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Swimming with a stoma

Posted by Snrterry, on Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:08 am
Hi I am trying to contact any one who lives in the UK Blackpool area, to ask them about swimming pools sutable for us with a Stoma.
Past Member
Reply by Past Member, on Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:02 pm
Quite honestly, I swim all the time in a pool and at the beach and never have had trouble with anything loosening up, if that is what you mean. I could never imagine any place having restrictions against one who has an ostomy. Is that so in the UK?
Reply by panther, on Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:08 pm
You can use any pool in the UK, you don't need to ask them, just jump in and have some fun or exercise.

P.S. I forgot to say, if your worried about your bag showing. You can use a stoma cap, it's a very small round bag they only hold up to 50 ml, you can get them in 1 or 2 piece systems.

Last edited by panther on Sun Aug 29, 2010 2:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
Reply by gkjohnson, on Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:31 pm
I'd be interested in hearing more details in regards to your concern. What I can offer is the fact that I regularly swim, surf, waterski, scuda dive, and truly enjoy being in the water! I have never had a problem with my "equipment" but as always if you enjoy spending time in a hot tub be aware that we ostomates dehydrate more quickly than those with the majority of their organs so make sure you keep up with your water intake! - Greg
Reply by Snrterry, on Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:35 am
Thank you & all that replied to my request about swimming, My queerie is about the changing facilities as some in Blackpool UK  dont have separate cubicles and i find it embarrassing to change in full view of other men, i want to find one that has seperate cubicles.
Reply by C Cogan, on Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:04 am
Hello All. Thank you for your input about swimming with a stoma. Since my surgery a year ago I have not tried to swim even although I used to swim four times a week to stay in shape. I have been afraid that the stoma might become irritated from the pool or salt water. CSC
Reply by Miss Scarlet, on Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:26 pm
Hi Snrterry
I go swimmimg twice a week at my local pool near Glasgow. I use the disabled shower as I always change my bags after swimming. It is a private room. I would not like to  have to change my clothes etc in a communal changing room. I think all swimming pools in the UK have a disabled toilet and shower room. As you have a stoma you are entitled to use disabled facilities. I have been challenged a few times for using disabled facilities. Some people think it is only for people in wheel chairs. I always say " I know I do not look disabled but I am " If I am challenged further I tell them I ahve a colostomy and a urostomy and I am disabled.
Enjoy your swim.
Hope this helps.
Reply by boatlady, on Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:27 am
Hi there I go swiming 3 times a week and also do the aquafit (exercise in water) I go to any pool no one knows you have a stoma so don't worry about it just make sure that your bag doesn't leak
Reply by beatrice, on Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:34 pm
You go Maureen! Do you use any seal/tape over your flange? After your swim, do you just change the bag or the whole appliance.

I'm not happy with my trys at getting back into swimming (appliance starts to peel away - adhesive melt on my 2-piece appliance) and looking for any ideas.

Many thanks.
Reply by sherl1, on Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:38 pm
hi snrterry, l try and go swimming in my local pool most weeks. know what you mean about changing in one big room , the only way around it is you try and turn away just for a few mins while you pull up your undies . if you can use the disabled toilet go for it , l am lucky we have abrand new pool with seperate cubicles and not a curtain like it use to be but adoor of course .  you could wear a belt in the pool if you want ,just don't dive in much without
checking it does not ride up into every bodies sight .   with having my urostomy  all my life l know no different , just make sure your shorts are not loose on you and use the   tie cord to make sure they are secure .  good luck with your swim .  its get better with practice in the changing rooms .   mike .
Reply by Miss Scarlet, on Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:49 pm
beatrice wrote:
You go Maureen! Do you use any seal/tape over your flange? After your swim, do you just change the bag or the whole appliance.

I'm not happy with my trys at getting back into swimming (appliance starts to peel away - adhesive melt on my 2-piece appliance) and looking for any ideas.

