By Amy & Stacey Stoma @staceystoma
I went to see my dietitian at the hospital. I've been having a few issues with Stacey Stoma again with what has felt to be lots of trapped wind, pressure, spurts of watery output and dehydration. What set this off, I do not know, it could be a bug, something I ate, partial obstruction again, who knows?
One of the issues at the moment is that I can’t seem to put on weight no matter how hard I try. My appetite keeps changing as well. One day I can feel like eating loads then the next day I’m just not interested. There seems to be a few things that don’t agree with Stacey the best and give me some form of hassle, such as onions, lettuce, apple, and green vegetables give me lots of wind which gets quite uncomfortable.
The dietitian was very helpful.
At my appointment she basically said that we have to try and get my eating habits into more of a regular routine. This is because my stoma needs to have a regular pattern so that it can get used to the output and learn when to expect food.
Hopefully this will lessen some of my problems in the long run, if I can manage to get some sort of eating routine. This is easier said than done, as I never feel like eating in a morning and if I try to it can make me feel quite sick, but I guess we have to try these things and have a good go at them before giving up.
A routine might help me in the long run.
My dietitian said ideally I should be having 3 meals a day and eating small things in between if I can so that Stacey can adapt to a routine. I guess, in a sense, so that my bowel doesn’t sleep for a lot of the day. By having breakfast, this means that my digestion process will be kicked off a lot earlier in the day, as opposed to leaving out breakfast and my digestive system and stoma not really having to bother with anything until 1 or 2pm.
I’ve been advised to keep away from green vegetables, especially at the moment, and fruit with seeds, skins or pith, such as satsumas and strawberries, grapes and apples. This is because the skin and pith of the fruit and vegetables contains the main source of fiber. I’ve been advised to not have a high fiber diet, but that fruit in fruit juice in tins where the pith and skins have been removed should be fine.
Making sure I have plenty of fluids is another important matter.
Ideally, because I have an ileostomy, I should be aiming to drink round about 2.5 liters a day… mad this seems! This, however, is because of my body’s inability to reabsorb what I drink and get what it needs from it as opposed to a person who has their colon.
That’s like drinking one and a quarter big bottles of water… I just don’t see that it’s possible for me, that and the fact that I suspect I would be needing to empty my bladder all the time, and I’ve just escaped years spent on the toilet. My dietitian said this will be the case at first, but once my kidneys adjust to having a lot more fluids then it should calm down and I won’t need to go as often.
Electrolyte drinks have salt. This is vital for me as I need extra salt because of the fact that my colon is missing. The extra nutrients I need are being reabsorbed into my body as opposed to a person with their digestive system intact.
A lot of information to take in and a lot of trial and error and perseverance will be required. Even though I had my operation over a year ago, my dietitian said that my anatomy will still be adjusting to its new plumbing, so to persevere and give it time and try to get myself into a routine with my food and drink.
This post originally appeared December 7, 2012 on Ostomism Not Pessimism.