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Blisters & Skin Irritation

Aloha,
Cancer radiation damaged my bladder and prostatic urethra. Six weeks ago I had a uro-ostomy. A nurse marked the spot for the stoma and covered it with a clear plastic. A day later blisters appeared under the plastic. After the surgery, 1/2" blisters formed at the edge & under the stoma wafer adhesive. 3 weeks after surgery, the doc said to take 500 mg Vit C. The next wafer change only had 1/4" or smaller blisters. Since that time, 6 weeks ago, the blisters have been pin head size or a redness of the skin. It is getting better. Had through discussions with Ostomy Nurse(s), no ideas. Got samples from 5 ostomy appliance makers, am back to what was recommended by the hospital. It is thin & follows my skin folds. There are other advantages. This problem appears to be a reaction of some sort at or just under the adhesive outer edge.
As I get farther from the surgery, I become more active & the stoma wafer needs changing more often. The wafer heaver stuff appears to degrade the more I move. We have a small coffee farm & I'm always bending over or down on my knees.
I want to get back to off-road bicycle & floor routines, but am still taking it easy. Six weeks out & I still have 6 terry strips at the lower end of the incision.
Anyone have similar blisters?
Thanks

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Joe welcome to our little family. It sounds like you are having an alergic reaction to the adhesive.You also need to give yourself more time to heal. 6 weeks is realy not long enough. I would say at least 3 months before you feel better and start to get your energy back. Your floor routines is that dance? I know I was a little impatient and wanting to get back to my ole self but it does take some time. Be gentle with your self. I Have a colostomy so maybe someone with a urostomy will have some better advice on the blisters. Do they hurt or itch at all? Maybe another visit with your surgeon or WOCN may have the answers for you. Maybe take some benadryl and see if that helps. Glad you found us. terri

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Joe, welcome to our site and please take it easy get healed before you start back into your everyday life.
God bless Dolly

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Thank you,
Yes, even though my 5 weeks no more than 5 lbs is over, I still plan to take it easy. By work in the coffee trees I mean, mostly walking, and bending over to check the water system, prune verticals we don't want, pick cherry to get it off the trees (not enough to process yet). Two to three hours in the morning is all I can manage, then it's lunch and a 1 to 2 hour nap. Which does not leave much time for afternoon work. It is very light work. We have hired labor to do the heavy stuff, and will continue to use him for a while yet. I tried mowing (riding mower 4 ft wide), but I had to go sooo....slow, I'm still going to use labor for mowing as we have about 5 acres. The coffee needs mowing every week.
The surgery was risky because I was treated with radiation for prostate cancer 5 years ago. There is no sign of cancer now, but the radiation burned/damaged several body parts & they had to come out. There is still damage to the #2 system, but I think I can live with that.
I had an SPC to bypass the urethra for a couple of years, but with shrinking bladder, poking catheter, and leaks, the UTI's, pain management, antibiotics, & pain med withdrawal, I was not getting any work done. By June I was having 2 UTI's/month.
So this operation was necessary, and I am getting my life back.
Thanks,
Joe

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Hi Joe,

I was told not to lift anything heavier than a paper bag for six weeks - take it easy and get strong. All I can add to the great advice here is to use an adhesive remover when you take the wafer off it will prevent the skin tearing then use skin prep before applying the new one.

Thinking about you and a coffee farm in Hawaii is a great way to start the day - must make another pot!

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Joe, Sit back take a deep breath. I wasn't patient at all. i have been athletic all my life. Like you that bending and twisting caused me abdominal muscle problems now i have as one of our friends posted, A hernia the size of a grapefruit. Will have surgery This October HOCKEY

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Aloha Joe,
Howdy neighbor, sounds like you are in the Kona area. I am over here in Mililani on Oahu. Just wondering if you have been in contact w/the UOAA Support Group leader? She is located in Hilo. Her name is Linda, she may be able to offer you some assistance. If you contact UOAA, 800.826.0826, they can provide her contact information.
I am post-opt 8 weeks from total proctocolectomy w/ ileostomy and have not experienced any reactions from the adhesive on ther skin barriers. If you like I could ask my WOCN @ Tripler for some recommendations. My thoughts.
Hope all goes well for you.
Dan

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Regarding the blisters, yes I too had small itchy blisters. I stopped using the paste which i think i was having a allergic reaction to. Just use what you can that your skin works well worth. I mentioned this before, but Nexcare waterproof tape (sold all drugstores) is a great product to go over the wafer, to enlarge it, or in a emergency to reenforce a section that may loosen up on the wafer. Great product! It also does not need cutting since you just sort of pull it, stretch it and tear. Best of luck and be patient. You will find the products that keep you feeling in control!

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You might also find an ostomy belt which keeps the wafer tight against your body.

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I too had urostomy surgery due to radiation treatments I had 20 years ago that damaged my bladder resulting in the loss of one kidney. In order to preserve the remaining kidney this was the best solution due to constant uti's and hydronephrosis. Thanks for the tip of the Nexcare tape. I am 4 weeks out of surgery and am hit or miss with wafers sticking. Sometimes they last for days as they should, other times I am leaking after a couple of hours. It is very hard to have any kind of confidence going on with normal life when you don't know if you are going to leak at any given time. I have two weddings in the next two weeks and am very apprehensive.

