Some Basic Ostomy Hints
Don’t feel that having an ostomy makes you less of a person or some freak of nature. There are lots of us and most of us are glad to be alive.
Build a support system of people to answer questions when you have a problem. Consider our ostomy nurses and your officers who are listed on this website.
Don’t play the dangerous game of making your appliance fail by putting off a change. There aren’t any prizes given for the longest wear time except accidents.
Don’t wait until you see the bottom of your supply box before ordering more. Always expect delays in shipping when calculating delivery times – although most suppliers can deliver ostomy supplies to you in a day or two.
Zip-lock sandwich bags are useful and odor-proof for disposal of used ostomy pouches.
Don’t get hung up on odors. There are some great sprays, drops and some internal deodorants. Remember, everybody creates some odor in the bathroom. Don’t feel you are an exception.
If you have a urostomy, you might be concerned about urine odor. Certain foods can cause a stronger urine odor, but you can minimize that by drinking water or cranberry juice.
Carry an extra replacement pouching system in case you spring a leak while away from home. Rotate the ostomy products in your emergency kit so they do not become outdated.
Re-measure your stoma to ensure the correct size of pouch and skin opening. The stoma will shrink in the first few months after surgery.
Read and learn all you can about ostomies. You will not only serve yourself, but you never know when you may find an opportunity to educate someone about the life-saving surgery that has extended so many of our lives.
Learn to be matter of fact about your ostomy surgery and never embarrassed. Few folks get out of this life without some medical problems and unpleasant situations with which to cope. You may be amazed at how people will admire your adaptability and courage.
In the beginning after surgery, almost everyone experiences some depression. If you fit into this category, you are certainly not alone. But it need not be a lasting condition. If the depression seems to linger, don’t be afraid or ashamed to seek professional help. There is help out there!
The bottom line is…we are alive! If we lived just a few years ago, or in another country, we might not be. Medicine and techniques today have given us an opportunity to experience this second chance. It is certainly an opportunity worth accepting and exploring. The most important part of you as a human being has not changed.