Swimming with an ostomy

Swimming with an ostomy

Stomas and swimming is something I am frequently asked ‘can you go into the pool?’. My reply is ‘Does a duck swim, of course I can, and I have my own inflatable if I want ;).’ It is just about feeling comfortable with yourself and not thinking about what could happen, because most of the time it doesn’t. I never miss an opportunity to go to the pool now as when I was really ill, I was afraid I would have been caught short on making it to the toilet. But now I can hold and having control is brilliant. Simple things isn’t that right!!

So on Sunday everyone was going to the pool and I decided ‘you know what I am going to jump straight in at this opportunity.’ As I wasn’t able to until now because of my Ulcerative Colitis and my recent surgery nearly 6 months ago, I was nervous getting ready to go in and was thinking I might just wait to next time but was encouraged by my nieces. I made sure that my wee friend was ready to go in first and once I was in the pool, it felt great and no one had a clue about my stoma.

My stoma ‘BOB’ was great, I had a ball. It was great spending the time with my family, I felt normal again, which for many of us we don’t but will change very soon. I just purchased a normal swimming suit and wore my normal bag and you couldn’t even see a thing. It was great, jumping and swimming with the nieces and nephews.

Then a few nerves started to kick in again when we were for leaving, I delayed going out to see if I could time it right so I could sprint out into the changing room. Why was I nervous having a stoma? It is a part of me that I wouldn’t change, so I am not going to act any different than non ostomates. I cat walked out of the pool, some may call me “not wise” but I am proud to have done this as it is a big step… next top model? That could be an idea for some one of us ostomates.

The facilities in my local swimming pool are second to none. There was a toilet with a sink and a bin in the shower room. So I changed my bag as it was wet, with no problems at all. This was actually the first time I changed my bag in public which was an achievement in itself.

So I had a great experience in the pool, you shouldn’t be scared to try new things and to step out of your boundaries in life. Remember that there is A BIGGER LIFE to having a stoma, there is stigma about it yes but like everything, over time that will change. That’s what this is all about, blogging to give people the motivation that they need to go and live life to the full.

Love to hear about your experiences of the swimming pool, if they are good or bad, there will always be a solution to make the negative turn into a positive. For .e.g. I recently got some samples of the latest of the Sensura Mio mini bags at a Coloplast morning which I will able to wear for the pool as there are soo small. I am wearing it in the photo for this blog.