Many thanks.

Hi Beatrice
I have both a colostomy and an urostomy. I wear a one piece Coloplast sensura bag for my colostomy. And my urostomy bag is also Coloplast. I just take the bags off after swimming and put new ones on. They are still securely fixed on when I change them. The water does not loosen them. I do not have a shower ( just a bath ) at home so I just love to take my bags off and stand under the shower after a swim and be bag free for a few minutes. Great.
I find Coloplast Sensura bags stick on well and also come off without too much trouble as well.
Reply by Lobster, on Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:44 am
I go swimming and they don't have private cubicles however, i go to a hotel that has a pool and so very people there and quite often it is just me and a couple of others and sometimes just me. it is £8 a time though.
Afterwards when i have t dress again i just turn my back on anyone in there and quickly get my pants and t-shirt on. if the changing room is busy i just sit down and wait until they have gone.
The other thing to take in to account is the other people - do they care? probably not. Secondly, it's not like you are going to see them again and if you do see them regulary they will just know you are the person with the 'whatever' and then they will turn away and swim another length.
Reply by beatrice, on Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:14 pm
Totally agree with the 'do they really care' attitude.

I think we should try to be as private as possible if that makes us feel better ... after that, who cares who sees what.
Reply by Immarsh, on Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:01 am

I've always had the same concern, and would put myself in a bathroom stall to change.  Now that I use a gym regularly, I've learned to change "creatively".  I always bring a long t-shirt.   As a female, I pull down the top of my suit, put on the bra ( an issue you don't have to be concerned with) and then pull on the t-shirt.   I often have the towel wrapped around my from there, it's easy to pull down the bottom part of the suit...leaving the towell in place.  I dry off with the towel inplace.....put on the underwear, pull down the t-shirt and "poof" remove the towel.  I learned all this from growing up on the public beaches in Brooklyn.  That's the way the kids were changed from wet suits to dry suits/ or clothes...
It really does work, and I do it unobtrusively.....calmly and descretely.  I can't believe that it's taken me more than 40 years to get comfortable doing this.  It really does work, and I've found that nobody really looks.
Reply by Immarsh, on Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:15 am

I have gone swimming "around the world"....  I grew up swimming in the ocean in Brooklyn ny ( after ostomy surgery), Have swam of the coast of NJ, in Md, in Fla,  West coast, Mexico & the mediteranian.  I have never considered not swimming, and give no thought to the pool or ocean water irritating or hurting the stoma.  It's made of the same material as the inside of the mouth!  I did have a problem when I floated in the dead sea.  Unknown to me, the boyancy of the water ( 5x the salt content of the regular ocean) pulled off my faceplate, and when I peeled off my bathingsuit in a dressing room without running water or a shower, I was facing a filthy mess.   How did I solve it?  I asked a friend to bring me wads of paper and a plastic bag.  I cleaned myself off, stuffed everything dirty into the plastic bag, plastered more toilet tissue over the ostomy....pulled on undies and went to the showers.  Washed me and my dirty clothes off....and then taped my rinsed of pouch back on.  ( No, it didn't stick).  Thank goodness, that was the last stop of the day...and we headed back to the hotel.  that made me realize that when I swim anywhere, take an extra pouch and faceplate as well as tape with me.  I don't always do that.  Sigh....  I guess I like to live dangerously.  

BTW.....I NEVER change my pouch to a clean one after swimming..   I wipe my body dry of the water, and so I wipe the pouch dry also.  It's just an extension of my body, and doesn't need to be changed.  However, I'm not always so lucky with tape.  But I found "scanpoor" which is like a second skin.  My faceplate & pouch stay put for a week, and the tape stays there also.  Considering that I take 6-7 showers a week, the tape dries perfectly.  It doesn't always hold up in a hot tub howerver., so I may have to change the tape if I want to soak.  

Best advice I can give anyone, is to try different things and find what works for you.
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