Living with a stoma
After stoma surgery, you may still be able to live a normal life, making some small changes in your daily routine. Surgery should not stop you from engaging in the activities you desire. Here you can find useful information and advice to help you deal with your concerns.
Most people do not need to change their eating habits in particular. They can consume the same foods and drinks that they used to before the surgery.
If you notice that any food is bothering you, you can stop consuming it for a while. After a while you can put it back into your diet.
Remember that you need to chew your food well, as this procedure facilitates digestion.
Some people with colostomy notice there is an increased amount of gas after consuming food such as cabbage and Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, pulses, spinach, corn, asparagus, onion, peas, egg, chocolate and carbonated drinks. Over time, you will be able to assess which foods cause you more gases or more fluid faeces.
In the case of ileostomy at first, you may be advised by your healthcare professional, who monitors you, to choose soft foods low in fiber and avoid raw fruits and vegetables. Some foods can help form your bowel output, such as apple jam, banana, white bread, rice, peeled potatoes, pasta, etc.
Moreover, in urostomy, certain foods such as asparagus, fish, beets, and spices may cause an unusual smell and color in your urine, but this is not something you have to worry about.
It is necessary to drink 8 – 10 glasses of water a day, to hydrate the body. Prefer water and fruit juices and pay attention to the consumption of alcohol, especially in cases where you are following medication.
New ostomy bags are specially designed offering discretion, as they are not visible under ordinary clothes. For this reason, you can wear the same clothes you wore before the surgery. However, if you wear very tight clothes, then the bag may be noticeable.
Most people who have undergone stoma surgery can keep exercising as they did before. The stoma should not keep you away from exercising. It all depends on how comfortable you feel.
Two types of exercise indicated after the operation are walking and swimming. They help you maintain your energy without burdening your body.
In any case, it is important to increase exercise intensity gradually. If you experience any discomfort contact your doctor.
Give yourself some time to get used to the new condition and then start planning going out in your area. You can go out with friends for dinner at your favorite restaurant or enjoy your drink at a bar. Plan a day away or visit to a friend or relative.
A good piece of advice is to set small achievable targets at the beginning, which you can easily achieve. That will help you a lot.
Remember, you do not need to talk about your stoma if it bothers you or makes you feel weird. It is up to you when and to whom you will talk about this.
Some people need some time to get used to the thought of having a stoma. The idea of just wearing a bag can be unpleasant and make you feel less attractive.
You may feel embarrassed at first. Take your time and talk to your partner about your sex life. When you accept your stoma, you will be able to enjoy the same sex life you had before the operation.
You can choose beautiful underwear covering the ostomy bag which will help you feel beautiful again in your personal moments.