptoms are usually somewhat mild at the start. But over time it can cause severe issues such as continual vomiting or intense pain. As such one should talk to a doctor about it as soon as possible.

Obstructions

An obstruction refers to anything which impedes the movement of fecal material. The underlying cause might simply be dietary issues. However, it can also be due to scar tissue or other problems related to the stoma. One should increase fluid consumption and decrease solid foods for a while if there’s an obstruction. Hot liquids, such as tea, can also help address the issue. If the issue doesn’t correct itself after dietary changes have been made than one should consult with medical professionals.

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