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Ostomy Tips

Past Member
Posted by Past Member, on Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:22 pm
I haven't seen any threads titled Tips, so I'm starting my own! I have a few tips that can make daily life with an ostomy a bit easier. If you have any, then post them. I'd really like to keep this thread strictly for tips so newcomers can find the information they need.

1. Carry and extra tailpiece clip with you at all times. This is in case you drop one while you're in the bathroom or if the hinge breaks. This hasn't happened to me yet, but I'm prepared!

2. Buy a box of Wet Naps and carry one or two with you when you go out or to work. These are handy for anything from cleaning a toilet seat, the appliance tailpiece/clip or your hands if anything should get out of control. I use them to clean the tailpiece clip on my appliance during the day at work.

3. Carry loose change in your pocket. The noise the change makes will disguise the noise the ostomy appliance makes when you walk in a quiet area! People will hear the change and not the plastic bag.

4. Use a curved tailpiece clip if you are active. They stay close to the leg and don't get in the way. I've pulled two clips off of my appliance while working, without knowing. Eeek. Both were straight clips. Since I've gone to the curved ones I haven't had any issues and with being a mechanic and going to the gym regularly, that is an accomplishment!

Let's hear any tips you may have. This is a great community and I'm sure there are little things we all do that we take for granted that someone else may say "hey, that's a great idea"!

Past Member
Reply by Past Member, on Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:16 am
excellent idea paul.
Past Member
Reply by Past Member, on Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:23 am
i am going to bump this back to the top. heres a tip i picked up on this site...drop a tic tac in the pouch for odor control{sorry cant remember who posted it}. surely there must be other`s with tips..dont be shy.  
Reply by PsychoJane, on Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:02 pm
Oh! Tic tac, first time I hear about that one, I personnaly did listerine sheets or Mouthwash. Its cheaper than the odor control drops.
Past Member
Reply by Past Member, on Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:55 pm
Another thing I've done is to cut the bottom seven inches off of a t-shirt and hem the unfinished edge. Buy some Velcro and stitch each piece onto the shirt. Now you can wear it around your waist like a cumberbun with your appliance tucked underneath it. The Velcro should be located far enough apart to have to pull the cumberbun tight. Now you can get intimate with your significant other and have your appliance tucked away!

I know what you're thinking. A big tatooed guy who knows about sewing???? Necessity IS the mother of invention (and learning to sew a bit) Wink
Reply by MrBillYTO, on Sat Apr 25, 2009 6:05 pm
Hi Paul,
That's a great tip about the t-shirt.  I bought a similar product for about 30 bucks and while the concept was great, their quality wasn't.  Aside from their crappy sewing, the velrco is not exactly the softest thing and the edges of the velcro are quite sharp.
The product does work but personally, I would prefer something else to hold the ends together rather than this particular piece of velcro!  Suggestions anyone?
Thanks as well for starting the thread.  
Reply by budd002, on Sat Apr 25, 2009 6:27 pm
I once read somplace if you put a couple squares of toilet paper ontop of the water in the toilet before you empty you don't get the "splash back". It actually works.

I also carry with me in my purse:

Those small Glade room sparys if needed. Roll of Medical Tape in case a minor blow out happens and an emergency reapir job is needed.
Reply by MrBillYTO, on Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:25 pm
Hi Budd002,
Those are great tips too.  The TP or kleenex definitely works very well on top of the water.  I use that one all the time.  

Another tip is, I carry a spare pouch, plastic bag, pre-cut flange, kleenex in a small cloth bag with me ALL the time (I call my carry-on).  Since I don't carry a purse and this all lies quite flat, it just goes in the back pocket of my jeans or jacket pocket.  It has saved me on more than one occassion...especially the pouch change.  I just make sure if I (luckily) haven't had to use the "carry-on" items in the several months that I swap them out for new ones.  Don't want to take a chance on them not functioning when I need them to.

Wish I could carry the Glade airfreshner too though...just can't get into my back pocket!!!

Past Member
Reply by Past Member, on Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:31 pm
budd002 wrote:
I once read somplace if you put a couple squares of toilet paper ontop of the water in the toilet before you empty you don't get the "splash back". It actually works.

I also carry with me in my purse:

Those small Glade room sparys if needed. Roll of Medical Tape in case a minor blow out happens and an emergency reapir job is needed.

That's a great idea. Another reason for laying toilet paper in the bowl first is that if you eat greasy foods, they tend to stick to the bowl. Laying the paper down stops that.

