Archive | October, 2011

Bathing/Showering

25 Oct

Hello again everybody!

Been having a few tingling and pulling pains on my internal stitches as I’ve been putting on weight and the scar on my tummy has been stretching a bit, so just trying not to do too much stretching or over exert myself. Last time I weighed myself I’d put on 2 and a half stone 2 and a half months after my operation, so about 3 pounds a week, really pleased!!! 🙂

Thought I’d do a post today on bathing and showering with my Ileostomy.

After my surgery, I mainly showered with my bag on for the first 5/6 weeks, then changed it after I’d had a shower as the bags I had did not really stick well after a shower and I change my bag once a day as this makes me feel a lot cleaner and more hygenic and works the best for me. So I figured that it would make sense to change the bag after I’d got out the shower, dried myself and towel dried the bag so it wasn’t wet through and dripping everywhere before I took it off.

The thought of having a shower with my ileostomy bag on took a lot of getting my head around, it was the unknown really that made me quite reluctant to give it a go, as I was not sure how it would feel and figured it would feel a bit weird somehow. Also, I’d just had major surgery which had been very touch and go, the rest of it was way more than enough to get my head around such as learning how to change the bag etc let alone considering how I was going to shower! I also was worried about water going in my stoma, & it being active in the shower and waste coming out. However, when I saw my stoma nurse I was soon reminded that water will NOT enter my body via my stoma and I could submerge it in a bath and it still would not get water into it into my body. She also helped me to realise – what was the point in worrying about waste coming out? I could simply wash it down the plug hole, it goes down the same pipes out the house into the drains anyway!

To start with, around 7/8 weeks after my surgery, I showered two or three times a week without my bag to get myself used to the feeling and when my stoma is most likely to be active etc. Also, my stoma nurse suggested using an empty yoghurt pot for when I am out of the shower between bag changes to catch any waste my stoma decides to put out. My nurse is fantastic, she really is. So I always have an empty yoghurt pot in the bathroom now which has saved me getting a mess everywhere on quite a few occasions now, it saves me a lot of worry and panic 😀 Now, I am 11 weeks after my operation and I have showered for the last 3 weeks without my bag on, it feels a lot better and I wouldn’t go back to showering with my bag. Showering without my bag gives me time for my skin which is usually under my bag to breathe and I get to give my stoma and the skin a proper clean. Also I find I don’t go through my supplies as much (dry wipes) so they last a lot longer as I only use one afterwards to dry my stoma and the skin when I have first towel dried it by patting the stoma and skin gently. Then I put a new bag on! 🙂

I had my first proper bath after I came out of hospital with my bag on. I’m not keen on baths when it’s warmer weather but I will be trying a bath without a bag in Winter when it’s colder as I love baths in Winter, they make you feel so much warmer and better in an instant! 😀 Taking a bath with my bag off may be different, as the water isn’t constantly washing things down the plug hole, so I will see about that one, may have to time it to a more suitable time when my output is less!

Going to see my stoma nurse again tomorrow morning.

Take care everyone 🙂 x

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Hydroframe Flange Extenders

20 Oct

Well the dentists was fine, thankfully! Not a big fan of the Dentists, but then again, I don’t think many people are. Just got to go back for a scale and polish.

Having to wear my Dansac bags until my Coloplast prescription gets delivered, needless to say the bag came loose yet again last night, despite using some HydroMini Flange Extenders to give some extra adhesive to some of the bag. One of the areas that didn’t have one on had nearly peeled all the way off when I woke up this morning, but luckily no mess was made! Surprised myself at how quick I changed my bag, pleasantly surprised 🙂 The standard size extenders seem to be a lot better for on a night. I would really recommend the Hydroframe flange extenders from CliniMed, they are really good to help bags stick if you have sticking issues or even if you just want to feel a bit more secure that the bag will stick when you’re out, and also to increase wear time such as if you’re active/doing sports or throughout the night. You can get them in the standard size or in a handy little mini size that is easy to carry around. This is the standard size below:

And here are the Hydroframe Mini Flange Extenders:

I always find that I have to cut down the standard size as if I put them on they always sit over my belly button and start to peel off as they can’t stick down securely. Both products are very easy to apply, you literally peel the middle backing piece away and position it where you want it either before you put a bag on or after, it doesn’t really matter. I always do mine when the bag is already on as this is the way I’ve always done it and it’s easy and doesn’t require a lot of fiddling! Then when you’ve got it where you want on your bag, you peel both of the end bits of backing off and press those down securely onto the skin smoothly. I also keep my hand pressed over the extender for half a minute or so to ensure the adhesive warms to my skin securely. I tend to use the mini ones more than the standard size.

