Crohn's Disease Forum » Surgery » Stoma Subforum » Night time loo visits


01-02-2015, 03:42 PM   #1
Grotbags
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Night time loo visits

Hi.
I'm a newbie to living with a stoma ( three weeks ), judging by some of the stories on here, I've been incredibly lucky with mine, as I was out of the hospital after six days, hardly had any pain post surgery, and have already accepted living with a stoma.
However, the one fly in the ( poo ) ointment, is that I tend to do most of my " production " during the night.
I produce hardly anything during the day, but come 6 pm, I have to empty my bag about every three hours, including right through the night.
I set my alarm clock to go off every 2-3 hrs, as I'm paranoid about leaking in bed ( never had a leak yet ) and every time, it needs emptying.
My stoma nurse has given me a few things to try, but so far, no joy, including using Imodium.
Has anyone else gone from having such a clustered output to being a bit more spread out ?.
Forgot to mention, I have an ileostomy after having my entire colon removed due to Crohn's.
01-02-2015, 04:31 PM   #2
VeganOstomy
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Congrats on accepting your stoma so quickly!

Do you have loose or liquid output? How many meals do you eat and what times during the day?

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01-02-2015, 04:42 PM   #3
Grotbags
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I tend to eat just three times a day, generally 8 am 12 pm, 5pm and a bit of toast at bedtime, I tend not to have large meals.
I have tried the little and often method, but the result was just the same.
My output is pretty thick.
Luckily I am able to fall asleep again pretty quickly, even if I only had to get up once, I'd be happy, three times is a bit wearing.
01-02-2015, 04:47 PM   #4
VeganOstomy
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I tend to eat just three times a day, generally 8 am 12 pm, 5pm and a bit of toast at bedtime, I tend not to have large meals.
I have tried the little and often method, but the result was just the same.
My output is pretty thick.
Luckily I am able to fall asleep again pretty quickly, even if I only had to get up once, I'd be happy, three times is a bit wearing.
Have you been able to speak with a stoma nurse? The infrequent output during the day, then a lot after 6, and thick ileostomy output makes me feel like you might be getting backed up during the day. Not that you should be worried, that's just my opinion.

My output, frequency and consistency were up and down for a few months post op while my body adjusted. Now is quite predictable.

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01-02-2015, 05:10 PM   #5
Grotbags
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Yes, I saw the stoma nurse just last Tuesday.
She wasn't concerned at all, I do have some output during the day, there's just not a lot of it, not enough to merit emptying the bag.
I haven't had any discomfort or bloating I'd normally associate with a blockage, can you have one without other symptoms ?.
01-02-2015, 05:12 PM   #6
VeganOstomy
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I haven't had any discomfort or bloating I'd normally associate with a blockage, can you have one without other symptoms ?.
I tend to feel a lot of pain behind my stoma before an impending blockage, and my stoma recesses (it's normally protruded quite a bit).

I'm sure things can slow down without causing a blockage and you may not feel it, but a blockage is usually something you'd notice and I hope you never experience that!
01-02-2015, 05:32 PM   #7
Grotbags
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At the moment, a blockage is right up there on my " stuff to be paranoid about " list , so I'm being quite cautious about what I'm eating.
Thanks for the help, hopefully things will settle, it is early days.
On the plus side, I feel 100 times better without that rotten old colon, and wish I'd had this done ages ago.
01-02-2015, 08:08 PM   #8
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Hi Grotbags

Great to hear that you are doing so well.

Many of us share with you in wishing we had taken the leap earlier. I left it so long that I had to have a very large amount of flesh removed with the colon, anus and rectum, so healing was slow.

Three weeks post stoma is still a very short period. Although it is inconvenient at the moment, give it time to settle down before you worry about it. The intestine that remains needs to find a new pattern of activity.

