Besides changing the pouch and take care of your stoma you also need many changes in many other areas of life. This article is helpful to learn about the adjustments and changes you need to make in different parts of your home and daily life activities.
In the bedroom
Even you can feel the Ostomy bags but the modern pouching systems lie flat with the belly and conceal completely under the clothes, so no one can notice that you are having an Ostomy unless you tell them. To avoid bulging of the pouch change it when it is almost 1/3rd filled. There are other accessories such as Ostomy belts, specially designed undergarments, stoma guards that can help you in dressing and you can wear whatever you want.
If you lie on your belly while sleeping it will cause pressure on the stoma and ostomy pouch and there are chances that the content might leak out. And it can spoil your bedsheets. You can overcome this issue by draining or emptying your pouch just before going to sleep. Also, stop eating and drinking at a specific time before sleeping.
You can get intimate when you feel that you are ready for it. You should discuss it before with your partner. You can use opaque pouch coverings and use the washroom or empty your pouch before going to bed.
In the bathroom
You may need to make changes in your daily medication. You must discuss this with your pharmacist or the doctor about your Ostomy. If you are having an ileostomy then you might observe the coated tablets in the pouch along with the bowel contents. For this issue to be solved you need to take gel-like medicines.
You can take a bath as you want. You can keep the pouch or remove it. Most people change the pouch during the shower. If you are taking showering without the pouch make sure that no soap or water upset the stoma. First, completely dry your skin then apply a new pouching system. In the case of ileostomy, there is a chance of leakage so it is best if you put off the pouch before shower. This will prevent spoiling tub water and floor. You should avoid using oils, soaps, and lotions.
You should empty your drainable pouch when you feel it is 1/3rd filled.
You must keep a disposable bag with you if you are using a disposable pouching system.
If you notice any mucus along with the feces there is nothing to be worried about it.
In the kitchen
Ileostomy or colostomy
You need to take low fiber and soft foods after the surgery for a few days. You will gradually learn which foods cause diarrhea and other problems. The foods you must start with are:
- Cooked veggies
- Processed meat
Once your surgeon allows you, you can eat whatever you want. But always add a small number of new items and observe the results of your bowel movements.
You should eat food in three small portions and chew your food properly before swallowing it.
You should avoid the foods that lead to the gas in the abdomen. You should avoid:
- Chewing gums
Some foods such as fish, egg, beans, high proteins food can cause odor.
- You should avoid eating food that causes thickening of the feces and leads to constipation. These are:
- Pasta, rice, cheese, potatoes
- In the café or dining area
- Most of the time you can enjoy dining out like before. But sometimes you might hear some noises due to the ileostomy and colostomy while digestion takes place. The noise is very low and barely anyone can listen to it. You can eat small portions from time to time.
- You will be allowed to attend school once you are fully recovered. Mostly it takes three to six weeks after the surgery.
- You can’t join your gym classes for the next 6 weeks of your surgery.
- You should decide what you will tell people about your absence. And you must decide which people to tell about your Ostomy.
- You can travel like before. You just need to make a few changes to your luggage. You can plan before traveling.
- You are not allowed to drive for weeks after the surgery.
- Always keep extra supplies and clothing with you while traveling.
- If you are traveling by air keep extra supplies in your hand carry. You can ask your doctor to write a note for you so that you can pass the check out at the airport without physical checking.
- Place your seatbelts at the point where it does not put a lot of pressure on your stoma. Avoid keeping your pouch in the trunk or backside of the car because it is too hot.
- You should not lift heavy weights after the surgery. It might affect your stoma.
- You can do light exercise with the permission of your doctor.