Talking all things stoma

Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,635 Championing
edited December 2018 in Everyday life
I recently recorded a podcast with BBC Ouch with the lovely Hannah Witton and Blake Beckford, both have an ileostomy and talk publicly on their blogs and social media and so we got together to talk all things stomas, no holds barred. You can find my blog about life with an ostomy bag here.

What on earth's an ileostomy bag?
An ileostomy is an operation involving the small intestine being diverted through an opening - or stoma - in the abdomen. A bag is then placed over the stoma to collect liquid and waste, which is emptied into the toilet.
According to Hannah, the stoma looks "red, squishy and moist. It has no nerve endings, you can't really feel it if you touch it, and poo comes out of it."
All three had theirs fitted due to ulcerative colitis - where the colon and rectum become inflamed and ulcers develop on the colon's lining.
"I often forget that I have one until I go to the toilet," says Hannah. "The only time I feel it, is if there is any kind of gas. Then the bags get a little bit crunchy, or if my output is kind of liquidy, then it gets a bit sloshy."

What's a phantom rectum?
"People who have lost a limb, still feel pain or itching or they feel like their limb's still there," says Sam. "So that's the same but in your rectum. It's like your brain doesn't know that it's not attached anymore."
Hannah adds: "At the beginning I got it all the time. I was talking to my nurse about these urges that I need to poo. She said: 'Next time just go sit on the toilet and feel it out.'"

You can read some of our stoma chat here or listen to the Stoma Takeover podcast here.

It would be great to hear what you think!