Treating My Stoma Like A Baby

Treating My Stoma Like A Baby. So this sounds like a random concept. Do I treat my stoma like a baby? After talking to a lady in one of the facebook groups it dawned on me the amount of preparation that goes into handling stoma life….

Treating My Stoma Like A Baby

I am now 14 months into my permanent stoma and the irony being I am a mum so therefore am used to preparing and planning for days out and not forgetting the essentials needed to manage a child should I wish to have a peaceful life (most parents can relate to this).

For those of you reading this and are potentially looking at stoma surgery please don’t let this scare you as this could possibly help you for future planning.

Stoma life

There is always an element of planning and that mainly being because of travel, work, holidays or even going out for the day. In early life of a stoma it can take a while for things to settle down and for you to find the right stoma bag, base plate extenders and even adhesive remover. One type of bag does not suit all so that can be a journey within itself.


Having an emergency supply kit with you is a must. The reason being even the most seasoned ostomate could still get a leak. Its just life and one of those things. Early on after my stoma formation I had recurrent leaks for nearly a year post op as it can take a while for things to settle down. So I always carry a kit with me for planned trips as a safety blanket should the inevitable happen.

Long distance travelling

This is the only thing that catches me out. The amount of times I have risked going past the services and not stopping because the bag is ok. 20 minutes later I feel like the bag is flushing out all my body fluids and having to stop on the hard shoulder and risk getting arrested just so I can empty before the shit storm hits and my bag explodes all over the car. I can honestly say gelling agents to add to the bag and knowing where the services are should be essential as well as watching your fluid intake.

Night time leaks

So the worst happens and you have a night time leak and your upset and wanting to scream at 3 am because you and your bed are covered in faecal matter. I can honestly say “Shit Happens”. Yes you’ve had a leak and the clean up seems of epic proportions but sometimes you have to take a step back and question what actually caused the leak as you could have the wrong type of bag. You may need to wear extra support to bed or you may have to change your evening eating and fluid intake to help eliminate night time leaks. Mine are normally because my bag has reached its I need to be changed time or I have had a late night fluid binge and it has over filled the bag and back washed and compromised the baseplate. Check out How I sleep with a stoma and see if any of the tips may be useful for you.

Ordering supplies

Ordering supplies and making sure you have enough to last through until your next delivery date can be daunting. I find having a good supply store, cupboard or even stoma supply draw is a good thing. Reason being you can see what you have left at order and make sure you are ordering the correct amount and not stock piling supplies. Reason being for this is that the NHS are making cuts and some of us are being refused things that we class as a necessity but are classed as an accessory under the prescriptions we are issued.

A bag change routine

Now there are some of us that can risk 5-6 days between changing appliance. Myself on the other hand have to change my bag pretty much every 60 hours without fail due to my high output eating away at the baseplate. Bag changes are a phaff. If you change at the wrong moment then you risk a poo armageddon whilst trying to stem the flow to get the bag on and clean up the adventure your free stoma has just taken. Best times to change are probably first thing in morning after a shower or last thing at night as your getting ready for bed. I will be having a blog post go out shortly on my change routine and what I use.

Alternatively for those of you who have a Urostomy please check out Rocking2Stomas blog posts on how she deals with hers.

Going on holiday

Most people going on holiday are getting all excited and worrying about what clothes to pack. Flip the coin and us ostomates are worrying about how to get our supplies through the airport. Will they allow our medications through customs. Are we going to be strip searched going through security because we have a stoma bag attached to our tummys? I can honestly say the airport has been a breeze for me and so has getting through my medications and extra stoma supplies that would have put my hold luggage way over the weight limit because I like to pack for a month when only going for a week.Lets put it this way I had more trouble getting a granite cat ornament & a shish pipe through Gatwick airport coming back from Egypt. Check out this old blog post travelling abroad with a stoma to ease any fears you may have.

This is why I treat my stoma like a baby

So it sounds random and weird but I treat my stoma like a baby because If I don’t prepare and plan I could get caught short and have to find my way back home with a half hanging off stoma bag and thinking ahhhh shit its my fault and life is so terrible. What I have listed above doesn’t take much time to think about and in all honesty it is a case of routine and I don’t even think about it much these days. The amount of times I have winged it and gone out and stayed overnight at friends places ( fellow stoma buddies). I haven’t had to worry as I am with someone who’s like me. I always have my emergency kit in my hand bag or in the car and should the worst happen then I am prepared to handle the situation.

Stoma life is pretty easy and it has improved my life, quality of life and I wouldn’t change it at all.

Please feel free to leave any comments.

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