The Standard Hydroframe Flange Extenders are good for:

  • Additional adhesion
  • Increased wear time of the bag
  • The application of them – they are very easy to apply
  • Reduced peristomal skin irritation

The Mini HydroFrame Flange Extenders are good for:

  • Use on smaller areas where the extra adhesive is needed
  • Paediatric applications
  • Extra protection behind stoma belt lugs
  • An alternative to more harsh medical tape
  • Fixation in small areas such as fistulas or drain sites

Really good products, I definitely recommend 🙂 And both are available on prescription.

They are available to order at:

http://www.clinimed.co.uk/stoma-care/products/stoma-skin-care-and-accessories/hydroframe.aspx

I also wear a really comfy shallow waistband during the daytime most days from Comfizz.

This is the one I wear, I like it because it is very comfortable, provides extra support/security and is a skin colour so isn’t obvious under white tops etc. It is £9.00 if you do not get it on prescription, but I think in the UK you can order up to 6 Stoma Support Wear products a year on prescription and this is available on prescription as far as I’m aware. I paid for mine but £9.00 really is not bad for a great product 🙂

You can have a look at the product and others on the site at:

http://www.stomawear.uk.com/

Ta ta for now! 😀

Tried a 2-piece ileostomy bag…

17 Oct

Volunteered at pre-school again this morning, was great! 🙂 Went into town this afternoon with Mum, had a drink and afternoon snack out in a cafe, had a yummy tea cooked by my Dad, went slightly hyper in the kitchen with Mum dancing away to some music then just chilled out upstairs here in my bedroom…& yes, I am shattered haha!

Doing so much better fingers crossed using the Coloplast Sensura One-Piece Drainable bags, they’re pretty much the same as the Assura ones I tried the other week before these new samples arrived. No sticking issues so far & they take more adhesive remover to get off my skin, so they are a LOT better at sticking compared to the Dansac ones I tried, they were easier to pull off my skin and would peel away by themselves! Especially if I had wind. A lot happier now I’ve found this product, on my repeat prescription it goes! 🙂

Tried some 2-piece systems over the weekend from Oakmed and Coloplast…But had leaks from both, so I’m sure I’m doing something wrong. Rang my Stoma Nurse and she’s going to give me another lesson so we can see where I’m going wrong in a few months, but for a while it’s sticking with the 1-piece Coloplast I hope, hoping it works as well as this for a longggg time!

Also, check out www.stomawise.co.uk 🙂 GREAT site for Ostomates!

Dentists tomorrow, oh yay…

Hope everyone is well!

Will post again soon 🙂 x

Yay for Coloplast!

13 Oct

So I went to see my Stoma Nurse again this Tuesday just gone, my oh my she makes me life a million times easier, without her I wouldn’t be here, fact. The fact that she dedicates so much time to make my life easier and help me through my ileostomy journey is amazing. Even just by sitting and talking to her about my worries I feel tons better.

She suggested me trying some other bags and also trying a two-piece system to try and correct the sticking issues and wind/output issues on a night. At the moment I am wearing the Coloplast One-Piece Drainable Assura Ileostomy bag and so far, no sticking issues! YAY! Had it on from about 13:45 yesterday afternoon after my shower, and here I am nearly 24 hours later with it still very well intact, no adhesive peeling away from the skin or anything! Fingers crossed this carries on over the next few days of using the same make and same bags. Also, on another positive note, I had a great night’s sleep, without having to empty wind out the bag or empty the bag until 5:30am this morning then sleeping through another 5 hours without any problems. These bags seem a lot better at filtering wind and even though there was a little wind in it this morning after I woke up, it was not a problem at all unlike the ballooning before, I didn’t notice it until I was about to empty it on the toilet just after midday today. This makes me feel SO much better about things 🙂 Really hope it stays that way! I also find the velcro side tabs make me feel a lot more secure and the fact that there is a little gap that you can lift in the fabric to check your stoma. Also, I love the fact that you can fold the tail up so it isn’t visible and also fold the bag and tuck it in half when the output is little.

