Before My Parastomal Hernia
In 2016, last year while I am normally living it seems to me that where I sit is getting larger.
No I am not talking about my backside or my butt getting fatter, I am referring to the incision are between my butt cheeks where normal people have an anus for going to the bathroom.
This area which is now totally vacant of any useful body function is puffed out some like a small balloon.
Or maybe you could describe it as a small pillow, or a small whoopee cushion. You see it pushes up into the cavity when I sit down.
It is best for me, when I am laying down. It gets nice and flexible and soft when I am laying down. When I am standing up gravity takes over.
Here’s What I Found Out! SURPRISE
Anyway, where I am going with this, is that while I was having this checked out I was easily diagnosed with having a parastomal hernia. I wasn’t very happy with this news as any of you probably wouldn’t be either.
At that time, I ask of the doctor, “is there any kind of support that can be used on this, so as to not have it get any more advanced (larger). I get told I need to see the ostomy nurse practitioner.
So I make another appointment and a few weeks later, she tells me that I can give you a prescription for a stoma support ostomy hernia belt. Oh yes I would be interested I say.
What I Went Thru To Receive Mine
So my story continues on, I went to a local medical supply store which carries the brand of support hernia belt that I purchased. Here is a picture of it.
As you can see it is laid out on my bed. It is very long and can be a major chore to put it on properly and correctly.
I had to lay down and lay out flat to be fitted properly for the hernia belt.
When you are laying out flat your stoma gets to relax and it can be measured most accurately in that state.
After that I had to wait from the last week of October until the third week of January the next year to receive it.
When I Got the Hernia Support Belt Home
So this was it. Would the belt actually make a difference for me? Was it Hope or Was I a Dope for thinking it would be a difference maker.
Here are some of my experiences with the stoma support belt.
Proper placement of the support tool on your body is very important from the perspective of two points. First you need maximum support to prevent any further damage, and then secondly it is very important as well that your appliance is fitted through the port on the belt.
This will prevent any separating of the two appliance pieces as well as helping to stop the ever possible jailhouse breakout. We all know you don’t want to experience that.
Getting Used To It
So the first couple of times placing the belt on, I needed my wife to help me with fastening the velcro pieces together. The velcro is extremely strong, and it takes a lot of direct strength to pull it apart when you wish to stop wearing it.
We will need to line it up exactly where you feel comfortable wearing it. Both from a comfort level of it not being too tight (squeezing you).
I found that I needed to line it up a certain way, so that when I laid back on the bed on top of the belt, that when I pulled up on both sides and brought it together to velcro fasten it, it needed to be perfectly placed to be right.
So we practiced a few times to get it right. Everything lined up correctly, and it is not too tight and the appliance pouch fits through the port hole in the belt the right way.
What I Have Found Out to Be True
So a large notice must be placed on getting the pouch or the bag part of your appliance placed through the whole in the belt, just right. When I didn’t have it perfectly squared up, then when the bag filled up, undue large pressure was placed on the larger pouch and it caused my flange to break away from my abdomen.
This in turn caused a breakout mess and it wasn’t any fun (the clean up after).
So I have worn it sparingly since then. Mostly on occasions where I am dressing up for an event that I want to not being showing my hernia bulge. I actually look with it on like I do not have the hernia.
Just Sharing Honestly
That is all I can do, is tell you what I have experienced. I was hoping to wear it more often, but I do have it to use, and if I had more strenuous things to be doing I definitely would be wearing it for those times.
So would I recommend it, Both Yes and no. I guess you will need to weigh up if it’s a help for your situation, you know if you think it would help you out.
Everyone is very different so the decision made could be different too.
George writes from first-hand experience about having a stoma and living with an ostomy. As a former cancer patient and a survivor of colon cancer, you can draw from his experiences. His goal is to help you as he shares the realities of living with an ostomy.