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How to Sleep on Your STOMACH with an Ostomy!

Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:59 pm
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Yes fellow ostomates.........it can be done.  Here's how you do it......others may know of other ways.  You simply need to use a foam mattress topper with a pocket cut out for your bag to rest in while you sleep on your tummy. It's simple, and the hardest part is making it "accident" proof.  

Here's what you need;

A foam mattress pad at least 4" thick.  Not a foam mattress.....a foam mattress topper.  You can get one to cover the whole bed or just  your side......you and your spouse can fight that one out.  They come in thicknesses from 1 to 8 inches.  I bought a 4" foam queen size topper at Walmart last year for $70.  You can find them even cheaper on sale, and Memorial Day is coming up.  If your spouse won't sleep on a foam topper then just get a single for your side of the bed. 

 

A mattress protector cover one size bigger than your mattress or your topper (if it doesn't cover the whole mattress)

A piece of medium thickness plastic sheeting........a little thicker than your common garbage bag, but not too thick that it doesn't flex and fold

An electric carving knife (the one you use on Thanksgiving will work just fine)

 

How to assemble;

Put said topper on top of your mattress.  With your bag empty lay on the topper where you want to sleep.  Now you want the area under your bag to be inboard from the outside edge of the mattress for support.  So if your stoma is on your right side you want to sleep on the left side of the bed (so your stoma is toward the middle of the bed and not toward the edge of the mattress).  Vice versa if your stoma is on your left. 

Lay on your stomach (with your bag empty) and with a Sharpie mark where your bag contacts the topper. Remove the topper from the mattress (or you'll screw up and cut thru your mattress by mistake) and cut out the area you marked with the Sharpie with the carving knife.  Cut about an inch more than the outline (see....coloring outside the lines in Kindergarten is finally going to pay off).  To do this simply poke the electric carving knife all the way thru the topper foam and then cut out your hole.  Easy peasy.

Ok, now it's time to test your hole.  Lay down on the bed with your bag in the hole and move around a little.  If you need the hole to be a little bigger either left to right or up and down........now's the time to do it.  Once you are satisfied with your hole it's time to make it "accident" proof......because if your poop gets on the foam it will be VERY hard to clean up.......the damn foam is like a sponge.  So you want to keep the foam clean at all costs.

There's  few ways you can do this.  The easiest is to buy a mattress protector cover one size bigger than the mattress pad.  This allows you to pull the cover material into the hole you cut out so there's still room for your bag.  If you buy the really cheap $4 plastic covers from Walmart........use two of them....you cheap thing, you.  What I did was to buy the oversize cover (yeah, I bought the cheap one, but will spring for a better one next time) and then covered the hole losely with a piece of the medium thickness plastic sheeting, tucking the sheeting into the hole to form a second layer of protection.  

I then laid my bed sheet over the whole shebang and marked where the hole was on my mattress cover.  Out came my trusty antique sewing machine.  I cut a hole in my sheet a little bigger than the hole in my mattress topper.....and put a hem around the hole by folding the edge over and stitching......and I'm done.  

Now it's gonna take a little getting used to sleeping over a hole in your mattress.........but you'll adjust.  And this my friends..........is how you can once again sleep on your stomach.  

Now just a few notes.  If you have high output (like me) you can either stop eating early (which I can't do)..........or plan on getting up every couple of hours and emptying your bag.  Your choice.  A third option is to get one of those larger high output bags, slap that bitch on before you go nighty-night and not worry about it.  Just be careful when you get up because if it's full it will be heavy.  And remember..........if anyone yells FIRE!......you need to carry your bag with you.  

 

Sweet Dreams,

bob

These are the top 5 issues ostomates face:

1. Dating and relationships
2. Concealing the pouch
3. Foods to eat and avoid
4. Losing or gaining weight
5. Pouch ballooning

Check out this video from MeetAnOstoMate.
Past Member
Tue Mar 10, 2020 7:09 pm

Brilliant! You have really given this some thought.

Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:22 pm

Jeez Bob 

You are brilliant ..there is nothing you CAN'T do...amazing ..nd you even Sew ...incredible and super impressive..Cheers!

Oh and make sure you thread your bobbin right on the old machine or your mattress cover will be toast..

Ange 

 

Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:47 am

Hello Bob.

Thank you for a much-appreciated description. I sleep on my back, so this is not directly relevant. However, the concept of finding functional solutions to practical problems is always relevant and I fully appreciate your efforts in this regard. 

Best wishes

Bill

Past Member
Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:45 am

Great advice for members of the group and pleased it works for you. I know a lot of people after ostomy surgery have problems sleeping as pre surgery slept on there stomach so hopefully mattress topper will let them have a good nights sleep again. 

I just sleep on my stomach without anything under me can't remember the last time I had any accidents in the night must be years but we're all different in what works for us

Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:31 pm

Panther,

  I've slept on my stomach without the hole in the mattress cover, as you describe........I just bring my right knee up to my side so it makes a cavity between my bed and stoma. The problem comes in when I move while sleeping.  Shouldn't be much of a problem for folks with most of their bowels still intact, but us short gutters have to always be vigilant or BOOM!  Accident!  

  I would guess that if you could sleep holding a body pillow you'd also be ok.....I just don't have one.  

  Butt the bottom line is you can sleep on your stomach if you really want to...........and are careful.  

 

regards,

bob

Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:32 pm

I use a baby nursing pillow when sleeping on my stomach. It's u shape is perfect to fit around Ostomy when laying on stomach and it has a removable cover. 

Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:47 pm

Hi missp....that's a great idea!

Bob

Thu Nov 12, 2020 1:22 pm

I just came across this post, Bob.  I find it much easier to fall asleep on my stomach, so I simply slip a pillow 'neath my chest that reaches to just above my stoma. The air space created is sufficient.  I did the same thing recently when I got massages for a kink in my shoulder.  I'm much too lazy to use your method. :)

Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:38 pm

Hi Henry,

 That's EXACTLY what I do when I'm not in MY bed.  At first I thought I'd forget in my sleep and move the pillow......but so far so good.  I also bring my right leg up to make more of a cavity beneath my bag, so it hangs more vertical than just lying there just slightly below my stoma.  Sometimes it just amazes me the amount of bullshit we have to put up with having an ostomy.  If people only knew. 

regards,

bob

 

Fri Nov 13, 2020 4:27 am
w30bob wrote:

Hi Henry,

 That's EXACTLY what I do when I'm not in MY bed.  At first I thought I'd forget in my sleep and move the pillow......but so far so good.  I also bring my right leg up to make more of a cavity beneath my bag, so it hangs more vertical than just lying there just slightly below my stoma.  Sometimes it just amazes me the amount of bullshit we have to put up with having an ostomy.  If people only knew. 

regards,

bob

 

You must be a right side person.  I'm left side, so I bring my left knee up.  Years ago, when I was right side, it was same as you.  Hah!

Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:44 am

Hi Henry,

  Yupper.........I'm a "righty"......at least for now.  

;0)

bob

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