Top tips for living with a stoma

My top tips for a bigger life with a stoma

Hi over the last five years I have learnt a few tips for living with a stoma, I learnt what worked but also what didn’t work for me.

  1. If you like to change your bag and air your stoma at the same time, sit up on the bed and use a puppy pad to the side of you to catch any out put.
  2. This tip was given to me by another ostomate, but I have to admit that I haven’t used it yet. If you have an upset tummy and your out put is like water, pop a tampon inside your bag to soak it up and help prevent leaks.
  3. To help stop splashback when emptying, place a piece of toilet paper at the front of the toilet bowel, it also helps if your out put is sticky and won’t flush.
  4. Spray your skin twice with barrier spray to give it that double layer.
  5. When I had bottom surgery and also lost quite a bit of weight when I was ill, I really wanted a bath but couldn’t enjoy it as it was very uncomfortable, so my husband bought two cheap kitchen chair cushions ( the sort that just tie onto the chairs) and put them in the bath to lie on, bliss.
  6. Use a hairdryer on your bag when you have had a bath or shower.
  7. Try naming your stoma if you are struggling to come to terms with your surgery, it can often smooth the process.
  8. When travelling, split your products in either two cases or your case, and hand bag. Just in case your luggage is delayed.
  9. If you feel your bag could go another day but your skin is beginning to itch, use an empty water bottle and fill with luke warm water then rinse your bag out ( I fill the bag then fold it up a bit at the end, then swish the contents around for a minute), you then feel a bit fresher with a cleaner bag.
  10. Empty your pouch when it is about a third full if you can, it can stop the pulling sensation on the pouch and help it from coming away.
  11. Carry a small deodorant spray for when you are out and about or at a friend’s house for when you empty.
  12. Pop a couple of Tictacs inside your bag to help with the smell if it bothers you.
  13. If you fancy a bagless shower, make sure everything is set out ready to go, also have a handful of tissues to cover the stoma when you are drying.
  14. If you struggle to fit the bag so that it sits in the right place for emptying, put a small pen mark arrow where you want the top of your bag to lie.
  15. If you cut your own bags then don’t forget to cut them before you go away, and don’t forget to take your bin bags.