There’s the bag on the right above 🙂

Also, got prescribed some Immodium Melts to help with the output as it has been really watery and my GP said that the tablets that you melt on the tongue will be a lot more absorbed than the capsules so am trying some of those. Got to measure the watery output I’m having just to check it’s not overly crazy and take it from there!

Hope everyone is doing good 🙂

2 months yesterday since surgery.

10 Oct

& we made it Stacey! 🙂

It has been more tough to adjust these past few weeks & I have found that problems have started to occur as I start to get back to somewhat like normal. It has been a real rollercoaster and I have become quite depressed in some ways, although I am extremely grateful to have had the operation and had my stoma formed as it saved my life 🙂 That fact will never ever change that I am grateful for my stoma giving me a life, but at the same time nobody said it would be easy, it is far from easy. So long as you have the right support and someone you can talk to who will listen and you can trust, the whole process is A LOT easier mind 🙂 It feels easier when you also have someone you can empathise with, which is why I ensure I speak to people who have a stoma of all different ages and from different backgrounds 🙂

One thing that has become apparent to me is that as I have started to get back to “normal” (or as normal as is normal for me :p) a lot of people take the attitude that just because I look better on the outside, I must be better inside. No, I am not recovered inside, it is just the start, and I am far from recovered emotionally and physically, I think some people can be very naive and almost arrogant. The operation changed my life for the better, no doubt, but people must also remember that it has been a huge change for me emotionally as well, and that in itself as well as physically, will take me a lot of time to fully adapt. I accept it, don’t get me wrong, I do not resent my stoma (Stacey :p) at all, but it is a long journey to get to the point where she is fully second nature to me and fully established in my daily routine. She is part of me & I am so thankful for that, but time is a healer as they say.

Hope everybody is well 🙂

I’m seeing my Stoma Nurse tomorrow again, so I will tell her that I am struggling, I spoke to her briefly on the phone and she is aware I am. I have done so well so far, so I will not let the fact that I am going through a down patch make me not feel proud of myself for what I have achieved so far. After all, it is a major thing and it isn’t all plain sailing.

Ta ta for now 😀

Trio Diamonds Update…

7 Oct

Hi everyone,

So I tried one of the Trio Diamonds sachets and I feel it helped a little with wind, nothing major, although it did help with the odour. I can only make my judgement on the one sachet I tried though, it puts black flecks that look like lumpy bits of mashed up charcoal into your waste and it kinda made me feel a little uneasy emptying the bag and seeing all these, not knowing how my stoma output consistency had been as the Diamonds make the waste into a gel. The gel however did mean that it was easier to empty, I just found it a little odd seeing all those lumps in my waste, it put me a bit on edge as it was a little weird. I think I’ll give the Diamonds another try one day, as I can’t just judge them from one try as a product on the whole 🙂

Still having problems with wind on a night, but I’ve noticed that if I don’t eat as much after tea it isn’t as bad, and I also have started to set an alarm some nights to empty my bag half way through the night, especially if I have eaten a late tea or quite a bit in the evening. Having a stoma is of course taking a lot of getting used to, but I am way more into a routine now than I used to be and changing the bag is a lot quicker. I also shower with my bag off now before I put a new one on, as I find this helps not waste my supplies of dry wipes etc and shortens my time changing my bag and find this works a lot better for me 🙂

Have also started to do some voluntary work back at a pre-school I was at on college placement to get me back into the swing of things and it’s going really well, I do 2 mornings a week, but those 2 mornings tire me out at present as much as I enjoy it! 🙂 I am really glad to be back there and feel a real sense of achievement 🙂 The recovery process is going well on the whole and it is a case of two steps forward one step back some of the time, but I wouldn’t have not had my surgery, I am glad I have it.

As I’m getting more back to normal, I find that I have issues with my body confidence and self-esteem, especially with intimacy, but my boyfriend is extremely supportive and reassuring. I’m putting on weight gradually which I am so pleased about as I am so fed up of seeing such a skinny figure staring back at me in the mirror! 😀 There are many positives that my stoma has given me such as giving me my life for a start! But of course, there are negatives, it will take months, maybe even years, to get fully used to, but it is part of me now and I am embracing that. The positives definitely out-weigh the negatives! 🙂