Travelling Adventure Canada to Morocco, Here’s your Ostomy Supply Tips
It’s the time of the year again when Canadians are looking to travel to warmer destinations. I was recently able to do just that and enjoy some sunshine and warmer temperatures in Morocco. Situated in Northern Africa, Morocco has plenty to offer from the Sahara desert in the south, mountains, trees and even seasonal snow skiing in the North and beach resorts to the west. With so much to see and do, the last thing that one wants to do is worry about their
Travel as an Ostomate: Plan for the Worst-case scenario
When I pack my Ostomy supplies for an international trip I always plan for the worst-case scenario. This means having far more supplies than I could ever need, particularly flanges. Flanges are the one item that try as you might you can’t really stretch the expiry date on – when they wear out, they are finished. Pouches on the other hand (if you use a two-piece system) can continue to be used for weeks on end in a pinch. When deciding on how much product to bring, I look at the location, the temperatures and what physical activities I might be doing.
The more heat and more sweat the trip will have, the more flanges I pack due to their tendency to break down quicker with heat and moisture. My rule of thumb is to pack twice the materials of what I usually would wear at home.
International travel can also bring on unique and sometimes unpleasant toilet experiences. While many may grimace at the prospect of using a squat toilet or a less than clean road side pit toilet, this is where Ostomates can shine! We have the ability to use virtually any toilet or lack there of and be generally good with it. My only suggestion is to carry toilet paper with you in case your travels lead you to areas that lack toilet paper or worse simply have a bucket of water beside a squat toilet.
Exciting travel can also bring on exciting and not so exciting food experiences. While diarrhea is never great, having it with an Ostomy can be significantly better than our counterparts with colons intact. While emptying bags frequently can be a real bother, it is a whole lot better than physically needing to run to the toilet with urgency. When diarrhea calls I reach for ConvaTec Diamonds. You place a packet or two in the ostomy bag, and it turns liquid stool into a thicker jelly allowing easier draining and less flange damage from the liquids in the bag.
Treat Your Ostomy Supplies With Great Care
Next, I treat my ostomy supplies like my passport. They go in my carry-on luggage and stay in a safe spot in my hotel room. This way I have access to them while in transit and heaven forbid they lose my luggage my trip can continue on. Keep in mind that many airlines will not allow scissors in the hand luggage, so I typically cut flanges at home and toss the scissors in the checked bag.
Travelling around the globe can also bring on many airports and security checks. On our trip to Morocco, the guards were patting down all passengers for our flight and he quickly found my ostomy bag. While he was sympathetic to the situation, he also was upset I didn’t warn him in advance that I had one. While each security situation is different, I don’t often feel the need to “out” myself to every security agent, but I will say the ones that know I have a bag, quickly usher me through! – the security check is over.
With some basic planning and the right mindset, Ostomates young and old can travel the globe comfortably and without the fear of having to using the sub par toilet that our travel companions might have. Happy travels!