Tips for Living

Everyone who has ever faced ostomy surgery has probably asked themselves the same questions.

As we have found through more than two decades of Great Comebacks™, it is the voice of those who have been there that matters most. Read below to what some members of our Great Comebacks™ community have to say about these issues.

 

Travelling

Travelling with an Ostomy can be very daunting, especially if that trip is overseas. Below are a few tips to assist you with travelling.

  • Pre cut all barriers at home
    This way you can leave your ostomy scissors in your checked luggage.
  • Pack ostomy supplies in both your carry-on and checked luggage.
    Unfortunately lost luggage does happen. By having supplies in your carry-on and checked luggage in the event the airline loses your luggage you will still have supplies.
  • Take extra supplies
    It’s always a good idea to take more supplies then you think you need when travelling.
  • Ask your healthcare professional for a letter explaining your condition
    Your healthcare professional should be able to provide you with a letter which states your need for ostomy supplies and your condition. This can be shown to security, in case you are asked about your ostomy products.

 

Food and Drink

Having a stoma should not stand in the way of enjoying good food. It may just take a bit of time to find out what works for you. Below are a few tips that might assist you
General Tips

  • Try new foods one at a time, in small quantities, so that if there is a problem, you will have an idea what caused it
  • Chew your food well
  • Drink plenty of fluids

Colostomy Tips

  • Drink more water and fruit juices – six to eight glasses per day. Include more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Try to eat foods that are high in fiber, such as whole-grain bread and cereals.
  • Try to avoid foods that cause odor, such as eggs, certain spices, fish, and asparagus. You may also wish to avoid foods that cause gas, such as beer, carbonated beverages, dairy products, onions, cucumbers, mushrooms, beans, and cabbage. Gas-producing foods take about six hours to produce gas in a person with a colostomy.

Ileostomy Tips

  • Chew your food well. This helps food pass through the narrow Ileum
  • Drink plenty of fluids. With an Ileostomy you no longer have a colon to absorb fluids so you will need to drink more fluids then you did prior to surgery

Urostomy Tips

  • There is no special diet required for people with a urostomy. To avoid infections and keep urinary function normal, you should try to drink at least six to eight glasses of fluid each day, unless your healthcare professional gives you different instructions.
  • Be aware that some foods can cause urine odour. These include: Asparagus, Fish, Eggs, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, Baked Beans, Broccoli, Onion and Cabbage

 

Intimate Moments

Having an ostomy doesn’t mean intimacy has to come to an end. Meaningful and fulfilling intimate encounters are possible.

  • Communication and trust are at the heart of the healing process. It is normal to feel sensitive about the change in your body. Share your feelings with your spouse or loved one, and respond to his or her concerns as well.
  • Let your partner know that sexual relations will not hurt your stoma. With time, understanding, and a positive attitude, you can enjoy a mutually satisfying sexual relationship.
  • Empty your pouch before beginning sexual relations.
  • Wear a small pouch – Specialty pouches are available that are designed to be smaller and less bulky,for intimate moments.
  • Cover your pouch with specially designed underwear, lingerie, or pouch covers if you feel uneasy about your partner seeing it.

 

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