I’m having my stoma /Ileostomy surgery in a couple weeks and I’m a flight attendant. For those of you who are flight crew, how long did you take off after having your bag placement? As flight attendants we have no options for light duty and have job requirements of bending, twisting and lifting 50 pounds. And the routes I’m working give me very little time when I’m inner Island in Hawaii to have bathroom breaks. Boarding take longer than the actual flights themselves so it’s a constant run with 4-6legs that are 25 minutes in the air with a revised service. I just found out a few days ago that I’m having the bag placed and I’m feeling very overwhelmed since this was never on my radar for treatment of my Crohn’s. It’s a lot to wrap my head around. I have scoured the web and there is zero resources for flight crews with any style of bag and working our unique jobs with them. It’s not permanent they’re hoping the Remicade will heal the damage in 3 to 6 months and then I have to go in for reversal surgery. So I am trying to decide if I should just go on medical leave for six months. I guess it depends on how long the healing process is that I can go back to full duty’s After each surgery?..
Well I'm not a flight attendant, and I have a J pouch, but I'm not sure we have any air stewards on here. Personally the idea of flying with a pouch fills me with dread, but I normally fly long haul. Just yesterday I got back from carribean (8 hour flight, but almost 24 hours travelling by the time you consider transfers and airport time). I was uncomfortable for much of that, due to restricted access to bathroom, bad diet options, being stuck in a sitting position all day and I think changes of air pressure.
Short trips would be much better, and if you have a bag that will do away with the pain and frequent trips to the bathroom too. My concern would be that the bag will be placed around ear height of the passenger, although on a noisy flight I suspect they may not hear much. Although permanent ostomys can be much better, the temporary ones act a little less socially, mine was always popping clicking, whistling etc at the most embarrassing times.
To answer your specific question, I was off work for about 6 weeks but did a slow return to my desk job..i.e 4 hours a day. I don't think I would have been ready to be on my feet all day and lifting cases into lockers etc at that point. The operation is tough, don't underestimate it. They cut through your core muscles so you have to go real easy lifting anything heavy and twisting... I couldn't even sit up for the first month or so!
Now the good news, you will adapt and strength and lifting won't be a problem once you have healed, we have a few gym bunnies and weight lifters on here reguarly lifting much more than 50 kilos
Don't want to scare you, and hopefully others will come along with a more supportive point of view, but If I was doing your job and I had to go through the operation again I would consider a short career break if possible, especially if you are due to have the reversal quite quickly.
Of course your experience may differ... Just my thoughts
Flygirl, it sounds like you neither have (not plan to have) a J-pouch, but are just getting an ostomy while waiting for the Remicade to do its job. Have I got that right? If so, the “Ostomy & Skin” forum here might have been a better choice, but please don’t post a fourth copy of your inquiry - the right folks will likely see your existing posts.
Sorry flygirl, I think maybe I misunderstood. If you are having an ostomy and then going back to how you were, then presumably that is a much simpler operation (especially if they use key hole surgery).
You mentioned reversal which is often used to describe jpouch surgery, for this the entire colon and soft tissue is removed and that is major surgery. I've not heard of your procedure being done before, but it's likely not as demanding as I feared so my advice above might not be relevant.
Hopefully someone will come along with more experience of your procedure, but I think most people here have had permeant surgery to remove their colons.
Sorry for the confusion
Bobish- actually you were very helpful! Thank you! Having an ileostomy and a reversal. hoping for three months but can take up to six months to a year while we wait for the Remicade to work it’s magic 🤞🏻 . Sorry if me posting on this page irritated Scott. But I haven’t found anything out there for flight crew so I thought I’d spread it out amongst a few similar groups and see if I get any bites
No worries, Flygirl - I wasn’t irritated. I was pointing out that we have an ostomy forum here, which is more specific to your situation, but that you probably had already amply covered the territory. I’m glad you got some help.