My Summer Stoma Routine
I was asked to write about my summer month routine with my stoma. I had to sit and think, does my routine change? Do I use different products? Do I eat differently? Is there anything I have changed?
Stoma life for me is now such a normal routine for me that I had to stop and think about how I handle my stoma in the summer months.
Summer months are tricky; we sweat more, we try to eat a more varied diet and the heat does not always make for a happy ostomate. It can also lead to an itchy stoma site and some may change more frequently.
My summer routine
My routine has changed a little. I no longer use aerosol adhesive remover and I now use the wipes to remove my bag. This is something that has just slipped in – they are convenient for me to pack, easy for me to use and it’s something I don’t run out of as it’s easier to remember to order.
I still use the Vitamin E bags and I still use the eakin slims. That will never change as that is what works for me and I have had many comments on Twitter recently about how healthy my stoma site looks and how some have stoma envy.
I have started using water wipes and dry wipes that I have purchased off of Amazon. This was purely due to me running out and current Covid climate means that we aren’t able to get as many wet wipes and dry wipes due to demand.
With the heat I am showering daily, due to my nifty hack with two kirby grips and an Ikea sandwich bag, I change my bag every 4-5 days. In my case, if something isn’t broke then it doesn’t need fixing. This also means I avoid skin-stripping with daily changes.
I have a bag-free shower once a week. I have learned when my stoma is going to be least active and this tends to be the first thing in the morning so I avoid breakfast, have a cup of tea and then enjoy a shower and bag free time for up to 1 hr prior to putting a clean bag on.
My diet is rather varied and just recently I have been more cavalier regarding my approach to certain foods that are normally on my must avoid list. I have been managing things such as raw carrot and sweetcorn, all well-chewed and in small amounts which means I can enjoy a healthy salad both for lunch and as a side with my evening meal.
My fluid intake has stayed the same. I monitor this closely as the current temperature is at 34 degrees and I am aware of electrolytes flushing and potential dehydration so I aim for 2.5 litres of fluids per day.
Whilst out sunbathing I avoid using sun cream near or around my stoma base plate. This has caused my bags to slide off in the past so I now make sure that I wash and exfoliate the area prior to putting on a new bag to make sure the moisturizer doesn’t impact the adhesive with regards to the base sticking correctly.
I am wearing lighter higher waisted bottoms so I am cooler. I also stopped tucking my bag into my knickers. The reason being for this is the bag rubs on the abdomen, the abdomen sweats and to me, there is nothing worse than a sweaty back of a stoma bag as it picks up odours.
That’s about it from me for my summer routine. Does your routine change? Or does yours stay consistent throughout the seasons?
Many thanks for reading
Louise uses our Platinum Vitamin E range to keep her stoma site healthy. To try a sample, click here