After my husband's bowel resection, an ileostomy was performed. He came home with a bag on his side. We began having trouble after the visiting nurse was discharged from us. My husband began losing weight, the flat pouch and barrier ring became unpredictable and would suddenly fail. He'd stand up and be covered in stool, waist to floor. I was changing the pouch 3 or 4 times a day, sometimes in the middle of the night. We began to feel quite desperate. We went to the surgeon for a follow-up. Interventions he prescribed did not help and the ordeal continued. He was afraid to leave the house and we were exhausted.
Finally, I remembered the card I had from Maggie Elliott. I called her. We were to go into Rex for a pre-op (reversal of the ileostomy) surgical exam and testing. She met us for a consult that afternoon. She pointed out how much weight he'd lost and explained that had changed the shape and protrusion of the stoma. She showed both of us how to better attach the convex pouch (instead of the flat ones). She provided a belt to ensure the pouch would fit snugly.
That hour or less totally changed the success of my care for him. We went from 2-4 changes daily to once every 4 days with no accidents or leakage at all. I absolutely bless her name.
We were finally able to be sure we could sleep through the night and be safe to go out of the house for errands and exercise. Maggie's very knowledgeable instruction and hands-on tutorial turned what had become a very onerous ordeal into a minor detail twice a week.