Now that doesn’t sound so weird as most of us probably had the nurses change it at some point since having our ostomy; heck some of us may have even had a loved one do it. Not me though well except the nurse part as that is a given! 00Steve, nor my family have changed my stoma bag – they have been there when I have done it myself before but other than maybe glancing they haven’t had much to do with it and that is the way I like it! So who is the person then that I let change my appliance?
Well as you may know I work in a building of extra care and support flats for the elderly who are independent but need just a bit of help such as meds, meals, shopping and the odd bit of personal care. We may encounter people with ostomies in our line of work and we need to be trained in how to either assist or fully change an appliance. If you want to know about the training I did and what it was like for me to be trained in stoma care by my own stoma care nurse please click here. One of my colleagues that I would say is more friend than colleague; wasn’t able to attend due to I presume sickness and joked I could train her. Obviously I am unable to sign her off on anything and she probably had done them in the past but I figured her actually seeing mine rather than a rubber one would be more useful.
So I said to her that if my bag decided to leak or if my eczema was really playing up and I needed a change whilst we were on shift she could do it. Lo and behold it actually happened! I stupidly ate potato too late at night and due to pancaking my bag popped at the bottom. As I don’t often use adhesive remover I pulled my bag off and gave it a quick wipe as I didn’t want her to think she would hurt me and I was on auto pilot – as you do. I had a pre cut bag already folded up at the bottom because that is how I roll! I then explained how you put the bag on – starting the bottom up (we were standing up in the toilet) and using the little flap to guide if needed. Now that was easier for my friend as they are like half the height of me when slightly bending down!
I have to admit she did a fab job and the bag lasted four days before I needed to change it as I didn’t have any barrier wipes/wedges with me to put underneath the base plate. It was so weird having someone else change my bag even though they have worked within the care industry for a lot of years and will have done it in the past but not necessarily recently. I would be happy for other colleagues to do it (well some of them) if it was going to help with their confidence but there is always the slight fear in the back of my mind that people may be jerks about it but I would like to think that that isn’t the environment I am in.
Have other people that aren’t nurses or your family changed your ostomy appliance? If so what was it like for you?