MrBill, I would suggest using another type of fastener if the Velcro doesn't work for you. Maybe a set of hooks, or even bra hooks. Please forgive me ladies Wink
Reply by bamatex, on Sun Apr 26, 2009 1:28 pm
For intimate times I bought a back support belt, without the shoulder straps. I apply my pouch sideways so it's horizontal to the floor & hanging to my side rather than toward the center of my body, then put the support belt over it. It holds the pouch tightly & securely. Plus practically eliminates the possibility of the pouch becoming dislodged from the wafer, which is an instant mood killer.
Reply by EaseW, on Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:33 pm

Great tips, much appreciated.  Just found this site, so wanted to post some of my own tips, and ask some questions (I have an ileostomy, since '94, I'm now 3Cool:

-As mentioned by others, the odor eliminator drops are life savers! Several foods (fish in particular), cause me much embarrassment when time to empty pouch!  These drops are life savers. Hint: what I do is buy a small Visine eye dropper and use the drops, or simply empty it, and refill it with the deodorant drops (squeeze dropper and hold upside down in some of the liquid; after filling put top on and you have a discreet amount of the liquid that will generally last all day.

-Intimacy: probably not the very best of ideas, but it works for me...  I ALWAYS wear an ostomy belt, because I am fairly active, and don't want ANY chances of an accident that could otherwise be avoided!  I simply fold the pouch upward, and tuck the tail clip in under the belt (belt has to be fairly snug).  This keeps it out of the way.

-Concealment/Intimacy: I use some of the pinkish tape (HiTape??? Sorry, don't remember name off the top of my head: best stuff ever though, NOTHING will make it lose its "stick") to "fold backwards" the top of my pouch and tape to the back of my "floating flange".  This changes the appearance from a somewhat high "arch" shape that would come up to my bellybutton, to a straight line that is much more easily concealed under my boxers.  Part 2:  I have found that during intimacy, sometimes my partner's motions put a lot of pressure on the point where the puch connects to it's own plastic "connector" that attaches to the wafer's plastic "receiver".  I have done nearly the exact same thing as just described, taping from the bottom of the floating flange up onto the actual pouch, which provides the structural integrety to ensure the ripping away of pouch from plastic does not occur.  Some others have described a cloth wrap to secure this, which seems like a good idea, but with my method I always feel ready on the spur of the moment.

-Does anyone have good input on travel?  I have travelled several times, including to third world contries (on resorts though), and am always a little nervous about "what might happen".  Will I be prepared, etc.  ANY advice in this area would be helpful.  I know the general rule (take 2-3 times as many supplies as you think you might need).  Example: I was on a bus on a tour in another country...and there was no toilet, and the only way to use the bathroom was litterally, to get off...and find a way back to were the bus started.  It worked out OK...but that was a nervous time!  I try to eat sensibly (small amounts before excursions, etc)...but that is not always a guarantee.  Sometimes NOT eating produces more "liquid", etc.

-Heat is a killer for me.  So is water.  When my wife and I travel, we generally go to hot places, with the ocean nearby.  I love it, but my wafer/pouch don't.  Any easy, not too cumbersome ways to address?

-One other question: I wear briefs (to keep pouch in place) AND boxers (to hide pouch).  Probably overkill, but I used to work out a lot, and had to change in gym with others just habit I guess.  I have been looking for a GOOD pair of undergarments that look OK, and most importantly hold the pouch in place!  I don't like the feel of it against my leg (seems movement prohibitive), and therefore haven't found anything that will keep it "centered", but also comfortable.  Anyone found such a thing?

Thanks all.  Glad to have some folks I can get some advice from!
Reply by PsychoJane, on Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:02 pm
Ok this might sound odd at first glance but well, it saved my life numerous time.
I travelled cuba on a bike for 2 months and needless to say, they dont have the greatest access to stoma supplies.... actually... I havent found any when I was out there (didnt really search for it either). I have been kinda crazy to go there with what I brought, I could have been in trouble but I really had to bring the minimal amount of supplies considering you dont carry much when you bike 100km a day. What did save my life and I still use that as an alternative whenever im in trouble is actually Duck tape. That thing can be so wonderful. Ok its nothing too fancy but it works amazingly. So I consider it to be a life saver when you are traveling light. It stuck and stays but... it is still hard on the skin so its an extrem solution.  Considering I was always sweating from the island humidity and the 6 hours of bike a day... it was very welcome to save my flange and have them lasting a few extra day.

For the bus trips, well... I usually dont eat when the trip is short or otherwise I take like a boost/ensure or what ever else like that that has no fiber and a few soda crackers keeps me from having the liquid issue. Other than that... I havent found out any amazing solution yet... so ill be glad to have extra ideas to try even though its not too big of a problem for me as of now.

