Never needing to have someone toilet me


The Colostomy means that once a day someone (me, while my hands still work) will simply replace a colostomy bag of faecal waste. However, a conventional colostomy wouldn’t be sufficient. What most people don’t know – mainly because no one wants to talk about it – is that many people with colostomies suffer anal leakage of mucus.

Basically, because their rectums are still intact, they continue to produce the mucus that under normal circumstances is an essential lubricant for stools. After a colostomy, most people just get rid of the mucus once a day on the loo. But when I can no longer walk, that would mean that despite the colostomy I still needed to be toileted once a day. And to be cleaned afterwards. Which would rather defeat the object of having had a colostomy in the first place.

Instead, the abdominoperineal resection will not only redirect my lower colon to another stoma in my abdomen, like a conventional colostomy, but also remove my rectum. Clearly, the two stomas of my PEG and colostomy (although they must both be on my left-hand side) need to be as far apart as possible. Hence the need for the gastroenterology surgeon and the colorectal surgeon to have negotiated before either starts cutting.