I feel like I need to write a refresher post. I *hope* I have some new followers here and maybe not everyone went back and read from the beginning. Also, many people don't head over to google and spend hours upon hours researching all the lingo I use regarding ostomies, crohn's disease, IBD and ulcerative colitis. What better way to help them than to put it right here - nice, neat and hopefully concise. I'm not so good at the concise part.
There are a LOT of words ending in -ostomy. IleOSTOMY, colOSTOMY and urOSTOMY are the one's I hear about the most. There are others - but for the intent and purpose here I'm talking about ILEOSSTOMY and COLOSTOMY. If you want to learn about other
-ostomies you can google "types of ostomies" and read for hours.
An ostomy is a surgically created opening in the body for the discharge of wastes. Tah-dah. It is my opinion, and I get to have one and share it because this is my blog, that the majority of people are more familiar with the term "COLOSTOMY". *raises hand* before I REALLY started researching having surgery and what it would entail, I assumed that I would have a colostomy. Wrong-o.
If you took etymology from Doc Shorter at Noblesville you should be able to identify the different -ostomies based on their root words. GO! Just kidding. That being said - a COLostomy uses the COLon. I bet you just learned something. I bet you thought that if someone had a COLostomy they didn't have a COLon at all, right? Ok, maybe you didn't think that - but that's what I thought. A COLostomy is created when a portion of the colon or rectum is removed and the remaining colon is brought through the abdominal wall to form a stoma. There can be different kinds of COLostomies depending on what part of the COLon is used and whether the -ostomy is to be permanent or temporary. YES, there are temporary -ostomies. Far more common than you probably realize.
Why would anyone have a temporary -ostomy? Lots of reasons, so many that I am not going into crazy detail for any of them but here are some general ideas : traumatic colon surgery where the doc decides your gut needs time to rest and heal. Instead of hooking everything back up, you get a temporary -ostomy. When the time has passed for healing the doc can go back in "take down" the ostomy and reconnect everything. Tah-dah! Think of our Wounded Warriors returning from the battlefield. There could also be an instance of someone having an internal pouch formed - Jpouch, Spouch, KockPouch, Wpouch...there are a LOT of internal pouches. I don't know squat about any of them except the JPouch and I don't really know THAT much about it. If you'd like more info on that you can check out Jackie's Blog, Sara's Blog or Charis' Blog. Or you could just google J-pouch.
What I have is called an ileOSTOMY. ILE coming from the portion of the small intestine that is used to form the stoma called the ILEUM. In my case my colon, rectum and anus (I said anus!) were all removed, my behind was SEWN SHUT and then the ileum was brought through my abdominal wall to create a stoma. I know you are having a mental picture of how that works when I eat. So, I eat - down the esophagus into the stomach, does whatever it does there and starts its way through my small intestine. Y'all the small intestine is not small at all. It is LOOOOOONG. I still have ALL my small intestine too so it is definitely long. The food makes its way through there and then comes out my stoma.
You can read up on all the mechanics of the difference between the COL and ILE -ostomies but I will tell you one tidbit. The COLON is where the majority of your fluids are absorbed, which would explain why a healthy poop is formed and not mushy or watery - all the water has been taken from it. I don't have a colon. Soooo, my poop tends to be more pudding/applesauce consistency depending on what I eat. If I hog down on breads, crackers, rice, etc. things get REALLY thick and can turn into a BIG problem. I have learned to eat certain things at certain times of the day through trial and error.
This is one of the best explanations I have seen/heard!
Colostomy vs. Ileostomy Video
I hope that helps explain a little more for those who may have been confused or didn't know at all. If there are still questions or you have one of the "I wonder if...." questions please share it! I'm happy to answer and if it is something I don't know much about I'll find someone who can help me explain!
What do you have to look forward to? Well, tomorrow I have my second round of steroid injections into the skin directly surrounding my stoma (aka peristomal skin) and I plan to video it for a blog post. In conjunction with that I've been asked to share what my life is like living with Crohn's disease. Every person's experience is different so what I will share is in no way and comprehensive review of Crohn's disease, it is only MY experience.
Thanks y'all for all the support and questions! Keep 'em coming.