Post Edited (blue85) : 12/19/2007 8:41:30 AM (GMT-7)
I'm new to the ostomy world too. I had a total colectomy in October due to UC and hope to have a successful reversal sometime early next year. Showers and changing the bag have been two of my biggest hurdles. Clothes are another biggie, but I haven't tried to address that one yet. I'm still wearing warm-ups all the time. Cute warm-ups, but warm-ups nonetheless. I spend most of my waking hours trying to forget that I have this contraption attached to me. Showers have always been an enjoyable time for me - away from the kids, the telephone, life's little stresses - a haven of sorts. Now they serve as a constant reminder to my situation. I wear a Hollister 2-pc. system, but I don't like taking the bags off for showering. Instead I just shower with the bag on and towel and blow dry it when I get out. The bag usually gets dry pretty quick, but the wafer takes a little longer. Of course, that ends up irritating my skin. As for changing the bag, I confess that up until 3 days ago, my husband has changed it for me every time. It was my little way of staying detached from it. I HATED having him do it even tho he was cool about it. It was humiliating to me, but I still refused to do it myself. If I learned to do it myself that would make it real and permanent and it's only temporary, right? Well, 3 days ago I was out shopping and had my first major leak. He was at work and couldn't get away. It was going to be 5 hours or more before I would see him. He convinced me to change it myself. It was either that, or sit around 1/2 naked and catch the output in a towel all day (yuck!), so I DID IT! I've watched him enough and read so many helpful hints on this forum that I just put my mind to it and did it and I have to say, it's kind of liberating to change it myself. I've done it once more since and so far, so good.
I'm so sorry for all the troubles you're having and especially for the great loss you've suffered. You did the right thing coming to this forum for help. The people here are wonderful and the suggestions and experiences are priceless. We're so fortunate to have this available to us. Imagine how alone people must have felt before the internet. It's comforting to know that there are other people out there going thru the same kinds of things. Good luck and let us know what works for you. -Laura