I love to travel, but as an ostomate I’ve not been fortunate to go abroad since 2013. I do enjoy weekends away around the UK and the odd night to a fancy event. Before having my stoma I just needed to know where a toilet was in case I needed it sharpish. Now I have to put a little more thought into it. I am going to talk to a fellow ostomate and see if she doesn’t mind writing a post on that! Might as well be as well rounded as we can hey?
So I turned thirty last week and my lovely 00Steve booked a weekend in Edinburgh. We have friends up there and I just love the city (I swear in the last 9 years I have been 10 times!) I can be prone to the odd leak now and then, especially now I am pregnant. I really didn’t fancy being caught out so packed a few extras and wanted to share what I took.
Most if not all of the bag suppliers/distributors provide travel bags. The bags can store anything from one change to a whole host of products. I have one from Fittleworth which was provided to me by my stoma nurses when I had my surgery. Charter sent me one, two from Dansac I got after a Purple Wings Charity Ball (I got the second as 00Steve obviously doesn’t need one) and one from Securicare.
Travel Bag Merits
They all have their merits in my mind, I have one Dansac in my supply bag at work and one in my bathroom, the Charter one fits nicely in my handbag, the Fittleworth and Securicare ones are larger and I use to store small excess items and when I go away for the weekend.
I am aware everyone’s needs will be different so what I pack is specific to me but if you like just use it as a guide. So I like to lay the items out and mentally check them off but if it’s easier you can write out a checklist. So firstly I get my pouches, at the moment due to hormones my skin likes to play silly buggers. I’m currently using both Coloplast and Clinimed bags I have packed three because I’m away for three days. Plus the belts for each bag as sometimes I personally need to push my stoma out into the bag and they help with that. I always change my bag the day I leave too but that’s just for my own peace of mind. I use barrier wipes, washers and sometimes need to use the flange extenders so in they go too.
Packing your accessories
Without a shadow of a doubt I pack disposable bags, adhesive remover spray, dry wipes and the thickener sachets. You can get these from most of the suppliers just in case my output is runnier than I would like. Now I am aware I can use Loperamide but due to pregnancy I am on 4mg a day if needed. This isn’t a great deal, but I packed a strip of them, some Paracetamol and some anti sickness tablets. I know some people swear by the sprays that help with the smell and as we were staying in an en suite I figured it was worth a try.
I was pretty lucky this time, I didn’t need to change my bag till I got home and was so glad I had it all packed up and ready just in case. The best bit was once it was in the travel case (this time I used the Securicare bag) it fit in my weekend bag without taking up too much space!
What do you take in your bag? Do you have any tips or tricks when you travel with your stoma? Let me know in the comments as we’re all humans and don’t always think of everything. You may have an idea that will make someones travel experience better!