I was given a bag in the hospital that I could have my supplies in on the go but I feel quite conspicuous with it, it shouts out “ I have a condition”, and it is just an extra bag to have to carry around. I do use it but it stays in the boot of my car as a precaution. ( I understand that it would be different for men with a stoma )
Now I just choose my handbag wisely, I like lots of pockets and two big compartments, one for my purse etc and one for my stoma kit. I don’t need a giant handbag, just a normal size does just fine. The chances of needing two changes in a day for me would be very rare, and I have the one in my car anyway.
I tend to have one of everything that I keep in there.1 x stoma bag1 x seal1 x adhesive remover spray1 x adhesive remover wipe1 x barrier sprayThen I have a packet of pocket tissues and a plastic waste bag.
My main trouble was finding somewhere at home that I could arrange and keep my supplies. I tried boxes and nooks and crannies of the bedroom / bathroom, but I decided I needed something tidier where I could separate the items to keep an eye on when they needed replacing, so I bought a small cheapish chest of drawers.
This enables me to keep the bags in one drawer, the sprays and wipes in another and also one for all my medications. It was the best thing I did and although it doesn’t really match the rest of the room, it works for me.
Going away isn’t too bad either, I put triple the number of items I would normally use and put them in the case, but then I also add more to my hand luggage as the case might go missing. I do have those disposable changing mats that you get in the hospital (I think they are more of a mattress protection sheet, but these are perfect for changing your stoma bag on the bed) they last ages if you don’t leak on them.
I have a locker at work that I keep a few spares in including clean pants, and one other place that I thought was worth a small kit, and that is the emergency bag at work incase of fire. We have been evacuated before for a few hours, so I decided it’s better to be safe, it could be an issue if it’s for a while and I can’t get my handbag.
On a night out, I thin out my items a lot. I take a new stoma bag, a seal, tissue and a remover wipe and hope for the best, because I only want to take out a smaller handbag. Luckily I then just take some money, my phone and lipstick. You do have to be confident with your stoma bag’s ability to stay put and not leak, and I am very confident with mine, which helps enormously when you are out and about.
You can also follow Clare on her blog.