My Auntie is an occupational therapist and I went to her for some help, she told me about the 7 11 breathing technique. It’s really simple and can be carried out anywhere at all, breath in for 7 seconds and breath out for 11 seconds, that I found really helped with the urgency thing, as long as you do it as soon as you feel you are needing to go. I only asked her about this a few weeks before this operation but I really found it too help and they have proven that this does work to slow down your heart rate and it calms you down very quickly.
I’ve heard that whilst you are having your bag changed, to stop the stoma being active it you wrap it in a cold paper towel this stops the activity whilst the stoma is being cleaned. I have only heard that today, I will try it and update my blog to let you know if it works.
Also to eat 2-3 large marshmallows before the bag is changed helps stop the stoma been active for up to 30 minutes.
The stoma changes in size so it is important for the first few weeks to measure it, mine started of at size 30 but then went down to 30 across 25 and now today it is 20 / 25. We did get told in the hospital it would change size some get bigger and some get smaller that’s just the way it goes.
warm the stoma bag up, it does adapt to your body heat but this just makes it a little bit easier. Warm it under your arm for a few minutes or under a pillow or something but it does help to stick faster.
When cutting the bag if it is still not the correct shape, give it a gentle tug that will soon get it into shape. (with gloves of course)
I cannot get used to the smell, it makes me feel sick so olbasol is a good one to put on a tissue whilst emptying your bag or vix under your nose.
I have found so far, is to change your bag on a morning before you have eaten and drunk anything, that way the stoma wont be active and it will take minimum time to put on. If you change your bag straight after you have eaten, that I have found is a good time, because the food is not yet digested it will take sometime to pass through into your stoma bag.
Cavalon is a really helpful spray for the skin round the stoma, it is not uncommon for the skin to become quite red and sore due to it been cleaned daily or every other day depending on your preference. I was quite worried about the bag been changed in case it hurt taking the bag off, but you get this off with a non sting adhesive remover and it doesnt hurt at all.
You will probably get told this by your stoma nurse but in case you don’t. Your motion needs to be of a porridge consistency, which it may not be in the first few days if you are drinking more than you are eating. I was advised to take some imodium to thicken up the motion which within a day you could tell the difference. You can take up to 8 tablets within 24 hours, I have only needed to take 4 a day and it works well. If the motion doesn’t thicken up with the imodium, nothing to worry about, there is some more tablets you can take that your stoma nurse can tell you about.
Peppermint tea / water is really good for trapped wind and being bloated, because if you are unfortunate enough to get trapped wind afterwards, like me that I found was a good one.
Ask your stoma nurse to explain what laperimide does and how it works and why it needs to be taken when it does. This will make you understand it better and use it properly.