Ange's Got Moxie

Are you a strong person who refuses to give up or give in? Are you a patient or caregiver? I've been and still am, both. This blog is all about my journey. I also love life in the country and love to laugh and try to see things with humor.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sleeping (or trying) with an Ostomy

I adjusted pretty quickly and easily to my ostomy.  I’ve had my moments, like crying over chili, but for the most part I go through my day with my ostomy bag not being any more of a hassle than wearing glasses or contact lenses.  I really do sort of forget that it’s there as I go about my day.   I will forever have to pay attention to what I eat but I’m talking about the actual ostomy bag.

People get hung on that part, the bag.   Once you have adjusted, figured out your wardrobe and what you are comfortable with and wearing, the bag itself is just not that big a deal.   Yes, I know it collects waste in it.  Well guess what?  Everyone “goes”.   I empty it, wipe off the end and wash my hands.  Others “go”, wipe their hineys and wash their hands (we hope).

At night, however, it’s a different story.  Sleeping with Moxie and her bag is still a little bit like sleeping with the enemy for me.  Or maybe it’s a little like sleeping with a new baby.  I never really know what to expect.

Certain foods are supposed to be more gas producing than other.  We all know this so obviously you would want to avoid anything that causes gas before going to bed.  Imagine waking up with a balloon glued to your belly.  But sometimes, I continually wake up with that balloon glued to my belly for no reason at all!  If you roll over on that balloon, it hurts.   I do not like waking up to burp Moxie’s bag.

Some nights, for reasons I absolutely cannot figure out, I put out fluid all night long, meaning getting up over and over to go to the bathroom.  And nearly every night there is that time in the early hours when my guts decide to get active.  I’m lazy, I don’t like getting up.  So, I wake up, feel and wonder if I can get in another hour or two before I have to get out of bed.

I’m also a “tosser”.  You know, I roll over thousands of time every night; I toss the covers every which way and wake up with the bed a complete mess.  I was/am always afraid of what I was going to do during all that tossing.  And I’ve done it, too.  I’ve rolled my bag up in my nightshirt.  I’ve squished it until the edges are barely hanging on and I have scratched in my sleep until I nearly bled.  I discovered hugging a body pillow and rolling it with me helps some.

There are also the number of times I wake up because I've been on one side or the other too long, so it's hurting.  Thank you, Mr. Arthritis.

I’m still always hoping that I will find that magic combination or formula so I will know what to expect at night and can get a solid eight hours sleep without waking up either needing to pay attention to my ostomy or worried that my ostomy will need attention.

Have you found the formula?  Do you have any tips?  And if you don’t have an ostomy, is there something that you would like to know?  Please ask and I’ll share.


  1. The quality of life for ostomates would improve 200x if we could figure out how to solve these nightime problems. I'm often up once or twice a night with an often very full pouch, regardless if I'm up eating until 11pm or if my last meal was at 6pm. If it's not output filling the pouch, it's gas.

    You mentioned that you sometimes have liquid output at night - have you tried the Convatec Diamonds product?

    They claim to be a gelling agent AND anti-ballooning product. My output isn't loose enough to use consistently and it didn't help for gas with me, but apparently, it does work well when it works.

    Good luck!

  2. I have meant to get a gelling agent on my last product order and forgot. I don't think it would help me on the high output nights since the problem then seems to be simply quantity but there are times when I have issues with redness around the stoma and I suspect it might would help then. It can't hurt to try.

    I did try installing a "button" on my bags that are supposed to allow you to let the air out. Yeah, that worked about as fast as trying to push a watermelon through a straw.

    Figuring out causation would be the key but as you mentioned, I can't seem to relate what I ate or the time to what happens during the night. Glad to know I'm not alone.

  3. sleeping with an Ostomy can be painful as well as uncomfortable. If anyone is really facing problem in living life with an Ostomy bag attached to their lower abdomen then they must use the Ostomy Lingerie as a part of their cloths so that they don't face any problem in wearing their favourite dresses and they don't even need to wear an extra belt to support that bag.