Wednesday 3 June 2020

Going on my first ostomy jog of the year

Being in a new situation is a difficult thing for me.  I am an introverted person and I really don’t like trying new things especially in front of new people.  When it comes to being outdoors and with a new ostomy set up I am really anxious about what could go wrong.  I am generally anxious all the time and adding the idea of having my bag start leaking all over and bringing that smell with me on a jog sounds like a terrible nightmare.  It was honestly my worst fear when I heard I would have an ostomy and be living with a stoma.  I was soon proven that my fears were unfounded, but it still took a long time for that to happen.

Jogging has been a part of my life since junior high.  I began jogging as a way to stay in shape and get into sports.  It has now been my go to exercise for decades and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. Having an ostomy worried me and I was afraid I would have to let my main way of exercising go.  But there are lots of ways to stay in shape and jogging is actually a normal activity for people with a stoma.  The most important thing is to take it slow and have the right gear. 

I was really worried about leaks and spills so I called up my favorite brand ostomy supplies to talk out what I would  need to get back into jogging again. They gave me the general talk to your healthcare provider speech and that is what I will do and then they gave me great advice on what to use and how to implement it. 

The best part of ostomy supplies was that they gave me samples to try before I went and bought a bunch of different things.  This allowed me to try these items out without a financial loss and I was able to take their advice and start really slow around my house.  And since I was so worried about looks, they suggested I get a nice reflective vest and belt and maybe try things out in the dark if I wanted to.  Or early morning. I really appreciated their caring about how I felt about my looks and worries..  It was that extra bit of caring that got me back on track.  Granted it was a slow going start, but I finally am back to exercising regularly and happily.

Saturday 2 May 2020

All about the pre-cut ostomy systems

Pre-cut systems are essentially poches that offer a cut out open near the base, which fits the stoma itself, and it’s ideal for those with the round stoma shape and come in different types. You’ve got the flat option that will help with stomas which protrude out.  Then, there is the convex one which is used for the smaller, flatter, or the inverted stomas that are out there.

You should understand that the flat pouching system will lie flat on the skin, and the convex version will curve a little bit outward against your skin.  The outward curve will then help with improving the emptying and reduce the leakage for smaller system.

So, what are the different types of convex systems? Well, you have the cut to fit ones, which are a system that lets you cut the opening to fit the stoma. This is good for those stomas which aren’t round or have a strange shape.

You also have the precut ones, which are ones that are good for stomas with no abnormalities. These are used with a system that has different openings, but they’re already cut, so you just put it on.  You have the convex insert, which is of course some rings that are used in the flange, or a flat system.

There are also barrier strips and rings, which are molded to different shapes and sizes. You also have a custom made one, which is made specifically for one type of system, and wont’ be used anywhere else.  You might need a faceplate too, which is a reusable product that has convexity built into it.  Finally, you have binders and belts, which are used for support.

These are used in many cases to help with leakage, which is what you want to go for with the precut convex ones, and usually, you want to make sure that they are secure with their seal, so you should definitely make sure that you get the right one that fits the stoma you have.

You will need to measure the stoma in order to be fitted with the proper type of measurement so that it fits the stoma. Those who have firm, flat abdomens might use the wither flexible or nonflexible systems, depending on what you need. In that case, you might need to get one with lateral creases or folds, which is where you add the flexible systems into this. if you have a flabby abdomen, a deep crease, a retracted stoma, a stoma that’s flush or concave to the abdomen, this is definitely something that can benefit from the stoma belt.  This kind of system will press into the skin around your stoma, which causes it to protrude, which will help tighten up the skin, and of course will prevent leaks around the stoma and into the opening of the peristomal skin.

Measuring this is important, since you want something that’s large enough to not only cover the skin, but also will fit the stoma so there isn’t trauma as well, since that is a common thing.
A big thing to understand is that after 8 weeks, usually it will shrink, so you’ll want to measure once a week, and as you gain or lose weight.

You should definitely measure the system and the opening of the flange, and you should have it ideally around 3-4 mm around the edge of this, in order to provide a snug fit for this.  anything the same size or smaller will cause trauma towards your stoma.

