Today’s post is a video blog. I decided it might be interesting to show you how I change my ostomy bag. What better way than through a video? Whilst I could explain the process in words, unless you actually see it, it is probably difficult to get your head around!
This might sound a bit strange, and I’m sure it is not everybody’s cup of tea. So please, if you are grossed out easily or prone to be a bit squeamish, then this may not be for you. IE. DO NOT WATCH!
Why would I want to show you, for all intents and purposes, how I wash and clean my bottom? This is something that I wouldn’t have even dreamed of videoing before I had surgery under normal circumstances. Effectively, I guess I am displaying my bum (aka stoma) for all to see (if they wish!). Ostomates just do things a bit differently!
There are a number of reasons I have chosen to do this:
- For other Ostomates: Having an ostomy is a bit of a learning curve. Everyone has their own routine and different ways of doing things including frequency of bag changes, products we use, and personal hints and tips. This is my way, and it might not necessarily be the right way or the best way, but I am always interested to hear how other ostomates manage their bag changes and which supplies they use.
- Help others prepare for surgery: Before surgery, I had no clue what a stoma was, how it worked, how to empty or change the bag, or even what it looked like. There are so many questions and there is a lot of information out there, but it can all be pretty overwhelming. I found it really helpful talking to others who had been through the surgery. It’s not quite the same as dealing with it first hand, but it’s the next best thing. My stoma nurse also showed me a video produced by SALTS in the UK that showed people emptying and changing different types of ostomy bags. This was an eye opener and invaluable in helping my understanding of what life with a bag might be like.
- Reduce stigmas + Increase understanding: Considering things from another’s point of view increases understanding. Changing and emptying my bag has become part of my daily routine. At first it could be stressful, but for me, it’s now just part of getting ready. It’s really not a big deal! For some, having a stoma is life-saving. It is not gross or anything to be ashamed of. Yes, it involves poo, but it’s okay to talk about poo! #stoppoobeingtaboo
- It’s interesting! Even for those with normal, fully functioning and intact bowels, seeing a stoma in the flesh and how it works might be quite interesting. The human body and its workings are fascinating. I hope you never require ostomy surgery (I didn’t think I ever would either), but we shouldn’t take our health for granted. We should educate and make ourselves more aware. After all, there are millions of people with stomas worldwide!
There are already many other videos available online all about changing ostomy bags, but it was important to me to include my own personal take on this as part of Stoma-licious. If you are not open, understanding or have no interest in seeing how one changes an ostomy bag, then please, consider this your warning and don’t watch the clip. But please, for the sake of anyone who may be interested, please hold back any harsh judgements.
So here it is – How to change an ostomy bag….
If you have any questions, please feel free to post in the comments and I will try to answer as best I can!