Life after having an ostomy surgery is not always the same as before. You might be lucky enough to go back to your previous lives and get back to your old hobbies like swimming. In this article, I am going to share with you golden tips that would help you keep swimming with your stoma. Let’s get into it.
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- Purchase Ostomy Accessories
To make your swimming very comfortable, it is very vital to buy important accessories like Stoma Dome protection, pouches, wafers, stoma caps, deodorants, and belts. To have a good swim, it is better to make sure they are made with flexible and water-resistant materials to make sure water does not get into your stoma. Accessories from ConvaTec, Hollister, and Coloplast are usually water-resistant.
Note: A filter cover can also be used to prevent water from entering the bag
- Check With Your Doctor
It is important to always check with your doctor whether you can swim or not depending on your medical condition. Living with a stoma requires dietary needs and exercises just like any other human. But it is important to check with your doctor before taking long strokes in the pool.
- Make Sure Your Pouch Is Sealed
Always check that your seal is secured. Be rest assured that it is very unlikely for your pouch to loosen in the water. But to be sure, you can sit in a bathtub to test and make sure that the seal is tight and leak-free.
- Empty Your Pouch
Before going into the water for a swim, always remember to empty your pouch. This way, you know you do not have to worry about emptying your bag again which gives you plenty of time in the water.
- Get The Right Swimsuit
Find a swimsuit you look great and are comfortable in based on the position of your stoma. For women, beach wraps can be used under the swimsuit. Some men can go for swimming shorts with a higher waistband. There are also swimsuits made special for people with a stoma.
- Swim In Clean Water
You should always swim in clean water. Stay clear of water that looks very suspicious or dirty. You should also stay away from saltwater but if you find yourself in saltwater, always have a clean bath after to wash away the salt and dirt. This is to make sure your stoma stays clean and uninfected.
- Use a Stoma Cap
Rather than wear your bag while in the water, you can just use a stoma cap. This is an alternative to the standard pouch with no storage capacity. Therefore, it is intended to be used for only a short period. It offers a more discreet appearance compared to pouches.
- Safe From Discrimination
If you have a stoma, you have every right the same as people who do not have to swim in a pool whether public or private. The best approach is to calmly educate them. No one except maybe the pool personnel should know about your stoma. The ADA act protects the right to pool access.
- Be Confident
Having an ostomy surgery is nothing to be ashamed of or worried about. Therefore, changing in front of other people in the changing area should not be a concern. You can wear a longer shirt or just drape a towel over your shoulder to keep your stoma from eyesight. You can also change from home and wear your clothes over your swimsuit.
- Extra Supplies
Extra stoma supplies will also help so you can change your pouch when you finish swimming or in case you are in a place where supplies may not be available.
The thought of plunging yourself into the water with a stoma can be scary and nerve-racking. Note that if you are healed after your surgery, swimming should not be a problem.
Author Bio: Written by Meghan Hale, a content writer, and editing machine. She is working with Pearl Lemon Leads. You’ll find me yelling at my dog to stop barking, whether it be at the neighbors or on a long afternoon walk