Also don't worry about blockages but, at the same time, avoid eating those very fibrous foods that could cause a blockage. I blocked my stoma up with a very large piece of cake made of semolina and ground almonds. (My excuse was that there was nothing else that I could eat!)
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01-03-2015, 04:47 AM   #9
Grotbags
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Hi Susan

Note to self, watch out for stealth blockages from seemingly innocent cake

Well, last night, I was up five times ! , I now know McDonalds Apple pies do not agree with me, stoma was trumpeting away like a brass band, and I was nearly floating out of bed with the amount of gas in the bag

I had such a rotten time last year, that I'd come to the conclusion myself, that I'd be better off having the op. I ended up in hospital with a flare up, had a colonoscopy to find my colon was so enflamed they could only get a few inches along.
They found some pre-cancerous cells on the biopsy, and my brilliant consultant managed to get me squeezed in for the op. Lucky I got it when I did as they found a tiny bit of cancer cells ( grade A ) when they biopsied the removed colon. Thankfully, there were no further cells in my lymph nodes or blood vessels.
It's not expected that I'll have any further problems, but I'll be monitored for the next five years just in case.
01-03-2015, 06:42 AM   #10
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My stoma (ileostomy) usually only works in the evening and at night, which is good as it means I can change the bag in the daytime without too much worry that it's going to start working while I've not got a bag on! I like being able to shower with the bag off and make sure the stoma and all the skin around the stoma get a good clean, which isn't possible when you're trying to get a new bag on as fast as you can!

But I only empty once or twice in the evening, and I can sleep all night without the bag getting overly full, so I haven't had your problem, though if I did I think the first thing I'd try would be larger bags. I've actually been trying some maxi bags lately because I wanted to see if I could go all day and night without emptying at all, which I could. There are bags you can get that drain like a catheter that you can use at night, you might want to ask your stoma nurses about them.

Blockages you would know about! My first two stomas blocked incredibly easily. Now I'm on my third and have a different kind of stoma and can eat fruit and vegetables again. When I had partial stoma blockages, I'd get days of stomach cramps and nausea that would occur only at the times when output was coming/trying to come out. When I had a complete stoma blockage, I had the same symptoms but with no output, and when I did finally get output, it came in a massive watery rush all in one go, which is also a recognised symptom. Vomiting is a common symptom too, though I didn't get it. The one time I had a bowel (as opposed to stoma) blockage, I had severe pain, a bit of nausea and no output for quite a few days (then my intestine perforated).
01-03-2015, 07:43 AM   #11
Grotbags
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Yikes !, I never realised blockages could be so severe !.

I suppose going mostly at night does have it's advantages, as you mention, I can take my time with bag changes, and don't have to think about going to empty the bag at all during the day.
I haven't plucked up the courage to shower with the bag off yet.
I did start off with a slightly larger bag ( Dansac ) but found them quite uncomfortable for some reason, I'm now using Coloplast Sensura, which I'm very happy with, although I have requested a sample of the Convatec bag with the mouldable plate.
My problem with bigger bags is I'm rather short, and found a bigger bag got in the way, and was rather heavy.
Fingers crossed mine stops being quite so frequent
01-03-2015, 07:57 AM   #12
Susan2
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If you find a time of day when your stoma is not very active, it is really good to shower with your bag off. I feel strongly that this is one of the best treatments for skin irritation.

I am fortunate that I am retired because my stoma is at its quietest at about 10.30am to 12.30pm, so this is the best time for me to shower with my stoma "en plain air".
01-03-2015, 08:18 AM   #13
Grotbags
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I was medically retired years ago due to the severity of my Crohn's, I'm hoping that I will be able to return to work, all being well, to a part time job.
01-03-2015, 08:25 AM   #14
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I'm old age retired - I turn 72 this year - but was ill health (from my Crohn's) retired for some time in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I am able to do much, much more since my proctocolectomy in 2000.
01-03-2015, 03:05 PM   #15
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Yikes !, I never realised blockages could be so severe !.

I suppose going mostly at night does have it's advantages, as you mention, I can take my time with bag changes, and don't have to think about going to empty the bag at all during the day.
I haven't plucked up the courage to shower with the bag off yet.
I did start off with a slightly larger bag ( Dansac ) but found them quite uncomfortable for some reason, I'm now using Coloplast Sensura, which I'm very happy with, although I have requested a sample of the Convatec bag with the mouldable plate.
My problem with bigger bags is I'm rather short, and found a bigger bag got in the way, and was rather heavy.
Fingers crossed mine stops being quite so frequent
You can wear a small bag in the day and switch to a large one at night - is a bigger bag still uncomfortable when you're lying down? It means frequent bag changes, but you get free prescriptions don't you?

I think there are also stoma belts and other accessories to help with heavy bags.

