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Exercise post surgery

Posted by becrhomat, on Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:00 am

I'm not sure what to do about losing weight.  I'm 2 months post surgery (colostomy) and would like to start exercising.  Besides walking I can't seem to do a lot of twisting and turning.  My skin is very sensitive to the adhesive and if I do too much it seems to pull at my skin and I get sore.  Suggestions??

Reply by Emra, on Tue Jul 19, 2016 1:43 pm

Walking is an excellent exercise - I am now 2 1/2 months post emergent sigmoid colostomy.  I walk when I can...I also try to do the stairs in the house as frequently as possible.  I am not doing any twisting or turning.  The walking is good enough - my goal is get my stamina back - I will hopefully be having a reversal in the next month or so.  Whenever I do walk, I am extremely tired afterwards and need to take a nap...preoperatively I could walk 2 miles easily...I'm not there yet.  I have unintentionally lost 25 pounds...I think that is because of the healing and I am eating better...I find that eating 6 small meals a day helps.

Regarding the skin irritation - are you using a good skin prep?  Post op I developed an incisional infection.  The  surgeon had to open it up and drain out the junk inside.  For healing I have to take a hot shower twice a day....and the dressing is changed 3 times a day...all the tape on and off made my skin a mess....UNTIL my homecare nurse started me using the skin preparation and the powder.  I was skeptical but it worked within 2 days...my skin cleared. 

Hope this helps. 

Reply by becrhomat, on Tue Jul 19, 2016 1:52 pm

Walking is good....I have started skin prep on advice from my ET nurse.  It seems my skin is sensitive to the adhesive, not close to my stoma.  I've considered yoga.  But I suppose that might be too much twisting.

Reply by Emra, on Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:10 pm

I too had irritation problems with the adhesive...did the nurse give you an adhesive remover?  Also I found different tapes to use until I found one that does not irritate my skin.  I use the skin prep for the tape reactions too....it works wonders for me.  We are using ultra sensitive paper tape now and it is doing the trick. 

Has your surgeon given you any ideas on what type of exercise activity you can do?  Before trying anything new it might be a good idea to run it by the surgeon first. 

Reply by becrhomat, on Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:16 pm

Yes she gave me wipes and tape.  I'm liking the tape.  I just brought up a bit with my surgeon about exercise...I'll make sure to be more detailed with him though and ask him what he recommends.

Reply by Emra, on Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:25 pm

Great about the wipes and tape.  My skin was a mess from the constant dressing changes and I was having problems with the flange leaking - the leakage did a number on my skin.  We (my husband is in this with me thank goodness) put down a layer of powder and then the wipes...it works.  I was stunned at how quickly it repaired the broken areas.  Many a time I have said a prayer of thanks to whoever invented that skin prep - it is a god send. 

Good luck....and keep looking forward - there are good days and bad....but it will get better. It just takes time.

Reply by becrhomat, on Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:30 pm

Thanks....it's definately a hard road.  I had a lot of leaking so a lot of skin prep for that which is thankfully under control.  It gets soooo sore.  This skin irritation really sucks.  There's a new bag I'm going to be trying....just coming into Canada so I have to wait....that seems to have a better adhesive.  It's also got deep convexity which I need.  It's from Marlen.

Reply by gracie in texas, on Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:15 pm

I have concerns about this too.  i have been using some of the exercises at stomaatje.com.  Perhaps  some of them might work for you as well.  Walking is really good exercise, tho.

Reply by becrhomat, on Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:19 pm

I will check that out....thank you!!!

Reply by Emra, on Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:31 pm
becrhomat wrote:

Thanks....it's definately a hard road.  I had a lot of leaking so a lot of skin prep for that which is thankfully under control.  It gets soooo sore.  This skin irritation really sucks.  There's a new bag I'm going to be trying....just coming into Canada so I have to wait....that seems to have a better adhesive.  It's also got deep convexity which I need.  It's from Marlen.

 

After a few weeks, my new stoma became an "innie."  The flange was not working and was leaking all over...my skin was breaking down and the stoma was bleeding.   My ostomy nurse ordered a convex flange....initially it worked fairly well...but it started to leak.  So we started using the paste (I call it caulk).  The nurse put a ring of caulk around the stoma and flattened it out....it worked for 2 days and then began to leak.  So...we decided to try something different.  We now put a circle of caulk around the stoma - we leave it as is - so it looks like a squish of toothpaste. We put an identical circle of caulk on the flange - let the caulk set up for a minute and then press the two together.  I put my hands over the flange and the adhesive "wings" for about a minute and then I put the pouch on.  It's been over a month and I have not had one leak.  I change the flange twice a week...on a 3 and 4 day schedule.  For me, during the 4 day schedule, I change the pouch at two days. 

