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Thread: Bony butt, fragile skin, need better shower cushion

  1. #1

    Bony butt, fragile skin, need better shower cushion

    I'm new here--glad to find you folks!

    I have a colostomy with a (now) recessed stoma. My surgeon doesn't want to do the revision surgery because of the high chances of needing to open midline again--and last fall when he did the original colostomy, I was in the hospital for 6 weeks and lost 20 lbs. I am 5'8" and got down to 100 lbs in there.

    Losing the weight AND having menopausal thin skin has made a big difference in how long I can sit. I am on the verge of a pressure sore right now and am down more than I am up.

    I will have been a T-4 paraplegic 31 years this month and my quality of life now is not good.

    With my stoma being an "INNIE" now, I pretty much have to irrigate, and with my doctor's blessing I use a 30 cc catheter, insert it into the stoma, blow up the balloon, insert the irrigation water, deflate the balloon, pull out the catheter and let it shoot. (It shoots into an irrigation sleeve--so, no, you cannot send me pictures of your exes to "poop shoot" in the shower!)

    The process is best done in the shower and I can then empty the container it drains into in the toilet. Even though it adds just 15-20 minutes to my shower time, and I am multi-tasking--showering and irrigating, that extra time on my current shower cushion--an ensolite pool float cut to fit my bench--puts extra strain on my skin.

    Soooo, if I can't get a better shower cushion, I may need to risk a stoma revision anyway or end up on home health care.

    My shower bench is 28" x 17", and obviously, my butt doesn't cover the whole thing but when I transfer in, a wide cushion keeps me from landing on the cultured marble before I move to the center.

    My right I-T bone is listed as a lethal weapon in this state; I could jump on someone's lap and leave a stab wound.

    Any and all suggestions would be appreciated greatly. Many blessings to you all!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Broknwing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Central Florida
    I believe that Roho makes cushions for shower chairs & benches. I don't know if they are specifically custom to certain chairs, but you can do a search for the ROHO cushions and find their site(I don't know it myself, I always just search) I just got a really nice roll in shower chair & I was looking at the manufacturer's site about the chair & saw that I could order a Roho for it, so I'm sure that you can find it for other ones.

    As a side note, if you had a shower chair with a cutout, it might make the entire process easier for you & may even cut down some time for you. If you wish, I can send you the info on the chair I've got. Good luck in your venture to find the best alternative for yourself. Feel free to e-mail or private message me if you have any questions.

    L-1 inc 11/24/03

  3. #3
    I hope you are working with a good ET (enterostomal therapist) nurse. They usually know much more about colostomy management that physicians. You may want to get a second opinion about your stoma revision.

    If you don't need a cut out on your cushion (since you have a colostomy) you could use a regular Roho cushion in the shower. They are waterproof (without the cover).

    I also know several people who swear by using an old Bye Bye Decubiti wheelchair cushion for water sports as well as for showering.

    Can you get to a major SCI center or rehab center that does interface pressure mapping and get re-evaluated for a better wheelchair cushion?


  4. #4
    Thanks Chelle,

    I don't have a roll-in shower, just a bench built into a tile shower. I use a ROHO in my wheelchair and on the occasions when I have washed it, getting all the soap out from between the cells was difficult, (and I wasn't even sitting on it then). Maybe it would work, perhaps someone will chime in.

    Anyone use an Action gel cushion in the shower?

  5. #5
    My colo-rectal surgeon is reluctant to do the revision because I had so many complications last time around. Right now he is the only colo-rectal surgeon on my insurance plan, but there are other surgeons who do colostomies and revisions. He is supposed to be the best specialist in this area, (regardless of insurance), so should I still seek a second opinion? My current surgeon certainly knows my "innards" and what problems I am prone too.

    I have spoken with ET nurses from one coast to the other. So far, no one has come up with a better way to manage my "INNIE" stoma. If I don't irrigate, stool just goes under the wafer and not into the bag. The ET nurses have helped me find the best products for me though, and as you said, are very informative.

    I am in the process of getting a seating eval with pressure mapping within the month.

    I have tried the BYE-BYE in the past and by the time I get it inflated so that my right I-T doesn't bottom out, I feel like I'm on a beach ball. Have they changed them lately or are they still the same?

    Thanks all--again, all ideas are welcomed!

  6. #6
    Anyone familiar with the ACTION gel cushion or something similar? Are they effective for this application?

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Wisconsin USA
    This may be totally off the wall but....I used to work at a company that dealt with foams of all kinds. If you can find a cushion made for an outdoor lawn chair that has open cell foam in a solid form as the filler it could solve many problems. Open cell allows water, mainly meant for rain, to flow right through so mildew is a much smaller problem. To keep the cushion in place try that rubber webbing stuff meant for shelf liners where you store crystal upside down. I use that on my shower floor to keep my feet from spazing from the cold tile (no amount of hot water warms a slat floor above maybe Georgia). This stuff is all rubber so both sides are non-skid. Do not use Dycem. I tried that and talk about slippery when wet!

    As for fragile skin--lotion, often. Ask a good dermatoligist or GYN what she suggests.

    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

  8. #8
    I will look into that idea. So far the only foam I don't bottom out on is 3 inch temperpedic--not waterproof--and ensolite--too firm. I'm like goldilocks in the 3 bears story--looking for something "just right". (And I do have blond hair.)

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