—A Day In The Life – Ostomy Care—
When I started “Walking with Spina Bifida,” I wanted to tell about the “Normal” everyday life of someone disabled. The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.
A “Tell All” of my life and what I deal with daily.
I’ll go ahead and tell you now to scroll past if you have a weak stomach.
It’s going to be hard for me to word this in a “clean” way.
Don’t worry, no curse words but “Poop” will be mentioned more than once…
Once every three to four days, I have to change out both my ostomy systems. (Lenny and Squiggy)
I use the “Hollister” brand for my Urostomy and the “ConvaTec” brand for my Colostomy.
You need to understand that you have to take the old bags off to get the new bags on.
Once the old bags are off, you’re exposed and vulnerable.
Again, feel free to leave now if you have a weak stomach…
I had changed my “System” out yesterday. So, theoretically, I should still have another day or two to go. Not so this time, though.
Every once in a while, the “Wafers” don’t stick right. … And, you have to change them early. Unfortunately, today is one of those days.
Mornings are the best time to do this because your body is not as “Active” as it might be in the evenings. That’s not always true, though. …And today… Well… Anyway…
First, I get the “Wafers” out and open them up. (I’ll explain what wafers are later on)
Next, I cut the holes into the wafer to properly fit it over my ostomy hole.
After years of practice, I know precisely what size hole to cut.
I then get into the shower, let the hot water hit my stomach, and warm everything up.
Then, rip everything off, throw them into a ziplock bag.
At this point, you Pray to God because you are now exposed. There is nothing to “Catch” anything, should anything shoot out. …And, it will shoot out…
I have no control over my Colostomy or Urostomy. No Control.
You now use the hot water and scrape the old glue off.
Once the old glue is off, I use a Razor to shave the stomach.—Glue doesn’t like to stick to hair.
I then wash the area with a “Non-Oily” soap. Oily skin will make it hard for the glue to adhere to the skin.
After the shower, I quickly dry off with a towel and set the towel down on top of the sink in front of the mirror.
Again, you’re exposed. Anything could happen. … Anything …
That is why I have my towel sitting in front of me, on top of the sink.—A “Catch-All.”
Next, I grab the hairdryer and dry off my whole stomach.—Using the hottest setting…
At this point, Pee will shoot out of my stomach and hit the mirror.
I grab the towel and catch the Pee!
(Remember to set the dang hairdryer away from the Pee that is shooting out of the hole in your stomach. Unfortunately, people do get electrocuted if they do not put the hairdryer out of the way.)
Next, I clean the Poop up that has shot out of the other hole in my stomach—It also hit the mirror.
Repeat all the above steps starting with another shower…
—Don’t forget to get a new towel.
Now, we are back at the sink, we’ve done all the steps above, again, and our stomach is dry.
Put on the “Skin Barrier” around both stomas.
This places a thin, “Fake Skin” barrier between your actual skin and the adhesive. It keeps your skin healthy and clean.
So, the “Wafers” actually stick to the “Skin Barrier” and not your actual skin. Unfortunately, some people skip that step. I tried, and my skin breaks out, turning red and becoming irritated.
Now, I use a “Two-Piece” system.
That means that I put a “Wafer” on my stomach and then “Snap” the bag to the wafer. Much like Tupperware. (This wouldn’t make for a good Tupperware ad but, I think they got the idea from Tupperware. Tupperware is excellent.)
So, a “Wafer” is what adheres to the body. The “Bag” Snaps onto the wafer.
Next, I warm up the wafer using the hairdryer.
Doing so activates the glue and gets it sticky and helps it to stick better.
I then heat my stomach, again using the hairdryer.
—This, too, helps the wafer stick.
Next, I press the first wafer, usually “Lenny,” firmly over the Ostomy Hole and use the hairdryer again. This, again, will help it to stick.
Then, repeat the above steps for the second Ostomy. Usually “Squiggy” for me.
Grab the bags and “Snap” the bags to the wafer.
That’s it! All Done!
I’m good for another three to four days.
This is a “Best Case” scenario that I have written.
I tried to make it as “Clean” as possible.
Sometimes, several showers are needed.
Next, I get dressed, go out, and have a great day.
I think I made that pretty “Clean.” At least, I tried.