There are days when things get a bit much with my stoma.
Either I have gone over my three day then change routine, or my stoma has been particularly active and watery, therefore causing a lot of itchiness under the pouch. It is worse if I am at work or out the house because I can’t do anything about it at that time. Sometimes it seems to be itchy for no apparent reason.
What I tend to do as soon as I can is get the bag off and jump in the shower ( bag off ), or run a nice bath ( with bag on) then sit up on the bed with a drink and a good program on the TV, and air the stoma and skin for a good hour. This makes me feel much better and helps me to de-stress. I can physically feel my skin improve around the stoma.
This can take a small amount of preparation so that I don’t have an accident on the bed.
I use a waterproof pad and plenty of tissues handy, and relax. My skin repairs itself fairly well this way and therefore I feel better and less stressed. It is always nice to feel clean around the stoma, so bag change day feels good. Give yourself “me” time to relax and give your peristomal skin time to feel the air, there is nothing better for it.
Showering with your bag off is another great feeling, but again you will need to prepare a bit, especially with an ileostomy as you will still get output when you are drying afterwards.
Another big stoma stress is leaks, this can set you back mentally unless you take time for yourself and understand why you might have leaked. Knowing whether it is the sticking of the bag or maybe the output being different, can help you get over the worry of it happening again. Be pro active and try different things to stop it leaking in the future. See your stoma nurse for advise and guidance.
I still think taking your time when doing the bag change and making sure you have stuck the bag on well ( keep your hand over it for a few minutes, to get the warmth to aid the stickiness).
These are the things that help me to de-stress, especially airing my stoma and relaxing , what about everyone else?