This might help if you ever fly with an extra carry-on bag:
Recently, I flew for the first time with a colostomy. I was apprehensive about the TSA pre-flight screening and expected nothing short of a nightmare experience. At tsa.gov, I found some reassurance, including a Notification Card that may be discreetly handed to a TSA agent to indicate your medical condition: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/travelers-disabilities-and-medical-conditions. "What could go wrong?" I thought to myself as a creepy giggle came from the sinister part of my brainwaves.
I typed "OSTOMY" in the blank, printed it in color, and put it in a plastic sleeve.
After walking through the metal detector, I handed the card to the agent, with the "OSTOMY" side facing him. (On the back is a disclaimer stating that while this allows you to be discreet, it does not exempt you from screening. Although there is no place for a name or signature, I printed my name on the back.) Without even bothering to read "OSTOMY," the agent turned the card over, read my name, and said "Okay." Then I found out "Okay" is code for "I don't have a clue what this card is or what it means, and I clearly did not bother reading the notification info."
He placed the card on a table, and having obviously seen a slight bulge in my shirt (although empty, your honor), he touched my side with his latex-gloved hand and asked, "What is this?" "It's an ostomy," I replied, "just like the card says."
At this point, my mind began playing scenes from the movie "Midnight Express." Based on a true story, M.E. is about college student Billy Hayes and his imprisonment for attempting to smuggle hashish out of Turkey. Hayes had strapped 2kg of hash blocks to his chest without the benefit of a medical device Notification Card. I saw the movie when it first came out, and again in the Navy before we visited Marmaras, Turkey.
Part of my brain wanted to push the agent and begin running, just to see what would happen. My mind played the scene from "The Great Escape" when David McCallum, as Lieutenant-Commander Eric Ashley-Pitt, is gunned down while running from German Secret Service guards at a train station. The other 99% of my brain thought, "This guy wasn't paying attention during Medical Device training, and now I'm going to be on the cover of Time magazine." Neither happened, though I could still be on the cover of Time for something noble or mindless if I decide to.
He led me to a nearby TSA agent who was awake during the Notification Card training. This agent was very, very courteous to me as I explained my recent bout with colon cancer and subsequent colostomy. He was apologetic and professional. It reminded me of the scene in "Shawshank Redemption" when Andy tells Red about the rock wall next to the big oak tree in Buxton.
Hope this helps for the next time you fly.
As you recover from surgery, you may feel tired and not interested in exercising much, if at all. But it's important for your health and well-being to start moving around.