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Crohn's Disease Forum » Surgery » Stoma Subforum » How do you know you need to empty?


01-02-2014, 05:14 PM   #1
nogutsnoglory
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How do you know you need to empty?

I know this sounds like a stupid question and at home in sweats you see and feel the bulge but in public with jeans I have no clue what's going on in there.

I just goto the bathroom hourly when I'm out to say hi to my stoma and check on it but I'd prefer to avoid doing this if possible.

How do you know your bag needs an empty?
01-02-2014, 06:05 PM   #2
Nyx
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Mine feels heavy. And if it's really full, I can feel it through my clothes, no matter what they are.
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01-02-2014, 06:15 PM   #3
nogutsnoglory
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I don't feel it at all! It's better with solid output than liquid but still no clue unless I look. It's pretty annoying.
01-03-2014, 06:27 AM   #4
UnXmas
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Mine feels heavy. And if it's really full, I can feel it through my clothes, no matter what they are.
It's exactly the same for me. Except I don't wait until it's really full. I can feel the difference in weight right away, even if it's only a very small amount (and I can tell the difference in weight between it just having a little in it and it being half-full or whatever). Also I feel my stoma every time it works. I don't really know how to describe it, but I can feel the output coming through the stoma. It doesn't hurt or anything (except when the surgery had only just been done and was still healing, and when it was recovering from being blocked). So when I feel it start working I know there will soon be something in the bag.
01-03-2014, 06:29 AM   #5
UnXmas
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And I can also feel when it's blown up with gas. I feel the gas coming through the stoma, but then when the bag's ballooning it feels different against my skin as well, like it's pulling the skin a bit tight. With no gas the bag is flat against my stomach.
01-03-2014, 10:48 AM   #6
BowelMeOver
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My husband developed a habit of always placing his hand over it to see if the bag had content. Even through stiff jean material, you will learn the difference between empty or not. Also, as UnXmas stated, there is a different feeling during and shortly after activity, be it either a slight tug on the wafer or increased warmth.

I would suggest doing the subtle hand check instead of the frequent visits to the bathroom. It will become as natural an act as scratching your nose, and no one is really going to notice.

I'm happy to hear of you venturing out and about, and hope you continue to grow confident that you have this under your control.
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01-03-2014, 12:04 PM   #7
nogutsnoglory
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Thanks bowel, I do a discrete as possible patdown without trying to look like I'm doing anything inappropriate but still find it challenging to know if the little buldge is just a tiny bit of liquid or half full. Maybe it's just something one gets used to and learns.
01-03-2014, 01:36 PM   #8
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I feel my bag constantly
01-03-2014, 05:19 PM   #9
nogutsnoglory
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Hern are you putting your hand in your pants or over? How do you do this as a guy without looking like you are a perv?
01-03-2014, 09:02 PM   #10
BowelMeOver
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What's so wrong with looking like a perv?
It sure beats looking like someone who just pooped all over themselves.

All kidding aside, most people can tell the difference between you grabbing your crotch or you, say, checking your pocket for something.
01-03-2014, 10:43 PM   #11
nogutsnoglory
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I have been patting over my pants but I should try feeling through my pocket as if I'm getting my wallet.
01-03-2014, 11:12 PM   #12
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Hern are you putting your hand in your pants or over? How do you do this as a guy without looking like you are a perv?
When I wear pants with a belt I lift my belt up with my thumb to let any pooh pass thur the belt area. I can usually tell when I need to dump my bag without touching it. When I do touch the bag I make sure know ones looking. When I'm at work its a little easier because I wear an apron, I work in a restaurant.
01-04-2014, 01:51 AM   #13
PsychoJane
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I touch over my clothes. I wear relatively tight clothing so it's never really from the weight that I can judge. No one ever asked a question about it, knowing or not about my condition. That being said, I don't see much a difference in that move than there would be with someone having a cramp and touching or scratching or anything else. That's valid when everything is working properly. When dealing with a bug it's another story as liquid feels different but still patting is generally the way to go.
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01-04-2014, 08:51 AM   #14
UnXmas
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Some of you really don't feel it? When mine's full it's a heaviness pulling on my stomach. It's much easier to feel its weight when standing up as gravity is pulling the bag downwards. And feeling the output from the stoma, it just feels like pressure I suppose - a bit like defecating the normal way actually except it's obviously in a different location. I've been wearing dresses quite a bit lately; if I did have to feel I'm not sure there'd be any way to do that discreetly in a dress. You'd have to put your hand underneath the skirt and feel upwards.
01-04-2014, 10:08 AM   #15
nogutsnoglory
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PsychoJane that's part of my problem probably, my clothes are fit to body and that's why there isn't room for the dangling pouch to weigh down.

I'm also more worried about my bag popping when I'm in my jeans since they can be a bit tight.
01-04-2014, 11:01 AM   #16
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If been wearing over the bump maternity jeans and they are so comfy.puts no pressure on bag but its all tucked away and I find it easy to feel if I'm full!
01-04-2014, 01:23 PM   #17
2thFairy
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I do a hand pat a lot of the time. Like others, it feels heavy. Mine is most active early early in the morning, but throughout the day I know I will have to empty about 30 minutes after eating meals.
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01-07-2014, 11:35 AM   #18
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Just realised I suggested maternity jeans nogutsnoglory but am I right in thinking you are a man??haha sorry about that!
01-07-2014, 05:15 PM   #19
nogutsnoglory
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Yes haha but it's okay. After using diapers, baby rash creams, female pads and now my stoma nurse suggested tampons while changing my bag I'm immune to trying things not designed for men.

I bought female pajama jeans because they have the elastic and nobody would know but the pockets aren't big enough.

Maybe I should try some 1 month pregnant maternity jeans lol.
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