The spring/summer is the only time of year that I really don’t like having an ostomy. Not saying I love it the other months, but ya know… I accept it and it has been a lifesaver for my health.
I don’t want to be a complainer but I imagine other ostomates feel similarly at least sometimes so I figured, why not talk about it today?
For those of you who are unfamiliar with ostomies in general, the heat and moisture are probably the two worst things for your skin. It causes the appliance to become very itchy, making living with a bag attached to your stomach pretty uncomfortable. Feeling sweaty and gross on occasion is a normal feeling for most during the summer months but for those people who have an ostomy (or at least for me; I won’t speak for everyone else), I am extra uncomfortable. I feel like I spend so much of my time slappimg my appliance to attempt to relieve the itch since taking my nails towards the flange hasn’t always worked out well.
I also find that I have to change my ostomy more frequently during the warmer months. I was in a good routine and now all of a sudden, the flange is popping up in all different places, and is just generally annoying me to be honest.
Working out is another story. It makes me feel good when I can exercise and granted, I haven’t really been feeling well so I probably wouldn’t have gone to the gym anyway but… it is always such an ordeal when I go in the spring/summer. I kind of weigh the pros and cons of getting my ostomy all sweaty from the workout and then needing to get in the shower (which makes it wet, of course), and then needing to blow-dry it when I am finished which just adds to me feeling hot.
Even though I hate not showering everyday, I will avoid it on a day where I am not really doing anything. As strange as this probably sounds, I feel like I am doing my skin a favor and possibly prolonging the wear time of the appliance when I don’t get it wet everyday.
Summer months are always the ones I dread. I try to stay in air conditioner as much as possible but I obviously want to be social and attend BBQ’s and fun things outside. I was also a huge competative swimmer and before all of this happened, I absolutely lived in the pool. I still love the water but am fearful that I am just adding potential issues if I get in the pool.
Ah so much to think about…
Here are some other posts I wrote about this subject if you are interested either as a patient who can relate, a caregiver, or just someone who wants to understand ….
Please let me know if you have any thoughts on this subject! Would love any advice or tricks that have helped you to enjoy the summer months a little bit more. Either comment below or email me Marisa.IBD@gmail.com.