Information for New Ostomates

Information for New Ostomates - HEAGI - Colostomy bags Specialist

Ostomy Information for New Ostomates

First off, in case you don't know what an ostomate is, an ostomate is a person with an ostomy. Any kind of ostomy, it can be an ileostomy, colostomy, urostomy, any kind at all. If you have an ostomy, you are an ostomate. When you become an ostomate whether it was planned or due to traumatic injury, you will have a lot of new words thrown at you. Ostomy pouches, ostomy barriers, flanges, baseplates, there is a lot to learn. The doctors and nurses who make up your medical team may use words you have never heard before. They may assume you understand what they are saying because they understand it themselves. One of most important things you can do is learn how to advocate for yourself. It is impossible to know everything so don't feel bad if you don't understand something. Always ask your doctor or nurse to clarify what they are saying and ask them to show you what they mean. Visual aids help so much! If they say something about an ostomy barrier ring and you can't picture what that could be, ask them to show you one and to demonstrate how it is used. When you are ready to leave the hospital your new ostomy will be going home with you. You and your ostomy will have to learn to live together. Ask questions, ask for demonstrations, and never hesitate to ask them to show you something again. It is important that you understand how to completely change your ostomy pouch before you leave the hospital. By change your ostomy pouch, I mean, take off the old pouch and fully replace it with a new pouch. Before you leave the hospital you will also need to find out how you will be getting your supplies and which supplies you will need.

Before Leaving the Hospital After Ostomy Surgery:

1.Learn the basics of ostomy vocabulary
2.Choose whether you will use a one-piece ostomy system or a two-piece ostomy system
3.Learn how to change your ostomy pouch system without help if possible
4.If you are physically or otherwise unable to change your ostomy pouch, make sure a person in your life learns how to do it
5.Decide if you want to use a drainable or closed end pouch
6.Learn how to clean out your pouch if you are using a drainable system
7.Learn how to care for the skin around your stoma
8.Find out how you will be receiving your ostomy supplies once you leave the hospital
9.Schedule your follow up doctor appointments for your ongoing ostomy care

  You will have a lot to learn. There is also a lot of ways you can beat yourself up if you don't perfectly complete that list. Don't worry. The list is a guide. When you are new to being an ostomate it is going to feel like all you think about is your ostomy and everything you do is for your ostomy. It may not seem like it at first but it will get better as you live with your ostomy and get used to your new normal. You know yourself better than anyone else so if your new ostomy is making you feel uncomfortable or scared, don't hesitate to speak up. Ask for help! Tell your doctor your concerns and ask him or her to help you alleviate those concerns. There are resources online that can help you. The United Ostomy Association is a great place to start. They have forums and they offer wonderful information that will help you understand your ostomy better. If you need help with ostomy supplies, manufacturers of ostomy supplies can help you get samples of products you want to try. When you contact an ostomy product manufacturer they will want to know some basic information and then they will work to help you find the best ostomy system for you. Don't be afraid to try new ostomy systems. Just because the hospital sent you home with a Convatec bag doesn't mean you shouldn't try a Heagi pouch. Choosing an ostomy system takes time and there is a learning curve to changing an ostomy pouch so be patient with yourself. Mistakes and leaks will happen but you mustn't give up because you will get better at all things ostomy. It just takes time and practice.



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