Physical Activities After Ostomy Surgery: Roller Coasters & Weightlifting?

Replies
47
Views
11416
Rider1000rr

Can you ride roller coasters and lift weights after ostomy surgery?

Rider1000rr

Is it okay to bowl with a 16 lb ball?

Gray Logo for MeetAnOstoMate

Why Join MeetAnOstoMate?

First off, this is a pretty cool site with 33,420 members. Get inside and you will see.

It's not all about ostomy. Everything is being discussed.

Many come here for advice or to give advice 🗣, others have found good friends 🤗, and there are also those who have found love 💓. Most of all, people are honest and truly care.

Privacy is very important - the website has many features that are only visible to members.

Create an account and you will be amazed.

NJ Bain

Rider1000rr,

I would say it depends on how long ago you had/will have surgery. Your doctor will give you weight and lifting restrictions immediately after surgery to prevent hernias. After you heal and slowly build up your strength, you should be able to do all the activities you asked about.

I've had an ileostomy for almost 22 years now and I bowl with a 14lb ball, can deadlift 200lbs, and of course, have ridden many rollercoasters since then. But it took time. The first 2 months after surgery, I took it easy and slowly worked up to getting stronger and being able to lift heavier items. After about 6 months, I was doing pretty much everything I used to do normally, and at the time, I worked for retail, and it required lifting of at least 50lbs. But I did it safely.

But everyone's experience will be unique. I'm sure other ostomates will chime in with their own experiences.

Bain

Rider1000rr

Bain, thanks for your answer. I am averaging 213 this year. I am looking to take a year off from bowling. Is it reasonable to expect to bowl as well after surgery?

NJ Bain

Rider1000rr,

You're very welcome and absolutely reasonable. I honestly don't think you'll have to take a year off. Like I said, build up to it. Don't overexert yourself. It will come back to you like water off a duck's back. I don't let anything stop me. You can see I ride a Yamaha R-1 and currently I run 3 miles a day. I don't like being told I can't do something. You will endure. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Bain

 
Getting Support in the Ostomy Community with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Rider1000rr

I have a 1000RR and a 929RR. I haven't ridden in a while.

NJ Bain

Rider1000rr,

I'm guessing Honda's? Nice bikes. How come you haven't ridden in a while? Have you had your surgery yet or is it pending? And what type of ostomy do you/will you have?

Before my surgery, I would ride as often as I could. Most of the time it took my mind off of having to run to the bathroom every time I turned around because as you know, you have to be more aware of your surroundings than the average driver. That, and the adrenaline rush that comes with riding a sport bike. I had my surgery in October so I wouldn't miss riding but by the time spring came around, I was right back at it.

I recently picked up a GoPro and plan to do some motovlogging and some instructional videos about changing/draining my bag. I'll post a link as soon as I start. I'll send you an email through the site here in case you have more questions.

Bain

NYBLUEYE

Rider,
The most important thing to do is to let yourself heal!! And I mean fully heal!! After that, you can do pretty much anything you want. I can tell you I have had many surgeries, and I could still feel discomfort almost up to a year when trying to overdo it or when I sat up. Also, while you are healing, it helps to wear some type of elastic waistband around your stomach. "Kind of like a large Ace bandage." Not only does that help the stability, it will help keep a low profile. Also, coughing and sneezing!!! "Hold your stomach during." Those will hurt you worse than anything!!
I ride my bike all the time, "I even raced motocross for a while after." I still lift pretty heavy but not like I did. I've blown my stomach open twice now on the bench press, but that was up near 300 pounds, so normal lifting after you heal should be fine. Wear a belt and breathe well. I too still bowl with a 16lb ball and crank it quite a bit, but that will be easy for you after you heal. FYI, many pros have switched to 14 and 15 lb balls anyway. Less splits and better pin action!! Things like roller coasters are not even an issue. You won't even know you have it on. I am on coasters as much as I can!! :-)
Hope this helps!

Rider1000rr

Hi NJ Bain. I am a Honda guy. I have had some close calls on my bikes. The risk does not outweigh the reward. I guess I am getting old now. I used to not think about it. I get in my Si Civic now when I get that rush. I am thinking about putting a tag on my Z06. No, I have not had my surgery yet. I have heard so many horror stories about getting an ileostomy. I am not mentally prepared. I was feeling like my life is over. I am just getting ready to turn 50. A friend of mine who is a nurse suggested I get in a support group. She thinks it will help me mentally.

Rider1000rr

Hi NYBLUEYE, nice bike. Thanks for the tips. I have several new 15 lb bowling balls. Mentally, how long did it take you to accept the change with your body?

Rider1000rr

My biggest fear is getting on a coaster and the bag or appliance coming loose. I rode Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion in 2015 with my son. I have a need for speed. I like anything that is fast and turns you upside down.

NJ Bain

Rider1000rr,

That would actually be kind of funny....lol.... But highly unlikely. It takes a lot to get the bag to come off. Just make sure it's empty before you do anything like that. Depending on if you go with a 1-piece drainable bag or a 2-piece, the wafer that adheres to your skin is heat activated. And it has tape that goes around the flange to anchor it down. Or you could go like NYBLUEYE says and use an ace bandage.

