Friday, April 17, 2009

Don't like the look of yours much

I’ve always had concerns that my stoma looks a bit rough round the edges. Now I don’t suppose anyone’s stoma would win a beauty contest, but I’ve got to confess mine is an absolute minger. Seriously, it’s a munter. I mean if it didn’t already have a bag over its ugly mug most of the time, you’d have to put one over it. So on Wednesday I asked my surgeon if all stomas looked like mine or was mine a bit funny looking, and without hesitation he confirmed my worst fears; mine is indeed a bit funny looking. Apparently this is because there is still disease in the section of the colon forming the stoma. This means the skin around the stoma is bobbly and uneven. Which could be why my bags leak. It’s always going to be difficult to get a perfect seal on such a lumpy surface (unlike an ileostomy stoma which sticks out, a colostomy stoma is more flat to the stomach). Imagine laying carpet on cobbles, there will always be gaps. It wasn’t all bad news though; my surgeon did say that if I can stay off the steroids and in remission, he’d reconnect everything back up before Christmas. So in two months they’re going to have a good old nosey round my innards with the cameras and presuming all is well we can start to think about a date for the operation. Because I still have much of my large colon left there’s always the danger the ulcerative colitis can come back at any time. But it might not, the drugs might keep it in check. No one knows. The surgeon doesn’t think it’s necessary to take my entire large colon out if it’s healthy. This does mean if things get really bad again at a later date, I’ll have to have further surgery. It may never come to that. Best to think positively I say. So, after I left the surgeon I went to see the stoma nurse. I thought I’d get a second opinion on my ugly mate. Sadly it was exactly the same as the first; my stoma is a bit funny looking. Oh well, looks aren’t everything, are they? It’s what’s inside that counts. Okay, so in this case that’s mostly poo. But so what if it’s not as good looking as all the other stomas. Who cares if it’s a poor, misshapen thing. Remember the ugly duckling that turned into a swan. Well with a bit of luck, in a few months my ugly stoma will turn into a scar.

An artist's impression of my 'funny looking' stoma.