Most people aren’t familiar with life after ostomy surgery, which can be a daunting prospect. Adjusting to life with an ostomy pouch can seem overwhelming and it is important to understand the changes you may experience and how to manage them to have a successful adjustment. Some people experience physical and emotional changes after the surgery and it’s important to be aware of them to cope with them. Here are six tips to help you adjust to life with an ostomy pouch.
1. Always Have The Necessary Medical Equipment
Medical equipment is essential for adjusting to life with an ostomy pouch. Make sure you have enough pouches, wafers, adhesive removers, and any other supplies that you need. Speak to your doctor or nurse about what is best suited for you, as not all products are the same and may react differently with different people. An ostomy c can also be a great way to make sure that your supplies stay organized and accessible. If you are having difficulty obtaining supplies, there are plenty of resources that may be able to help. Make sure to consider all options and be prepared to ask for help.
2. Be Mindful of Your Diet
It’s important to pay close attention to your diet after ostomy surgery, as certain foods can cause irritation or blockage in the stoma. Speak to your doctor or a nutritionist about what food is best suited for you. You may need to adjust your diet accordingly, such as avoiding foods high in fiber or fat. Eating smaller meals more frequently will also help reduce potential complications associated with digestion. You will also be more likely to absorb essential nutrients and calories as a result. Additionally, it’s important to stay hydrated since dehydration can contribute to bowel obstruction or problems in the stoma. It’s recommended that you drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.
3. Exercise Regularly
It’s important to get regular exercise post-surgery and talk to your doctor about what activities are appropriate for you. Gentle exercise such as walking, swimming, or cycling is generally encouraged but check with your doctor before starting an exercise regimen. Exercising regularly can help keep your bowels moving regularly and reduce constipation which is common after surgery. Exercise can also increase energy levels, build muscle strength and improve mood. Look at it this way, the more you exercise, the faster your recovery will be. Make sure to take breaks and don’t overdo it. If you experience any pain or discomfort during exercise, stop immediately and talk with your doctor about the best way to manage it.
4. Get Plenty of Rest
Getting enough rest is essential for anyone recovering from surgery. Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night if possible. When resting, be sure to lie on your side or back instead of on your stomach as that can put pressure on the incision area or cause irritation in some cases. It’s also important to avoid sitting too long in one spot – getting up and moving around every few hours helps promote blood flow and reduces swelling around the surgery site.
5. Find Support and Resources
Adjusting to life with an ostomy pouch can be difficult, which is why it’s important to find support during this time. Many online support groups can provide you with a safe space to discuss your feelings and experiences with others who understand what you’re going through. Additionally, there are plenty of resources available such as books, pamphlets, and websites dedicated to helping people adjust to life with an ostomy pouch. Take advantage of these resources and don’t hesitate to ask for help when needed
6. Be Patient With Yourself
It’s important to remember that recovering from surgery takes time and it is normal for some days to be better than others. Take it one day at a time and don’t be too hard on yourself if you aren’t feeling up to par. Celebrate the small victories and take breaks when necessary. Over time, your body will adjust and you will find ways to cope with the changes that come with living life with an ostomy pouch. Having patience with yourself is key to making a successful recovery.
It may take time to adjust to life with an ostomy pouch, however, having the right resources and support can make a big difference. Speak to your doctor or a nutritionist about what food is best suited for you and keep up with regular exercise and plenty of rest. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed, and remember to have patience with yourself during recovery. With the right lifestyle adjustments, you can make a successful transition into living with an ostomy pouch.