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September 27, 2016

Living Life Fully with Your Ostomy – Part 4: Beneficial Products

In your quest to live life with your ostomy more fully, you are probably wondering which ostomy supplies to use.  Like most products these days, there is no shortage of choices and brands when it comes to ostomy bags and related ostomy care equipment.  In today’s post, I’m going to share some items that I’ve found to be “must haves” over the years.  

A couple of years ago, I went on a trip that helped me to realize which of my ostomy supplies were most definitely “must haves”.  My family had decided to vacation in Phoenix for 5 days, and it wasn’t until we got off the plane and to our hotel that I realized I had left all of my supplies on the bathroom counter at home!

If you read Part 3 of this series, you might remember that I’ve learned to change my flange every four days in order to minimize the likelihood of leakage from my 2-part ostomy bag system.  Knowing this, I spent more than a day trying to hunt down a spare flange to replace the one I had on, which would start to become a lot less reliable the day before we were to leave Phoenix.

Since it was a long weekend, nothing was open.  I considered ordering online, but no suppliers could guarantee that I’d have the new flange within 4 or even 5 days.  Ultimately, I went out of my way to avoid the sun, didn’t enjoy swimming in the pool with my sons, and hoped that my flange would last an extra day to get me back home.  

It was a dicey plane ride home, as I could tell the seal was weakening.  Thankfully, I made it home without any unpleasant surprises.  Note to self: never, ever forget extra ostomy bags (and flange pieces if you have a 2-part system like me) when traveling!  

Whether you’re traveling or not, here are some other ostomy equipment items that might well prove to be “must haves” for you, as they have for me over the years:

  1. Opsite tape – this stuff was recommended by my ET nurse, and it is revolutionary!  At the time, she was horrified to learn that I was using sports tape to create an extra seal on top of the adhesive seal between my flange and the skin around my ostomy.  This clear, 2-inch wide tape doesn’t irritate my skin, and has allowed me to consistently wear my flange piece for twice as long as before.    

  2. WypAlls (Kimberly Clark) – these lint free, dry wipes are great to wash and dry the area around your ostomy after using the remove wipes. These wipes are very big, and I can usually split one into four to use on separate occasions.   

  3. Remove wipes (Smith & Nephew) – these are the wet version of WypAlls, and are even more effective at removing glue buildup from your ostomy area. 

  4. A good quality pair of surgical scissors – when you’re constantly cutting tape and  your flanges to adjust the sizing and fit, long-lasting, stay-sharp scissors make things that much easier.

  5. A permanent black marker – when I change my appliance, I write the date on the pouch. That way, in four days, I know to change my flange and change the pouch every 10-12 days (wear time numbers will vary individually).  

Ultimately, I would recommend that you try out these products and any others that meet your own particular needs. Inner Good has a program with our suppliers which allows you to test their products for free. Contact Inner Good today for more information.  In the end, be sure to find a list of reliable, quality “must have” ostomy supplies.  And please, don’t forget these essentials when you travel!  

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