Challenges and Maternity Pants

So... I totally missed the whole Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge  by Wego Health... this is just par for the month I'm having. What day did I get to? Day 3? Obviously, it was too challenging for me. I'm a little disappointed that I wasn't able to keep up because I know I would have enjoyed it. Maybe next year.

Oh well.

Another challenge I am currently struggling with: exercise. I haven't been able to run outside because our weather here, how shall I put this... SUCKS. Yep, that sums it up nicely. I prefer to run outside, to be in the sunshine, to breathe fresh air. The last few months have been horribly windy, which stirs up the dirt, which gets in my eyes, nose, mouth and every single pore on my body. I loathe these days. Oh, for those of you not from around here--the wind blows nonstop in the spring, I'm talking minimum of 20mph to 40mph and even on not so rare occasions-- 60mph and higher. It's darn near impossible to walk to your car, let alone run, on theses nasty days.
When I can't run outside, I have a really hard time motivating myself to get on the treadmill. 30 minutes of running outside goes by pretty fast for me--30 minutes on a treadmill is like watching ice melt on a winter's day. I know, I need to just buck up and do it, get on the stupid machine if I can't run in nature...but I don't wanna!

Anywho--

I've now had my ileostomy for 1 year and 8 months. I'm going to step out and say, I think I've finally gotten the hang of it. I can't remember the last leak or explosion I had, this is amazing as it used to be weekly. I know the products I like to use. I know when I need to replace the bag and when to replace the wafer part. I've picked up on a few triggers that will cause leaks. I know that if I take a bath, I need to plan on changing the whole thing afterward: wafer and bag. When changing the wafer, it works best first thing in the morning before eating or last thing before bed. Two reasons for this: One, the stoma is less active when it's been a few hours since eating. That way I can change it with out risk of the fire hydrant effect. 2nd reason: In order to get a good seal between my body and the wafer, it helps if my body is warm from sleeping all night or fixing to warm up after nestling into bed for sleep.
My routine for changing the whole system has gone from 20 minutes to about 5-6 minutes. I can do it anywhere at anytime and not miss a beat. I never thought I'd be at that point. EVER. It's nice to be on this side of the learning curve.
Here's a breakdown of my routine, in case your super bored and need something to read in order to avoid work of any kind.
Exhibit 1: The disposable ziplock baggie used to hide unsightly soiled wafer and pouch as well as trash generated from changing.

Exhibit 2: Wipes used to clean skin under wafer and around stoma and to clean the stoma it's self.  After use, disposed in ziplock.

Exhibit 3: Sting-free (very important!) skin prep wipe used to protect skin under wafer  to prevent, chapping, blistering and weeping. Also disposed of inside ziplock.

Exhibit 4: Eakin Seal, one of the most important items I use to ensure a good seal between body and wafer in order to prevent leakage onto the skin. I also refer to it as my plumber's flange.

Exhibit 5: The wafer which adheres to my abdomen and holds the pouch via a tupperware type seal. It is placed over the Eakin seal. This item stays on 4-5 days.

Exhibit 6: My filtered drainable pouch. The filter allows air to escape to keep the bag from ballooning. The filter doesn't work super well and rarely works at all after getting wet but it does help for a few hours. I change my bag every morning and am able to empty the waste contents into the toilet through out the day by the velcro opening at the bottom.

Exhibit 7: Last but not least and probably my favorite product ever is the Na'Scent. This is an amazing deodorizer! I add a few drops to the bag after emptying waste and wha-la, no smell! There really is NO SMELL! I'd sell a kidney in order to keep getting it...

Moving on,

Maternity pants ROCK. Wearing jeans with an ostomy can be very uncomfortable. This is true for me especially because of where my stoma is located. Low-rise jeans bring the waist band directly across my stoma which causes many other problems other than comfort issues. It can block output causing lots of pain, it can cause the wafer to leak and then the output is on skin and clothes. Jeans also don't expand with the bag and sometimes you need that room if there is no where to empty...
Here's a picture of the jeans I'm wearing today. Notice in the upper 2 photos, the jeans look like normal jeans but when the shirt is lifted--it's a whole new world under there! No waist band across the stoma, no bulging of the bag visible (and this was taken before I emptied a full bag). Can you tell?
I love my maternity jeans, pants, shorts, capris and even a denim skirt. Makes for much more comfy days!

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing. I've had 5-small bowel resections, and cannot lose anymore. IDK if this would be an option if I obstruct once again, but if it is this has helped me understand what's involved. Thanks for suggesting the maternity jeans. I find jeans to be very uncomfortable, and this is a great idea as to how I can wear jeans without being miserable. May you continue to heal, and have a healthy life going forward.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment. I do hope and pray you are done with obstructions. Having an ostomy has changed my life for the better however, it did take some time to come to terms with the fact that I needed one. Now, I wish I had done it sooner because it has given me back my life. It took me a while to try maternity jeans, the ones I wore 18 years ago were horribly ugly! Blessings~~

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