Finding the Right Set Up for You

Finding the right set up for you

Having an ostomy can feel like one thing after another and it isn’t always fun and games. We go through the possible minefields of finding out what foods agree with us and wont cause us blockages to trying to stay hydrated enough. The one thing new and old ostomates often find a struggle is getting the right appliance and routine that works for you.

On my personal blog have reviewed all the different bags I have tried over the last three years and the main thing I have learnt is having the right items doesn’t always have to be from the same brand or even the same items each time; I have a bit of a pick and mix going on at the moment depending on how my skin is or even my output.

Yep my output can drastically affect what items I use as it can be incredibly high frequency and very acidic water like. When that happens I like to wear an eye shaped barrier “ring” to give the maximum coverage – I also like to use these when my eczema is playing up.

I used to like using the two piece bags to limit how often I changed my bag when my skin was sensitive and the changing of the appliance was increasing the sensitivity.

Depending on my weight fluctuation or how bloated I am I like to use wedges which come in a wide or narrow size to help fill in the dips around my stoma. Some people use the paste but I just can’t get away with that myself but like the point of this post is each to their own with what works for them.

Knowing whether you need a convex or a flat bag is an extremely key piece of information to have when finding the right bag for you – your stoma nurse will be able to let you know if you need to change to a convex. It is very important not to change without advice first as you could run the risk of a prolapse. Within a couple of weeks of having my surgery my stoma became flush to the skin and sometimes even retracts so I need to have a convex, in fact some days (when I can find it) I wear a belt designed to attach to my bag to pull it closer to my body and push my stoma further into the bag.

Some people like using barrier and adhesive remover sprays over the wipes, or certain seals over others; for instance there are some silicone based ones and ones that are like putty.

Routine is a big thing too; some people prefer to change their appliance on a morning or shower without the bag on but it is really finding out what your preferences are. For instance I never liked showering sans bag but now I much prefer to take it off and I usually change my bag on an evening.

I suggest ordering samples rather than putting a new item onto your prescription in case it doesn’t work as well as you had hoped and you don’t have an unnecessary stockpile forming. It may take some time to find your perfect fit and routine but once it does everything hopefully should just click into place.

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