Keep trying new things and come here with your questions - granted I am a newbie like you - but we have come up with a few solutions thus far.  The folks here are terrific - they responded to my first post when I was so sad, depressed and worried...their responses let me know that I was not alone, that things would get better and that the beginning of this journey is tough for everyone. 

 

Reply by becrhomat, on Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:43 pm

Good to know this info....thank you all so much for your support

Reply by bigal1579, on Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:49 pm

At two months you are still recovering, so hang in there. You'll get all your strength back.  Walking is the best exercise.  Go somewhere that has some hills.  Destination walking is great, like pick a Starbucks and have someone pick you up there (good incentive to get you to keep pushing to get there for the ride).  Also, walking with friends and setting a regular schedule are great.  if you get tired, stop and rest on the way.  You'll quickly be able to add more distance.

The skin issues are often worse in the summer.  I used to have skin issues, but over time your body adjusts.  I'm 7 1/2 years in and I have no skin problems anymore.  There are lots of different pouch products, so you should be able to find one that works best.  Most or all companies will send free samples.

The very best skin cure is to leave the pouch off when you change and let your skin breathe for a little while.  Even 5 minutes helps, but if you can do it longer, like 20-30 minutes (I know that can be hard if the stoma is active), I think you'll find a huge improvement.

Reply by becrhomat, on Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:55 pm

I live about 1 hour from the closest starbucks and I'm not walking there lol I know what you mean for sure.  I never thought about the summer heat.  I'm getting to know when my stoma is active and not so letting it breathe is doable.  Thanks!!

Reply by bigal1579, on Tue Jul 26, 2016 6:53 pm

Actually, if it's a one hour walk and not a one hour drive, that could be perfect.  The walk to Starbucks could be your goal.  Plot a course that has park benches somewhere along the way.  Or if you have a light folding chair (there are ones you can carry like a backpack), bring it with you.  Go a distance and rest.  Have your ride pick you up after a set amount of time, and try to get farther from home (or closer to Starbucks) each time.  It doesn't matter how short the distance when you start, just keep trying to add on each time.  I think that not only will you make it to Starbucks, when you do, you'll be googling to find out where there is one a little farther away.

 

For me, there is something psychologically beneficial about a destination rather than just walking near home, where it is too easy to say I feel tired and can head home.  I hope it works for you.  And a tall latte is a nice incentive.  And, of course, a scone as a reward for the first time you make it.

Reply by becrhomat, on Tue Jul 26, 2016 6:58 pm

Sadly it's a one hr drive.  Where I live is extremely rural...lots of places to go see scenery...the falls here are beautiful....

Reply by medic361, on Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:41 pm

Weight control and weight loss is primarily a diet issue. A good walking regimen and some light weight lifting(with Doctor approval) helps. I would attempt to remove all processed foods from your diet, you want to get the your calories from equal amounts of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Good lean meats combined with fruits and vegetables will make this easy. I only eat fruits in the morning so that the sugars aren't stored, I usually workout right after breakfast. Lunch is my biggest meal and then dinner is eaten late afternoon or early evening. I don't really count calories either, it's more about what kind of calories versus how many. Also watch out for the hidden calories, soft drinks are really bad and diet drinks are also as they confuse the body and can cause issues of their own. Get a Fitbit, or other movement tracking device and slowly increase your activity level, never increase more than 20% per week. Good luck, stay positive, and strong. I am 2.5 years post colostomy and still work as a firefighter doing the same job I did before my surgery. 

Reply by U K Mutt, on Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:30 pm

Hi, So I use Pure Organic Aloe Vera Gel. Once the area around my Stoma has been washed and dried with a Hair Dryer I apply a super thin layer the circumference of my bags wafer. Then Hair Dryer Dry the area. Then I apply the Barrier Spray and Powder. 

At my community center we have a gym and a trainer who caters to Rehab and Seniors go $36/hr. Which is very reasonable and worth every penny. I do wear a support belt around my waist to 

Reply by U K Mutt, on Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:33 pm

Part Two:

...to support my Stoma as I don't want to herniated it.

Good Luck and keep up the walking!

Reply by becrhomat, on Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:43 am

Thanks!!!

Reply by pete b, on Sun Sep 04, 2016 3:35 pm

Get yourself a cross trainer ...great for most of your muscles without shocking your joints .....



Last edited by pete b on Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:37 am; edited 1 time in total
Reply by becrhomat, on Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:28 pm

there is a ywca in the next town i'm looking into.  unfortunately my town is only 600 people lol so i have to go elsewhere lol  

Past Member
Reply by Past Member, on Thu Sep 05, 2019 5:23 am

In many cases, your surgeon may want you to start doing gentle stretching exercises, such as shoulder rolls or arm circles 2 or 3 days after surgery. Until you have your surgeon's OK, don't do any strenuous exercise such as high-impact aerobics, jogging, swimming, or lifting weights.

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