Not everyone thinks about how to self care when it comes to your ostomy and until my depression hit really badly neither did I! Yet when you think about it, it is actually quite important to think about caring for your ostomy and yourself as even though it is part and parcel the two have slightly different requirements.
As we all know our ostomy can be either a very steady and reliable little red blob OR it can literally be doing try outs for Dennis the Menace. We do have to roll with the punches sometimes and that is when our ostomy self care comes into play! Most of us have a fairly standard routine that we don’t often deviate from for instance mine is:
- cut the new bag to size (I prefer not to have precut but do what ever works for you) I also like to fold up the spout too
- get my disposable bag, wipes and other items I’m using ready
- remove my ostomy bag and put it into the disposable bag – as long as I haven’t leaked I empty before hand
- clean the peristomal skin with wipes or dry wipes and water – whatever I have to hand really
- dry the skin
- pop on the wedges or eye shaped seal
- place my bag over my stoma
- dispose of the previous appliance
However as my stoma currently is being a pain in my out of order bum I have had to change this up depending on it’s needs. Yeah my ostomy has needs! Firstly I have eczema under the base plate and sometimes this gets irritated and I have to put some ointment on it during my bag change. My output fluctuates so much at the moment from pancaking or being incredibly watery and then it is rather acidic which breaks down my skin.
When it is a case of the output affecting my peristomal skin I need to really slow down and add in extra steps to ensure it starts to heal, they generally are:
- barrier wipes or variants
Next week I will write a bit more about peristomal skin and how it affects me.