The convex flanges have a higher risk of injury if they’re of the exact size, so make sure you measure before you do anything else.

Thursday 23 April 2020

The correct Bag for an Ostomy

Getting involved in the world of having an ostomy is a learning curve.  It can be disheartening to hear horror stories and all the things that can go wrong.  Some people start by attempting to break the ice with a story that they will never forget and that brings terror to your mind and soul.  It is instead nicer to just get real good information that is useful and keeps the emotional trauma of the nightmare poop bag away.  I find that getting the correct gear for your ostomy and stoma is essential. I personally prefer to use Hollister Ostomy Supplies.  This is a company who knows their customer and provides products based on their needs.  They don’t try to simply profit off of people who have an Ostomy and Stoma.   One of my favorite parts of this company is the ability to get a sample product.  Like most Ostomy products they come in  bulk or quantity of 5 to 50.  The worst thing is buying a lot of a product and finding out it doesn't work with you or you like another one better.  Being able to test drive a product from Hollister Ostomy Supplies is simply amazing. 

For me trying their two piece mini ostomy pouch was a success.  I know right so exciting, a review on an ostomy bag. I get it, but it is a great product and I recommend it.  It has a lock and role micro seal feature that is really nice and the filter works great.  Yes, like the title it is a two piece system. It is indeed meant to be cleaned out at the bottom section.  The lock and role section at the bottom is easy to use. It simply makes sense and most importantly it works!  Nothing is worse than the fear of leaking and smelling when and where I really don’t want it to happen.

 So knowing that this pouch is secure is great.  The filter on the pouch also works very well.  I am not going to go and cause a seen and to me that is important.  The last thing I want is to have to worry about my ostomy getting in the way of my life.  It is not a big deal to fix issues and I always carry a spare amount of supplies but I don’t want to ever have to use them.  For new users that is a true terror and I want to reassure them that you are less likely to have an incident using this company.

Using the Correct Skin Barrier

When you are involved in the life some one in your life having a Ostomy or having one yourself having the knowledge to use the best products is a must.  I have found that when it comes to gear that Ostomy Supplies is a great company.  They allow you to try products for free to see if they are going to be the correct product for you.  That means the world to me.  The customer service involved is a must and being able to try without buying just rubs me the right way.  I am a big fan of companies that care about their customers.  So when it comes to the skin barrier, I find it to be very very important.  Having healthy skin is key and peristomal skin being damaged can be a nightmare.  You don’t want to have irritated skin, or a rash. Because this is an area that you will be dealing with every single day and want to make sure you are not in pain when dealing with it!

So one product from Hollister Ostomy Supplies I would suggest looking at and giving a try for free would be their skin barrier. The CeraPluss skin barrier is high end product with Remois Technology. It is a big deal because its made with ceramide. Ceramide is a natural part of human skin that helps prevent water loss.  It keeps the skin from being damaged or getting rashes and starting to break down.  This product is designed to adhere to skin and because it is made with some of the parts that are in natural skin its a great barrier to keep your peristomal skin healthy and safe.

The adhesive border really helps to adhere safely and it emotionally brings a peace of mind.  Knowing that you won't have any leakage from that area allows  just for a better day.  It is simply one less thing you have to worry about.  This causes a more relaxed life and it is crazy that it can all start from a small area. This item also comes with a floating range.  That allows for an easy bag lockup. Yet again it proves that extra peace of mind that comes with trust in a product.
This product comes in packs of 5, but you don’t have to invest all your money to start with and still have 4 left over if you don’t like it.  This company allows you to get free samples, which is yet again why I love them. So give it a try and see if this is the right product for you.

Sunday 25 February 2018

Going after deer and squirrel with an ostomy

The winter brings out the best in me.  That is because every year I look forward to a specific season.  This season brings me immense joy and allows me to get back in touch with nature and feel refreshed.  There is nothing like being out in the wild hunting.  It brings back manly caveman emotions and it changes how you view life.  I think I enjoy this season the most because I take off a week from work and spend that time with great friends and family or alone in the woods.  It brings lots of memories and allows me to spiritually reconnect and reflect on the year. This is hunting season and more specifically deer season.  I say all these things because I want you to know how important it was for me to be able to continue to do this successfully with an ostomy.  I was incredibly worried that my favorite part of the year would be destroyed by my own body.  It hurts to think of it that way and it was psychologically troubling and worrying for me. Guess what I didn’t need to worry about it at all and neither do you.  So how am I able to do this with an ostomy. I won't say it is easy, but it is not rocket science either.