I always thought if I were mugged or held up, I'd somehow find a way to open the bag and blind my assailant with the contents since it's still pretty acidic....lol

There are several videos on YouTube about changing and draining bags. You can always contact the manufacturers that make the bags and get some free samples so you can put one on to see how strong the seal is.

And 50 is the new 40. The other thing I would suggest is to be confident. Don't let the bag define you. Own it. It will be a part of you. Oh, and stay hydrated.

Bain

Rider1000rr

Bain. Have you ever had a leak? I heard that it burns the skin. On average, how many times do you empty your appliance daily? How did you become so confident with the situation? I am normally a very confident person. I have been thinking about not having the surgery and enjoying what little life I have left. Without surgery, I may live 2 to 3 more years.

Rider1000rr

NY BLUEYE, are you talking about a weightlifting belt or a hernia belt?

NYBLUEYE

Thanks. That's my new CBR 650. I love it. Super fast but not crazy like the 1000. Getting too old for that ;:)

I can tell you that after surgery you will feel so much better that you will accept it quickly. It's understandable to overthink it now. I think we all did. Your pouch will not come off. Like Bain said that's a 1 in a million situation. Your clothes hold all that in and the flange is strong. You can always get a sample now and wear it. I did that for a week before surgery. You will know exactly what it feels like beforehand.

The belt I wear is just a thin 6" wide elastic waistband like a skin tone maternity belt. It's good for privacy too. Same material as an ace bandage but 1 piece. Just put it on like a shirt.

NJ Bain


Rider1000rr,

I've had a few leaks, mostly in the first year. The first time, I was working retail. With a drainable pouch, there is a clip that keeps the drainable part closed. The new pouches even have velcro enclosures. Anyways, I had a clip keeping it closed and the clip failed. It was a small mess but I went home, showered, and put on not one but 2 new clips. Each box of the pouches I buy comes with a clip.

The second time I had a leak, I had drank too much beer and didn't empty the pouch before I went to sleep. Needless to say, the gas from the beer made the pouch swell to the size of a football and I hadn't changed it in a few days. Because the seal was weak from not changing it, the waste found its way out to one side of the wafer and ended up as a big pile of shit on my bed.

The last time I had a very slight leak was from a problem when the pouch was manufactured. The weld between the pouch and wafer was weak and allowed some waste to seep through. Not a bad mess but enough to make me change it. I contacted the manufacturer and they sent me several free supplies.

Since the waste doesn't travel through the large intestine anymore, it's more acidic. It's kind of like battery acid. If you leave it on the skin too long, yes, it can cause a burn. But if you clean it off your skin soon after exposure, there is no burning. Sometimes the skin around the stoma can get irritated but that's only if you cut the hole for the stoma to go through is too big. I also use skin prep wipes to shield the skin so burns like that don't happen if exposed to waste.

I drain my pouch anywhere from 3-6 times a day, usually when it's about 1/3 to 1/2 full and I change my pouch every 3-4 days. I shower with the bag on and dry it with a hair dryer. It cracks me up when my landlady wonders why a bald guy is using a hairdryer....lol

I was always confident even before the surgery. Borderline cocky. But I was constantly in pain. After the surgery, I didn't have to run to the bathroom every hour on the hour, I wasn't in pain and I didn't have to take 5 different types of medication 3 times a day. It was incredible!! I could go out and not worry about shitting my pants in public. I was once again in control of my body. The surgery gave me a new lease on life and I also acquired an IDGAF attitude. In my previous posts, I described how my dating life went. Basically, if I got to know a woman well enough and it was going in an intimate direction, I would casually explain how I got the ostomy jokingly of course. I would say I have Crohn's Disease, had to have this surgery when I was 23 and I don't shit like everyone else. I've NEVER had a woman turn me down for sex because of my ostomy. By the time we got around to having sex, the woman was so turned on, it didn't matter if I had a bag or horns coming out of my head.

I'm concerned that you say you only have 2-3 years left. What condition do you have that only gives you that short amount of time? If you're like most of us that have gone through the surgery, you will be thankful in the end and have a better quality of life. Hang in there man!! We're here for you!!

Bain

Rider1000rr

Diagnosed with colon cancer in February. If I don't have the surgery, that's my time frame. They caught it early enough for me to live longer. But I was adamant about not wanting surgery. After hearing from you and NY BLUEYE, I am reconsidering my thought process. I want to live, not just exist. My first thought was I may as well be dead. I am hearing people living a full and happy life.

NYBLUEYE

Rider, trust us! You'll be fine. I'll be the first to admit I said the same thing. It can feel like life's over, but I can tell you it's not! It becomes a new way to live, that's it, but after you heal, you won't even think about it anymore. You'll look back and know you made the right choice.

