Skin under Colostomy healing from being red / weeping, now looks paper thin and feels numb? (Pic)

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I have been holding on for dear life for my FMLA to re-up in October to get my temp colostomy reversed, as my job has made clear I will be fired if I do it before then, and I have had almost non stop problems over the summer with skin tears and weeping skin with the moisture in the air.

Sorry, semi panicking tonight, I am so sick of this!!!

Tonight I just felt something was off with my stoma / surrounding skin after getting a new appliance from an ostomy nurse to address the red / weeping skin, which after even a week has largely recovered, however the skin under the appliance is now extremely thin and mostly numb.

I was poking around testing the feeling, and noticed it's so thin it wrinkles like a wet paper towel when I even slightly push the skin together / lightly pinch it:

I can't find anything online about this skin condition, my ostomy nurse is not back in the office for 4 more days, I'm wondering if this is normal for recovering skin?

I've had a list of issues waiting for this FMLA so I don't get fired, and its starting to mentally erode me, and I'd like anyone who can to tell me this is normal for healing skin. Seeing it wrinkle like that is extremely disturbing, I just want this nightmare to end, any input appreciated.

Sorry for the bitching in the explanation, I feel so stepped on by my employer making me deal with all these complications under the threat of terminating me and stripping my medical insurance. I just want to cry tonight 😦

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    I feel useless here because i did not have this problem, as i think i told you, but i had different ones. But i just wanted to tell you i feel for you. Its lousy your under pressure like this from your employer. Maybe the wrinkling is a sign of healing? Lets hope so. Its a lousy journey isn't it? Here to listen if you need.

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  • Posted

    My daughter has a permanent colostomy and has since she was 4 years old she was born with a rare disorder, We have tackled skin break downs so I KNOW exactly what ya going through and how you feel. When hers got real bad we used what they call cow's balm sold at Walmart. It heals and helps a lot and fast. Don't know if you have stoma powder or not but good to use helps with healing and keep moisture at bay ! Let air when you can . Have you ever irrigated it? Colostomy irrigation can be a way to avoid using a colostomy bag after a colorectal surgery, if you have a stoma. Irrigation will not always be enough to replace the use of a colostomy bag, but it may allow you to use only a cap, mini-pouch, or patch to protect the stoma. Irrigating involves instilling water through your stoma into your large intestine to flush out your colon. This can be done every 1-3 days, minimizing odor and leaking and giving you more control over your bowel movements.[1] This process can increase your independence and quality of life, allowing for a more active and care-free life with a stoma. To manage the irrigation process, you will first attach the irrigation sleeve, and then irrigate your colostomy with water.

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  • Posted

    You may have a ill fitting bag which is allowing seepage, in addition to a stoma powder, try using a different appliance, paste or moldable skin barrier ring.

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  • Posted

    Thank you all for the replies to this, I did use a few techniques to get rid of the red weeping skin, including using anti-fungal powder and using the skin barrier wipes as a "crusting" method, and also the very nerve racking approach of cutting the whole portion that lays on the skin off except for the barrier ring.

    The reason this was an issue is because I had a superficial wound just to the right of the stoma, so the barrier ring would lift off the skin / break the seal if I didn't at least tape it down, but I finally got my new bags that use some other sort of sticky that seems to be allowing my skin to return to normal.

    Thankfully I visited my surgeon regarding my colonoscopy and upcoming colostomy reversal, and he assured me the only thing that would prevent surgery is if I got a lung infection somehow, or something that would complicate the procedure itself. Otherwise he said damaged skin or superficial wounds make no difference to him.

    So just need to hold my sanity together for another couple months, my company has been reasonable given my Out of Office time due to hospital stays / Surgery for Diverticulitis, I don't know how people who live with this for life can find an employer that is understanding enough to allow them the time to randomly suffer through a flare up for a couple weeks 😦

    Though my flare ups have always been micro-perf and other killer extreme episodes, so maybe other flare ups are not as bad, but the pain I had after my very first hospital stay was unimaginable. That is why I say if your in the US, I just way suggest surgical options if possible, what a terrible disease this is!

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    • Posted

      Good news from your surgeon. So pleased for you. I'm sorry i couldn't be more help. Mine was an iliostomy so different to yours, but you have had some great advice from others. I can maybe help with the reversal when the time comes. It is a horrible disease, especially when you have a perforation, as in my case, and they don't realise! Please keep us updated. We are all in this together.

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  • Posted

    your job /employer doesn't run your life, your health runs your life. this is lowest unemployment in FIFTY years, the HIGHEST job growth, THAT means A) your employer needs you and someone there knows that-- companies need workers) B) you can get another job VERY QUICKLY FOR MORE MONEY!!!!!!! ill help you!! now of course you must follow the FMLA RULES . look them up and make sure they are and you are. if its really true that they threatened to fire you--. Even after you have exhausted your 12 weeks of FMLA leave per year, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can make it difficult for your employer to fire you when you are out on disability leave. Fortunately, the ADA covers more small businesses than the FMLA—those with just 15 or more workers. However, employers still cannot terminate an at-will employee for a retaliatory or discriminatory reason. If they do, the employee can file a lawsuit against the employer. ... while using The Family Medical Leave Act-- lawyers will take this case in a minute , pro bono !

    as far as your stoma and your reversal--- i'm so happy your doctor has told you you're getting the reversal! that is fantastic.

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