Tuesday, April 12, 2016

How do you learn about stoma bags?

The season is changing and in 2021 I am glad for it.  I truly enjoy the thought of being around people and getting outside more this year. It is also going to be a big year for me to do something I love doing all across the nation.  I am talking about the ladder to my tree stand for deer season and I am planning on climbing ladders all across the country..  Yes, I am happily able to climb it with my ostomy bag in tow.  I enjoy hunting and rather people think it is crazy or not it is awesome. That is because it is my favorite thing to do and I have made sure that my stoma never gets in the way during this time.  No way I was going to give it up because of my stoma.  I did really fear it though for a long time.

Now, what do I do to prepare for such a physical feet?  I train long and hard for it.  Training also goes for the mind.  Well, the first area that should come to mind to a good woodsman is the scent.  It was the first thing that worried me when I found out that I was going into surgery.  I knew that I would be carrying my own waste on my side for the rest of my life.  To me, it meant that I would smell more than I did before and since my favorite sport involves me being scentless it worried me.  But luckily there are several ways to lower your scent with an ostomy bag.  Many bags not only are scent blockers but also you can add drops of scent-killing chemicals into the bag to eliminate odors.  Pills are another option and there are a few sprays as well. So take heart there are many options available.

I still think that what you wear matters most.  I am a big fan of scent-blocking clothes.  I honestly love that I can sit in my tree stand all day and not have to worry about bathroom breaks.  It is a great addition to hunting in my opinion and with my scent lock clothing,it helps me to get rid of that hard part of smell that hurts so many hunters.

Now being in good shape does matter.  It is a huge deal to be in good shape and is harder to do with a stoma.  This means being careful to grow your muscles and body safe.  You have a stoma and are more prone to hernias now so you need to be careful not to overdo it.  But my sport is very physical, it involves climbing, hiking for miles, and carrying heavy animals or loads.  This means that training to be in shape is important and needs to be considered long ahead of time.   Depending on where you live you may need to have the strength to drag your deer for up to a mile.  Or simply be able to carry that much weight for that distance.  This is a huge consideration and should be trained for.  I suggest taking months out ahead of time to get your body ready. Not everyone will do this, but to be safe and to help ensure you don't injure yourself or others, I think it is wise.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Making Love with a ostomy

I know that getting the news that you are going to have a stoma is not fun for many people.  So many people hate it but some understand that it may save their life and are actually glad in a way.  But let's just be honest. During the first stages and months of having surgery and getting a stoma lots of fears creep into your life.  One of the fears that strike many people the hardest is the idea of intimacy.  I have to admit it was one of the areas that worried me the most.  The thought of not being able to be intimate again and feel that confidence was a really hard thing for me to get over.  But I want to let you know that for the most part that intimacy with your partner is possible and there are lots of tips and guides to get you in and our of a good situation that is nothing but positive.

Feeling comfortable in your own skin is key.  This is not easy for most.   I was most afraid I would look ridiculous and simply not feel sexy.  Luckily I was under the impression that I would be wearing a full-sized bag during the whole process and that was just silly.  Hey, we all have fears and they all manifest a little differently.  When it comes to fears there certainly are a few more fears than just looks too.  I was terrified of smells and simply just feeling gross during the whole ordeal.  Well, there are so many products that are meant to do the dead so to speak and I have to admit I was impressed with the ostomy gear available. Yes, it does feel like you are the only one who has struggled with this thought when you first get a stoma.  We are all in the same boat and if you are young-looking forward to this time, it is going to be ok.  You will be just fine and happy.

The gear available is awesome.  You have so many options, just ask.  Learning is key and most people are more than happy to help in this area.   It is similar to heading to the beach in a way and looking good is not really an issue.  There are many manufactures and they are all willing to help you find the right product that fits you and your lifestyle well.  I do first suggest talking it all over with your healthcare provider and making sure you are ready for this kind of activity.  It may be painful or simply complicated after surgery because you are still healing.  Also, all the medication that may be going on can have effects on you in so many different ways.  There is no need to feel pressured and afraid.  Learn and be comfortable.

Smells are always a part of this area and they do not have to be unpleasant.  That was something I was really worried about and there are lots of great tips and articles on this.  Lots of gear is anti-microbial and rather scent-proof.  There are also drops you can use in your mini bag to make sure odor is eliminated. But if you are just starting out, light a candle for your own psychological mindset. So take heart and learn.  That is my best advice.