NJ Bain

Rider1000rr,

I have to concur with NYBLUEYE. If they can rid you of cancer by taking out your colon, by all means, do it! I was scared at first learning about having an ostomy. Even my girlfriend at the time admitted to me that she didn't know how she would feel about me after the surgery. But after the surgery, nothing changed other than her being a pain in my as.....lol

I had written in another post about my roomies having a stomach bug. They both had the shxts like you wouldn't believe at the same time from something they ate. We had 2 bathrooms at the time but they were on the toilet all day. When one of them came out of the bathroom for a few minutes, he looked at me and said, "Man, it's days like this you should consider yourself lucky." I sat there looking at him with a smile and said, "Yup....feeling really lucky at the moment!"....lol

I do hope you reconsider. I'm sure your loved ones think this would be a nicer world with you in it than without. Take care of yourself and remember, we are always here for you if you have any questions about anything.

Bain

Past Member

I've been on hundreds of rides with my ileostomy - it can absolutely be done! 

In the photo below, I took my tenth ride on "Leviathan" at Canada's Wonderland that day - in addition to going on "Drop Tower" 49 times that same day!! 

NYBLUEYE

We're here for you, brother! After you heal, we'll find a way to all get together and RIDE!!!

Rider1000rr

Thanks Bain and NY BLUEYE, your input has been a great help. I see living with a bag on is not as bad as I thought. Thanks VeganOstomy for your input on riding roller-coasters. All three of you have been a blessing to me. I may get back on my bike in time. Be safe on your bike. People don't pay motorcycles respect. You all have been a blessing to me.

NJ Bain

Rider1000rr,

Amen brother!! And you're very welcome. Very glad we could help your mindset. And I agree with NYBLUEYE. If we can make it happen, we should all get together and ride after you heal. Always safe on the bike and yes, with people playing with their phones instead of driving, it makes us very vulnerable. One of the things I'll be doing on my motovlog. Pull up to people in their car on their phones and just stare at them....lol How unnerving would that be?

Keep us posted when you plan to have the surgery.

Bain

NYBLUEYE

Hahaha yes!! I like to start with a loud "Hey" and scare the shiznit out of them!!

And then tell them to get the fck off the phone and pay attention!! :)

Rider1000rr

Does it work? I will let you guys know when I schedule it. Be safe.

NYBLUEYE

The sooner the better!! Good luck brother!

GraphX12

Hi Rider1000rr,

Glad to see some bike talk here! Got my first bike the day I turned 16 ... 44 years ago. Have had countless bikes ever since. Had a few "crotch rockets" along the way, but found them to be too uncomfortable with my long legs. Went through a lot of Harley's, which brought me to my current bike, a Yamaha Roadstar (Harley's just got too expensive). I just love anything motorcycle!

I had my ileostomy surgery 4 years ago. Was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis 25 years ago and was told shortly thereafter to consider the surgery. Like you, I thought my life would be over. I always said I would rather lose my leg than my colon. Long story short, 20 some odd years later I had to have the surgery to save my life.

Believe me Rider, your life won't be over! There will be an adjustment period but you'll get through it. Your friend's advice about a support group is good advice, but if you're like me with no support group in your area, this forum is the next best thing. A lot of people here with firsthand experience willing to share.

One other thing, it's not uncommon to go through a period of depression following the surgery - any surgery for that matter! - so don't be afraid to tell your doctor. I needed some medication following mine to get over the hump.

Report back, Rider, and let us know your progress. Cancer/a few more years vs. ileostomy? No brainer!

By the way, when I ride roller coasters the only thing I worry about is whether I will pass out! LOL.

bigal1579

The last thing you should think about is your life being over.

I had my surgery 9 years ago at age 60, also an ileostomy due to colon cancer. It truly hasn't kept me from doing anything I want to do. The worries you have are quite normal, but there is no reason the pouch should limit you. I golf, play tennis, lift weights, jog, coach soccer with balls sometimes flying at me (errant shots, not unhappy players, at least I think so). You should expect to live a very normal and fulfilling life, especially since at age 50 you are really pretty young with lots still to do.

Colon cancer is eminently treatable when found early, but it is a cancer that will definitely spread if untreated. It's a pretty simple equation: with surgery you'll have a great life, including all those scary activities on the edge. Without surgery, you are basically screwed. I knew (emphasis on past tense) several people who were not diagnosed until it was too late. They are dead and I think would love to face your option so they could have the surgery and still be here.

Every concern you have is solvable. Go for the surgery. It's not that bad. If you read many posts, you'll find that virtually all of the concerns are people worrying about surgery or just after they had it. Anyone who has lived with their pouch a little while has quickly figured it out and is very happy. I hope you decide to join us people in that group. Don't risk your life to cancer - risk it on the fun high adrenaline stuff you enjoy, and you can only do that if you get the surgery. And don't wait - get it cut out before it spreads.

Rider1000rr

Hello Bigal 1579. How heavy do you lift? Can you do abdominal exercises to strengthen your abs? Thanks for the prior info. It is helpful.

Rider1000rr

Hi graphx12. I have already gone through the depression cycle. I went through that when I got my diagnosis. I have known for 20 years the day of reckoning was coming. I thought I would be better able to handle this at 50. I was wrong. Thanks for the info, it is very helpful.