The years have taught me many things.  I have made mistakes and lost many deer and animals that I could have hunted successfully had I done things right.  But that is life and learning and failing is all a part of it. One thing to know is that when hunting scent is everything.  It is the area in deer hunting that humans are the most deficient in.  We have a much lower sense of smell than most animals and especially deer. So hunters for centuries have attempted to mask their smell.  This worried me because I was literally carrying my human feces around in a bag that was most likely more open to being smelled than it would be without.  This terrified me as a hunter.  So I took to researching what to do.  I found the idea that getting the best ostomy supplies and gear that gave me the best adhesion and seals would be a start.  So I found a company that offered free samples which were really cool and I got to work.  I tried lots of products until I found one that would allow me to move in the woods silently and with the perfect seal. 

The more you know the better prepared you can be.  Understanding all about scent is important.  So, after trying lots of products I went into the hunting world of scent blocking.  There are lots of clothing items out there that are made of charcoal or lined with it and sometimes silver that helps eliminate the scent.  I was able to find clothing that worked well with my ConvaTec Ostomy Supplies bag and belt.  So in a way, I was able to mask what I was worried the most about.  I was also able to still move quietly and not have any interference with my gear.  Smiles and joy were still possible and I have been rather successful at harvesting deer and that is a wonderful thing. 

Thursday 12 October 2017

Barefoot Jogging and Your Ostomy

There is so much to having an ostomy it can get overwhelming.  The information from your ostomy nurse and doctors simply feels like it never stops coming.  Well, it is ok to feel a bit overwhelmed by it.  But learn all you can because the learning curve goes down and then only the fun stuff is left.  For me, I am always on a journey to learn new things and I have to admit that with my active lifestyle sometimes it is forced upon me.  I find myself getting into more trouble trying to do something that I may not be ready for, but I do learn a whole lot of things really fast.  One area I had to make sure still worked for my life after my surgery was that I could still trail jog.


Being outside is part of my life.  I have built-in time to run every week outside because it brings joy to my life and I feel incomplete without being outside.  The feeling of being trapped hits hard and believe me a bad winter that keeps me inside hurts more than just my body.  My soul aches to be free and enjoy the peace and order that is in the great outdoors.  So finding the right ostomy gear to keep me up and able to do this was my first major hurdle to overcome. 


I first started with just learning what bags and belts I would need and what seels may work best for my stoma.  I called everyone from pharmacists to major companies that make ostomy gear.  Instead of getting the door slammed on me, I learned a whole lot and many people went beyond what they needed to help me out.  I appreciate them all and believe me, they are on my christmas card list now.  Yes, that is still a thing, and its important too. 


The next part that surprised me the most was the impact I now felt from my stoma.  Every jog, every run, and literally every step I felt more now.  My body felt my stoma and knew the impacts were not the best thing for it.  Now it was not an emergency or medical issue, but for my body, I knew that I needed to somehow lessen the impacts that my body was feeling.  Researching I ran into the idea of barefoot running.


I am not talking about straight out barefoot, but companies make shoes that simulate barefoot feet and provide protection from the ground.  Rocks and sticks are the worst, so be protected by thick yet flexible rubber was the key.  I am talking about those 5 finger Vibram shoes.  I think they look super weird, but wow they are cool to use.


I was told that these would change my gate.  Gate is the actual way you run and I was heel striking with normal shoes and it was causing more impacts on my body.  So by forcing a change in my gate I used barefoot shoes.  This was a really hard transition because your gate changes.  This meant that my calves and quads were now taking almost all the impact of jogging instead of my body.  It really was a painful month to change over and get my muscles to grow. But my stoma felt so much better. It was like a massive change took place.  Running on the balls of my feet was the change I needed. Give it a try!