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Yah I have come to the conculsion that if Cancer don't get you the troubles from the radiation will LOL so many people have problems with radiation left overs that is what all my extra problems are from the ostomy after 3 yrs you get use to that it is the infections due to tubes of differant measures due to radiation that causes me the most pain anxiety and problems. My motto is Hange in there it does get better. Ronna

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Aloha DanAFAP,
There are several areas of the Big Island that grow coffee. Ours is Hamakua Coffee. We are located on the Hilo side of Honokaa about 3 miles, just above Paauhau, old sugar cane village.
Yes, have talked to the lady in Hilo that speaks for the ostomy group, meets once/month, most all are colostomys. Have a couple of friends here that are uro-ostomys. We do talk alot.
My surgery was just below Tripler at the Kaiser Hospital.
Thanks,
Joe

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Aloha Cookielin,
I do use a retainer belt at night, but am trying to do without it during the day as it is also sorta hot & irritating.
The stoma paste that I use is up against the stoma. My irritations & blisters are out at the edge & under the adhesive. The last wafer change only had skin irritations, no blisters.
Thanks,
Joe

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Hi Joe, Wear the belt maybe to the wedding and carry a roll of Nexcare tape. You have certainly been through a lot and my heart goes out to you. You sound like a real trouper though and frankly I can,t believe that you are doing so well so quickly. BUT do not push yourself too much. As we all have mentioned, it takes time and patience. Please let us all know how the weddings go. Try to relax and have fun. Celebrate life and marriage, but don,t eat or drink too much at the celebrations. LOL

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Aloha,
On the UOAA Discussion Board, I found an article by Mike D'Orazio which describes the different conditions of skin irritation around the stoma.
http://woundostomycontinence.com/mike/peristomaldermatites.pdf
This paper describes the conditions that we can experience and offers ways to treat & avoid the skin problems associated with ostomies.
Joe

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My skin also revolted. By the time I returned to a physically active job (aquarium maintenance) 4 months had passed since my urostomy surgery. During that 4 months I found that I needed to support the pouch (so it doesn't pull on my skin) and use an anti-fungaI spray on and around the stoma. I tried the pouch supports made online, but now I wear a long sleveless T-shirt under my outer shirt and use the long tail in front to surround and support the pouch. As a fungicide, I spray 30ppm colloidal silver on and around the stoma and let it do it's thing for 6 minutes. Another thing I started doing recently is using a double wafer, one on the inside next to the stoma, and another I manually mold to fit, goes around the edge of the first wafer. This feels very secure and no more pins and needles feeling. Bending over is still an adjustment, but when I go to work, I reposition the pouch so that it is almost sideways. Also, on the dot, every two hours, I empty the pouch to keep the weight down.

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Aloha JMDB52,
We all work out the things we need to do to make life easier for us. However, we need to be sure that what we are doing is doing no harm. Hope you have had your skin tested to determine whether on not it is a fungus.
I started wearing long sleeveless T-shirts soon after I got home, hides a lot. I need to checkout sewing a sock in the bottom of them to hold the appliance to keep it away from my skin.
I'm still evaluating different samples to determine which manufacturer has a product that I can live with.
Hang in there,
Joe

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Mo hallo Joe, That's why I use the colloidal silver, it also kills bacteria as well as fungus. Can't see spending money on testing when I know that no matter what I have, this stuff will help heal it...works for me anyway. Here's a appliance support I wear on occasion, especially if I am really active....http://www.celebrationostomysupportbelt.com/ Appreciate your support and helpful ideas.

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Aloha,
I've tried/tested 6 different ostomy product manufactures, and I'm using what I was sent home with as it has the least skin irritation, a Hollister two piece. The blistering has slowly subsided to minor irritations around the adhesive. Hopefully the more active I become (getting back into my exercise routine) will toughen my skin. I can get six to seven days/change, but you can see where the urine is degrading the paste & wafer, so I should probably be changing the appliance every 4 to 5 days.
We are in our most productive/busy part of our small coffee farming, processing about 50 lbs of coffee cherry/day. Hard to keep up the exercises as the coffee won't wait, gotta be picked now. Still getting too much rain. Hard to sun dry.
Joe

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Joe - paste will degrade very quickly. Replace it with an Eakin ring - a sticky, rubber-like ring that you mold around the stoma before applying a barrier. Also use a good skin prep wipe to begin with - it will help the barrier stick. And be careful to use an adhesive removal wipe to remove the old barrier - never just tear the barrier off bare skin. If you still have problems you can consult a WCON (Wound Care Ostomy Nurse) will help you choose the right brand, opening size, preparation precautions, etc. I had a problem where I was changing over 9 times in a week - sometimes after a few hours - all while we were in the process of moving. Developed weepy sores with prevented a good seal, changing so often that I got weepy sores, etc, - viscious circle. The WCON cleared everything up in about a week, and I now change every 3 days with no leaks and especially no night-time blowouts!

Love and hugs from Marge

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Aloha Marge,
My experience with Convatec supplies was not very good. I used the Eakin ring two times over a 10 day period. I found the E ring adhesive to be very difficult to remove. My skin stings badly when I use adhesive removers (from any of the manufactures) and I need to shave about once/week. The E ring adhesive clogs up my razor & was difficult to remove from the hairs with soap & water. I know everyone's skin reacts differently to the available products. I put up with the stinging to remove the adhesive & pectin wafer, but to rub the skin with the remover to clean up the E ring residue is more than I can handle. The stoma paste does start to leak after a few days, but it removes easily with soap & water. So, like politics, I'm voting for the least offensive product to use on my skin.
It sounds like you have a handle on your problem. My WCON suggested the Convatec & Eakin ring trying to reduce my skin irritation. The Convatec adhesive left my skin very red-rash-like after the 10 days. The Hollister products are more friendly to my skin.
Thanks,
Joe

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