Here is part two of the by ostomates for ostomates Orientation extended! Please check out stomalicious blog and or Instagram (where the craziness started) please check out part one here. Also be warned there is images of prolapsed stomas other ostomates have suffered.
At first I was worried about 00Steve having an issue but his main issue was actually hurting me! I have used my comfizz waistband or my vanilla blush knickers to hide my bag for my own peace of mind. However lacy lingerie can help mask the bag and keep you feeling sexy. Vanilla Blush do intimacy ostomy knickers too.
Where and how do you change your bag? Standing up/ laying down/ sitting? Bathroom or bedroom? How long does it take?
I stand up and change it usually in the bathroom unless 00Steve is hogging it then I will do it in the bedroom. I usually have it changed in under 5 mins.
Do you still take any medication post surgery?
No I don’t. Well not like I did before, I take loperamide, the odd pain relief and peppermint capsules. Oh and cod liver oil capsules.
What stoma supply couldn’t you live without?
For me it would have to be my barrier rings as it’s better than the powder for me and my belt. I like knowing after I’ve taken Ra-Ra swimming and I’ve changed the bag that the belt is going to keep it stuck down. I honestly think one day the bag is going to fail to stick because of the humidity in the locker rooms.
Do you shower with your bag on or off?
Depends really. If I’m at a friends it’s on but usually it’s off. It took me a bit of time to get to that point (see scrubadubdub) but I just pick times when it’s quieter.
Who do you normally talk about your ostomy too? other ostomates maybe? Do you tell people or wait to be asked questions? Do you hide it or openly talk about it? How do you describe it to someone who has never heard of an ostomy before?
00Steve obviously, my side of the family and my girls are who I usually choose to talk to about it. I guess a bit of both really I will openly talk to anyone about it but I often wait for people to ask. I describe it as my intestine is sewn onto my stomach and a bag is attached to collect the waste.
Where and how do you obtain your ostomy supplies? Are they subsidised by the government in your home country?
I get my supplies delivered by Fittleworth and it is all on prescription so I don’t pay anything.
Did you have emergency surgery or did you know before going in? Did you choose to have surgery?
I knew about my surgery I opted to have it 6 months before (see surgery day). I just had to wait whilst my surgeon proved to the medical directors the elective surgery was required.
How is your peristomal skin? What do you use to help with this?
The skin was a bit sore to begin with. I suffered broken skin and granulomas (see post) I also have a lump near the stitches which my stoma nurse has concluded it’s where it reacted with a tattoo I had directly underneath. I use mainly barrier rings although I do have spray and powder but I prefer the rings.
How often do you empty your bag? What is your technique?
I usually empty when I go pee! I just sit as far back on the toilet as I can, legs open slightly and empty my bag into the toilet and clean the opening with toilet paper.
Have you returned to work post op? How much time did you have off?
I have indeed I’ve been back to work 2 weeks now. I had 10 weeks off in total. But I work with autistic adults who can be unpredictable and I wanted to know I was strong enough before going back.
How much and what do you drink? Do you have any tips for staying hydrated?
I became quite dehydrated at the beginning (see why here) I probably still don’t drink enough. But I try to drink water (with juice I was recommended to add sugar/salt) Fresh Orange, fizzy pop (in moderation) and coffee. When I get hungry I hope and have a drink just in case it’s thirst. I feel that works quite well.
Have you ever had a prolapse? Was it easily fixed and how?
Not going to lie this one scared the shit outta me. I wasn’t aware your stoma could prolapse. I’m going to share the picture that came with the post (its Google images) so that other people can see what one can look like. Ostomates commented saying that laying down flat and putting something warm over the top helped coax it back in. I showed 00Steve this and told him how people have had it go back in, basically so if it ever did happen he could remind me of what to do.
I generally get pressure as if I want to pass gas. Even sitting on the toilet doesn’t seem to relieve that but it tends to go away. It’s very few and far between now so I can’t really say how long it lasted.
Have you changed what you wear since your ostomy surgery? Do you have any clothing tips or fashion advice?
Well the only thing I don’t wear often now is trousers unless they are high waisted. If I wear my skinny jeans I wear my comfizz waistband (see how I wear it) I also wear a high waisted bikini (see what it looks like) I haven’t stopped wearing form fitting clothes, I just make sure I have a good base layer like comfizz or vanilla blush (see ostomy underwear) some days I get in a strop but most of the time I just get on with it.
Thanks for reading no doubt there will be another post to round off this (what I find interesting since I’m seeing other people’s experiences) ostomy orientation question and answer post!