As you start thinking about planning a holiday, you would do well to consider some quite practical things beforehand – especially if you're going somewhere warm.
A short guide to ostomy swimwear
The best piece of advice is to try before you buy. Some people find that regular swimwear fits their needs perfectly, whereas other people prefer to buy specialist swimwear designed for people with a stoma. Just go with what you feel most comfortable with.
Women might want to look at a one-piece swimming costume with detailing or patterns across the stomach area to cover up the pouch.
Men can try wearing lycra-type swimming trunks underneath a looser pair of shorts to help hold your pouch in place.
Going somewhere warm?
Remember to apply sunscreen after you put on your pouch. The lotion could affect the adhesive and make it harder to stick. If the climate is warm enough to make you perspire more than usual, you may need to change your pouch more frequently.
Make sure your skin is completely dry before you apply a new pouch, for good adhesion. It can be a bit tricky if the weather is very hot and humid.
With warmth comes a higher risk of dehydration and diarrhoea, but with some preparation you needn't worry. Make sure to drink plenty of water and bring medicine for diarrhoea with you, just in case.
Drink bottled water instead of tap water - and perhaps avoid ice cubes as they're usually made from tap water.
How about pouch disposal?
It's usually a good idea to bring disposable bags with you when you go out. This way, if you're having trouble locating a suitable disposal bin at the spot where you change the pouch, you can use the disposable bag until you find a public disposal bin.
The 6 holiday hints:
- ALWAYS store your pouches in a cool place.
- Drink bottled water – and plenty of it.
- Use bottled drinking water to clean the area around the stoma when changing your pouch.
- Put your pouch on before you put any sunscreen on.
- Seal and empty used pouches and dispose of them with the normal rubbish.
- If you feel self-conscious about leaving pouches in your hotel room, use public bins.