Tuesday, April 29, 2014

So you wanna take a shower...

I truly love taking showers, washing the gunk off of you from the day. Sometimes nice and hot, other times lukewarm. But with an ostomy bag, it's not a simple jump in and out kind of thing.

First off, are you going to change your bag when you get out. No? Well dont forget to put your little sticker over your filter opening. I have bags that have a handy charcoal filter that "helps" get rid of the gas and certainly helps with any smell. If I dont put the sticker on the bag, it makes the filter wet and pretty much useless.  I'm sad to say, I've forgotten more times than not to put the sticker on my bag. Trying to keep something on the front of your stomach dry or at least not soaking wet is quite a task. Yes, yes I could've stopped and put the sticker on, but first I would have had to dry the bag off somewhat, so I just play dodge the water. After you get out you also need to dry the bag off. I have a sort of cover that adds an extra barrier against the bag & my skin to make it a tad bit more comfortable.

Now, if it's a day to change your bag, there's a whole new set of things you have to do and get ready for after the shower. Sounds strange, but these days are my absolute favorite days. It give me some time to feel like a regular person. So before you get into the shower you need to get your supplies out and ready. I even get multiple of some items in the event she gets a bit "talky". I have my wafer (the bandaid part that holds everything to my skin. This part you have to cut the opening to fit the stoma. I have a moldable kind which I prep before hand), bag which HAS to be closed FYI, barrier ring (A ring that goes around the stoma as an extra barrier and 2 just to be safe), adhesive remover, stoma powder (a powder I put on my skin as an extra barrier to keep my skin as happy as it can be), skin barrier wipes (again 2), 4×4 gauze squares, and lastly a bag to put the bag and trash into.

The reason I have 2 of some items is if she gets talky while I'm changing the bag, I obviously can't reuse the some items so I have learned it's better to have more than not, and then rushing to get more supplies.  It's like that game Pop o Matic. You know it's only a matter of time before it pops up, but this case, spew all over the place. This is also where the gauze comes into place. I wrap it around as a little diaper to "prevent" any messes.

So, now I have everything and I start to take the bag off. Just as I finish up, I go to start the shower. Once I finish I rush to dry off my stomach, then cover it with the gauze. I dry off the surrounding area and start assembling my bag. It goes like this, completely dry, powder, skin barrier wipe, barrier ring, and then wafer. I then apply pressure to the waffer for a few minutes while I finish drying off.

And like that, I go on with my day. It adds about 10-20 minutes to shower time, depending on how feisty she is and if she enjoyed her marshmallow enough to shut her up, you know women haha.

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