Another day, another blockage

Oh, why will I never ever learn…

I have been living my stoma for the best part of 5 years now and I still do not quite learn my lesson about certain food items. My stoma is pretty well behaved and I can eat most things within reason, however, a current flare and scar tissue in my bowel has been causing me some issues. 

Over the weekend I made some fruit scones to have after our Sunday walk with the pup, now it is very hit and miss with my stoma at this present time. There are times when I can eat things, no issues, Bertha is happy, other times I will eat that same thing and there’s hell to pay. 

My most recent blockage

Small disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, this blog post is purely for advice and guidance, you will need to see your GP if the blockage doesn’t clear or pass within a 24hr period

So my hormones are up and down at the moment, the mirena is still settling, No periods but I still get the water weight and flushing of my stoma, add that to scar tissue in my bowel and a current Crohn’s flare, my intestines are rather delicate and I have been eating a rather bland boring beige diet. I have been avoiding problem food groups.

I was feeling slightly off Monday morning. I wasn’t really paying any attention to my stoma output other than noticing it was more liquid than normal. I was feeling nauseous by late afternoon. We had to attend my little brother’s birthday BBQ, we all missed his 30th last year due to covid. So I couldn’t drop out at the last minute. My stomach and stoma were being tetchy but as always my favourite word is “I’m fine”.  

Getting back late last night I emptied my bag, I recall Ben saying why don’t you have a shower and change your bag? I replied “I can’t be bothered” and headed to bed. 

I awoke at 4 am, I could feel my bag had leaked, my stomach was cramping and was rather hot to the touch, then I felt the mother of all output flush through my stoma. My quick rush from the bed to the bathroom meant my carpet was left unscathed. My bathroom floor and bath mat were not so fortunate.  I peeled the bag off as soon as the output slowed, emptied down the toilet and jumped in the shower. I’m ever so thankful Ben is a diamond. He got up, stripped the bed and changed to clean bed linen whilst I was showering. I dried, changed my bag, cleaned the bathroom floor and loaded the washing machine. I headed back to bed shortly after. 

My stomach and stoma will be tender for the next few days so I will be avoiding all dangerous foods. 

Blockage symptoms are different for everyone. For me, mine was a partial blockage as I was still having a very watery output. For others, there may be none. 

Blockage symptoms

My symptoms were:

  • Nausea
  • Watery output
  • Painful abdominal cramps
  • Increased burping
  • Distended abdomen
  • Stoma swelling
  • Tasting bile
  • My stoma output smelt like vomit
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Your stoma may show signs of swelling and colour change
  • Dry mouth
  • Decreased urine output
  • In severe cases, you may be vomiting

How to pass the blockage at home 

  • Increase your fluids, concentrated fresh fruit juice, coffee, hot tea, or carbonated drinks might help
  • Gently massage around your stoma site and help to push out the blockage
  • Have a hot bath or try using a heat pad, as this may help your abdominal muscles relax so you can pass a bowel movement.
  • If your stoma appears more swollen than usual, it may worth checking if the hole of your pouch needs to be cut slightly larger
  • Try lying down and lifting your knees to your chest, rolling gently from side to side.
  • For people with a colostomy, your GP or Stoma Care Nurse may prescribe some laxatives, use these as prescribed and don’t forget to drink plenty of water with these as it will help them work better.

If none of these work, i.e. if you have had no output for 8-12 hrs, the abdominal pain is increasing or you’re still vomiting, you need to get to A&E.

As always 

Many thanks for reading 

Louise Xx

Please note that this blog post is intended to give advice to ostomates. The information given is based on Louise’s personal experience and should not be taken as clinical advice. Please consult with your Stoma Care Nurse if you are in need of medical advice.

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Meet the blogger: Louise

Meet Louise! She’s a blogger and ambassador for Pelican and has been for the last 3 years