When Not to Irrigate

I irrigate almost every day.  It’s a great way to regulate yourself when you have a colostomy.  There are times, however, when you may decided it’s not a good time to irrigate.  Here’s my growing list of times that I have decided to skip the morning ritual of irrigation.

Really Early Days

My normal day doesn’t start until mid to late morning.  Work starts in the middle of the afternoon.  There are those days when I need to get to work at 8am.  I used to get up at 5am to accommodate an 8am work call.  What I discovered is that, when I have those early days, I usually have issues by late morning that require my attention.  Now, when I have an early day, I sleep in, skip irrigation and usually have a normal ostomy day.  Sometimes I will irrigate at night to try to keep myself regulated, with spotty success.

Travelling Days

I recently travelled by train for a few days.  My plan was to irrigate on the first day of travel, and then get through the other two days without.  Unfortunately, my ostomy had other ideas.  Moving forward, I’ll skip irrigating on the initial travel day because there is simply too much disruption to my normal routine. My next travel day, I will just be armed with a regular open ostomy bag so I can empty it when needed without having to change the entire bag. Irrigation has proven to cause cleaning the bag much more difficult on travel days. Not worth it!

Moving Forward

In the end, I continue to irrigate on a regular basis.  There are times when irrigation becomes a hindrance instead of an advantage.  In those cases, it is okay to skip a day or two.  Once you start irrigation, you are not locked into it.  You can pick it up again anytime.  Just remember, irrigation works best when you are on a regular schedule.  If you find you are skipping more often then not, maybe irrigation isn’t right for you.

Michael

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