A Bag for Life – A User’s Guide

This post is all about colostomies.  You have been warned.

So – colostomies.  I’ll categorise the post so that those who have done a search might find something of interest and assistance from a veteran of  7 months.  Those of you who read my blog for more general reasons needn’t worry, there won’t be a test and I won’t be offended if you feel that it may contain a little too much information and you want to skim or just ignore.

It’s all about being organised.  My bags can be emptied whenever and then re-sealed.  They’ll tell you that a bag can stay on for up to three days but I like to change mine every day; in the morning after my bath works for me.  I get everything laid out before I start.  Adhesive remover spray, disposal bag, moist toilet wipes (personal preference), soft cloth for drying area around stoma.  Nothing worse than being half way through changing when you realise your remover spray is the other end of the room.

Sometimes for various reasons you’ll be emptying the bag very frequently.  It’s a bore but I find it makes things a little more bearable to treat myself to a hand wash in a particularly nice fragrance (Molton Brown does a lovely Pomegranate and Ginger) and a hard working hand cream or balm.  I’ve recently discovered Rituals Miracle Balm which is luxuriously thick and smells gorgeous).

Now about why that bag emptying might be more frequent.  Ah, the bowel is a mysterious thing indeed.  One day things will work fine, the next, when you’ve eaten practically exactly the same, you’ll be bunged up or it’ll be the opposite.  I’ve been told to have a laxative every day but sometimes this wouldn’t be a good idea at all.  The trick is to keep vigilant.  You’ll know what … well sorry but consistency works best for you.  The days of aiming for a proper poo shaped poo have gone I’m afraid.  That’ll hurt coming out.  Sorry to be blunt but there you go.

As for food, there’s loads of really good advice out there but if I add to it I’d say try everything but keep a record.  For instance, yesterday’s dinner involved broccoli which the booklets will tell you may be hard to digest.  In my case it was, so from now on I’ll either blitz it in my NutriBullet  in my new quest for a healthy life style or keep away from it.  I find too much fruit doesn’t work for me.  I had a smoothie the other day that was JUST fruit rather than a few veggies in there too. Gave me the runs and tummy cramps so I won’t be having that again.  However I’ve found that a little ginger either fresh and chopped up or if I’m feeling lazy a squirt from a handy tube kept in the fridge, makes juices taste good and more importantly helps with any queasiness I might have.

I weigh myself daily on my rather clever Withings scales which also tell me my fat mass and BMI on a snazzy graph.  I’m still under 7st but its steadily going up which is encouraging.  I don’t like to see the wrinkles on my arms and tummy reminding me of the sudden weight loss last summer.

Ha! Oh dear I’ve just noticed I’ve been name dropping terribly.  This post is like a 1980’s Jackie Collins novel (“she shrugged the RALPH LAUREN jacket from her shoulders and took another sip of her KRISTAL champagne …”) but I promise I’m not sponsored by any brand.  Just if I think something is good and it works then I’ll tell you.

Until next time.




About dolly61

Bit stubborn - this has come in handy lately.
This entry was posted in anal cancer, colostomy, terminal cancer. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Bag for Life – A User’s Guide

  1. Gwendoline and Leonaro says:

    Informative and fun….as usual xx


  2. Serena FitzGerald says:

    thank you for sharing this Dolly x


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