I have a random question, just out of curiosity (cause I have the impression most people seem to use the "emptiable" bags rather than the closed ended pouch). I was wondering, doesnt the attach/clip (call it as you wish) bugs you...? I was hating that thing back in the days, maybe it did improve a lot in the past 10 years... I mean... I never tried it back after I started using the closed end one. And I had more ease dealing with those one and intimacy cause I have the impression they are more "quiet" and I can flip and fold them into a little square that stays flat more easily and tuck under what ever lace/waist band I can find.
Ever tried them?

Past Member
Reply by Past Member, on Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:21 pm
I wear briefs (to keep pouch in place) AND boxers (to hide pouch)."

That is a great idea. I don't get changed in the gym because of my appliance. Everyone there knows I have one, but I still don't visually flaunt it.

PJane, I use the curved clip and I don't even know it's there. Sometimes I have to check to make sure it is there! The straight clips were irritating on my leg after I recuperated and became more active. Plus the fact that I've accidentally pulled them off twice. I swear by the curved clip.


On a side note, would it be possible to make this thread a "stickie"?
Reply by EaseW, on Sun Apr 26, 2009 10:32 pm
Thanks all.  

PsychoJane, I only use the emptiable version, and the arched clip.  Never had a problem with it (the clip)...except that it "floats" rarely-sometimes (remember the briefs!) and finds an uncomfortable positon on or between my legs.  Usually pretty easy to discreetly shift it somewhere more comfortable.  Only thing I do is keep an eye on its two main components: the "hinge" where it remains connected (unlikely to wear out...but), and the "snap" where it comes together for a seal.  That part starts to get a little weak after a few weeks, but there's a new one in each pouch bag.  

This is why I am looking for some good undergarments that would hold it away from me slightly, but directly in front (so as not to get in the way of my legs, walking squating, etc).  Actually, I don't know how the other version works...and wondered why people would use them.  Do you have to replace the pouch with each empty?  Or is it a remove, drain, put back on thing?  Any light you can shed on that would be appreciated.

FYI, though I have not done a great deal recently (family life!), I have been in full contact karate, jumped off 40+ foot ledges into the water, climed up through waterfalls in the Dominican Republic (lot of pressure straight on flange), etc., and truly been "living life".  Married twice (unfortunately the first!), all after having the procedure.  There are some times where things don't work out great (be sure to have something spare...even if minimal), but it is rare.  For me, it's been a challenge to prove to myself, that I can overcome and do what anyone else can.

OK, to risk sounding like a nut...I'm a "be prepared kinda-guy"....Anyone out there thought about designing and producing products that are "next gen"?  Stuff that lasts much longer (I get about 4 days out of mine...if I'm not being extreme) for people that run marathons, engage in Mixed Martial Arts, live in very hot, high humidity areas, etc?  Anyone out there thought about the worst case (trust me, my mind doesn't go here too often... Wink..), but a time when war, swine flu, etc., break out and cut us off from needed supplies?  Ever watch "Survivor Man"?  Any plans for how to simpy exist with no products that are purchaseable?

Thanks again.
Reply by PsychoJane, on Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:38 pm
First of all, I am amazed by how much fun things people have been doing...
Seriously, I think that for a lot of us, it gives us some psychological kick to just go and do what ever we feel might be doable. I mean, I don't want to make "generalization" out here, its not everyone but still, from the few conversations I had people live their life with more challenges than people in general it seems. Anyway, I think its awesome!

EaseW, for what it is of the closed pouch one well, I use a 2 pieces system from convatec. It's been like... what now, like 9 years Ive been using that one I believe. Before that I was using the  emptiable bag with the thingy (sorry Im kinda short with english terms haha... the clip) but I switched cause the clip was sometime hurting me and I was kinda feeling ackward when I was in school cause the air was staying trapped in those one and plus they were making more noise than the one I use now( I guess they might have changed that since...) Technically, the bags I use are meant to be thrown away every time you use one I believe, but since I got no insurance for that here, I found out ways to make it cheaper. They arent meant to be emptied, but I mean, its 2 pieces you got the bag and the flange so, you can empty them if you want... I guess its a bit more messy at the begining, maybe, but I dont have any issue doing that now. It goes well for me. I guess its a live and learn activity ^^. So I use the bag couple day depending how it goes. They are quiet and cloth-like covered. Plus there is the little hole that keeps the air out... it can be annoying sometimes though cause it may leak a bit from the filter, that something some people might not like but I personnaly fold  the top of the bag where the filter is and put a piece of cosmetic pad or what ever kleenex works even and it makes me happy.  I guess its probably a matter of preference. But I found out they are more confortable for me. They are shorter so not reaching my thigh (specially at 14 the others were too long for me) and are more discret. You have to check them more often maybe, for me its perfect since Im not a big eater most of the time. I don't know if its helping you any, hopefully it does, but Im guessing its a question of trying. Smile
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