Last edited by UnXmas; 01-03-2015 at 03:33 PM.
01-03-2015, 03:51 PM   #16
Grotbags
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Yes I do get free prescriptions, I'm a bit concerned about taking the bag off so often though, wouldn't that be worse for my skin ?.
Saying that though, my skin is fine at the moment, I just don't want to rock the boat.
01-04-2015, 12:19 PM   #17
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I change mine daily with no skin problems. I feel keeping the skin clean is better for it than leaving it dirty for a few days. But skin's very individual. Closed bags are gentler on the skin as they're designed to be changed often (they're usually used by people with colostomies, but I've used then with my ileostomy with no problems). There are also various skin barrier and moisturising products available. The only thing I've found rough on my skin are the half-moon pieces of tape, which is a shame as they are great at helping prevent leaks, but I guess that makes sense - the better something sticks to your skin, the harder to remove, though adhesive removers may help with that.
01-04-2015, 01:29 PM   #18
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My skin is sensitive and frequent bag changes are hard on my skin. You will just have to try different methods to find what is best for you.
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01-04-2015, 03:27 PM   #19
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I should add that my stoma changes size drastically and frequently, so in order to avoid trapping the stoma in a bag cut too tight, I cut them big, but this of course means that when the stoma's small quite a bit of skin is exposed to output, so I need to clean it probably more frequently than most people to avoid the skin getting irritated, so cleaning is a bigger priority than removing bags in terms of hazards to skin for me.
01-04-2015, 04:18 PM   #20
Grotbags
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I change daily too, as I do like to keep an eye on my skin and stoma, my stoma is still shrinking, so the nurse gave me those mouldable rings to use to fill in the gap untill I get my new bags next week.
Using a larger bag at night would mean two changes a day, which I might try if things don't settle.
I've requested a sample of those Convatec bags with the mouldable plate, which I'm looking forward to trying, but also apprehensive as I've done so well will the Sensura .
01-06-2015, 04:33 AM   #21
Grotbags
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Bit of progress on the shunky front, past two days I've had output at lunch time, and less during the night
However, my normally well behaved and polite stoma ( Krakatoa comes to mind ) decided to squirt all over the place during bag change, so I may have to do that a bit later in the morning.

I got a free sample of those wee bags you put in your pouch to solidify waste....genius idea !, as I don't really need them, I don't seem to be bothered by leaks ( why is that ?, not that I'm complaining ), I have done the decent thing and just bought them. I'll only be using them if I go out, is there a downside to them ?.

You realise of course, now I've mentioned I don't have leaks, I'm going to get the mutha of all leaks tonight
01-13-2015, 09:22 AM   #22
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on average I change my bag 3 times a day. When I first got my stoma I often had most of my output at night but now it is about 50/50 night and day. I think it takes a while to settle down, three weeks is no time at all.
You sound really positive though and that is great.
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01-13-2015, 09:49 AM   #23
Grotbags
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My output has indeed reduced overnight ......woohoo !.

I only need to empty it once, although I still have my alarm set to go off three times as I'm so paranoid about leaking in the bed
But I'm sure I'll get more confident as time goes on, and once I get a mattress protector

I am by nature a pretty upbeat person, I'm very thankful for my operation, it's saved my life, and I honestly can't remember the last time I felt this well ( long may it continue ), I don't even have to sleep in the afternoon anymore
01-13-2015, 10:42 AM   #24
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wooHOO!!
02-05-2018, 04:47 AM   #25
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hi, been reading all the posts. Going to bathroom during the night takes me two trips usually. I wear a large bag from convatec. a drainable pouch. two piece.

I change the wafer about every five to six days. The bag stays on that long too.. I was told that was the way it is.. and usually by the sixth day its pealing off. I would love to shower without all the hardware. Wow. u must really know your schedule when to poop or squirt.

I change mine on the sixth day usually around ten at night. its the calm before the storm. and get this.. with the drainable pouch, after I drain it, I use tap water poured into it.. shake it up a bit.. and flush out the left over.. I think this helps keep any unprotect skin, clean. and the o-ring is a tight fit. I have had no issues at all with irritation. bag changing is one thing but replacing the wafer so often I would suspect would costly and irritating.


I leave my bag hanging down using a belt to secure it. I do have wide cloth wrap around belts with a pouch to keep pouch more secure. its a horizontal pouch/belt system. I find it very uncomfortable and I believe it just holds the poop unnaturally close to the stoma. gravity has no pull horizontally. so it can bulk up and lead to irritation. a vertical bag drops the poop straight down. away from stoma. keeps it healthier I would think. plus the flushing is ideal. maybe using mineral waters would be more effective flushing than tap water.. just my two cents worth. good thread. thanks for sharing, all.
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