Surviving the Summer Ostomy Style
The weather is heating up. As I am typing this up today the thermometer is going to hit 35 degrees in good old sunny Kent. I have been giving out my orders to my hormonal 9 year old and telling her she needs to refill her water bottle at least twice at school today as she doesn’t want to be dehydrated, moody or cranky when she gets home. I then get my orders as my husband-to-be makes his way out to the office telling me to not forget to pop to Sainsburys and get myself several 2 litre bottles of water as my tap water smells rather bleachy at the moment and I refuse to drink it.
Winter is my friend, I miss the cold months oh so much.
Is the summer really that difficult?
I am overly sensitive to the heat and apologies to those that live with me I am one cranky mare. Having the ostomy doesn’t affect me in the summer months but it can have its limitations. For me it is having the bag constantly stuck to ones abdomen. My stoma is unpredictable and I don’t always have time to shower in the mornings when it is at its least active so I play roulette in the evening and pray I can get in a quick swift bag change after showering.
I am known for going through Waitrose sandwich bags which I cut up the back and place over my bag to keep it dry to avoid an impromptu bag change.
I have learned that keeping your bag over your knickers or boxers stops the back of the bag gaining body sweat. No one likes a sweaty bag and it can make you feel unclean so bag covers can also help to keep your bag away from the skin.
I found out the hard way. Please make sure if you are sunbathing that you don’t get the sun cream too close to your baseplate. Sun cream is both oily and has moisturising properties and if you don’t exfoliate the area whilst showering before applying the bag then you may wake up in the wee hours with a free stoma and the bag wrapped up in the bed linen half way down the bed. Flange extenders are a brilliant little invention and using those to help give the bag a solid surface to adhere too as well as having a guide line that’s further away from your stoma site.
For those of us with ostomies related to health conditions then sun cream is needed to protect our skin. Sun burn can also lead to dehydration, sun stroke and heat stroke so keeping on top of the sun cream is important and means we can avoid a few nasty surprises for enjoying the sun too much.
We each have our own personal styles but loose cotton clothing can help with keeping you cool. I stay as far away as I can from spandex and ostomy related underwear in the summer because it may keep the bag flush to the skin but it also makes me sweat like a beast.
Hydration is so important in the summer months especially with an ostomy. Dehydration can lead to hospital admissions and your kidney function not being at its best so it is better to aim for 2-2.5 litres per day. Adding squash or rehydration sachets to at least a litre of this can help your body to maintain its electrolytes.
The summer months lead to plenty of BBQ’S and salads. We each know what our body tolerates and what our stoma is affected by so the best advice would be to keep track of what you are eating and chew, chew again and again. Fruits are also a good way of getting fluid into our bodies.
I am very fortunate in the fact I have a little air conditioning unit which I pretty much hug during the summer months. Being cool and staying cool is easier for me than getting all hot and bothered and I also have a rather gigantic fan on full power of a nighttime over the bed or I just can’t sleep.
Is there anything you can think of and provide your tips to other ostomates in staying cool In the summer?
Many thanks for reading
Our Platinum Vitamin E range will help to keep your stoma site healthy this summer. If you’d like to find out more or order a sample, click here. You could also try our Contour Flange Extenders to give you extra security in the summer heat.