about every 3 to 4 days I take my pouch off and really clean the area. I take my showers off at night right after or within an hour after dinner. Since I've eaten lunch before 2 p.m., my flow is normally done come dinner time. They I have 1 to 2 hours to take a shower and get cleaned up. I like to eat two large marshmallows about 1/2 hour before I shower. This guarantees I will at least have a very thick output if there is any at all.
Rita, I've had my loop ileostomy for 9 months now. I understand your fear of changing your ostomy on your own, but you can do it. Just make sure you are completely prepared. Here's my preparation:
1st, I lay out all your stuff out on the bathroom counter (i.e., blow dryer, pouch, barrier, toilet paper, paper towels, skin barrier prep, paste, etc.)
2nd, I put a folded towel or mat on the floor to give me height so my stoma is over the sink ledge. If I it runs, it goes in the sink or on a paper towel, or I'm usually able to catch it on a piece of toilet paper. I'm short (5' 3"), so I like the added height.
3rd, I put my towel over the shower rail, so I don't have to step out of the bathtub when I'm through. I have a process so I can easily dry my body and anything that comes out goes into the bathtub.
4th step, I then put my washcloth and any other stuff I need in the shower.
5th, put a wastebasket near the bathtub. I also have one near the bathroom sink.
6th, I put a piece of toilet paper or gauze near the bathtub, so that when I'm ready to get out, I put it over my stoma to catch anything.
7th, When I'm dried off, I proceed to the sink and start the process.
Once the appliance is on, I clean up and thoroughly sanitize/disinfect the bathtub, sink and floor if necessary. I collect the trash and put it in the garbage can in the garage.
Pretty simple! You can do it and you're husband will be proud of you. I used to have a lot of anxiety about doing my changes. I'd worry and think about it all day. I still get anxious, but I stay come and remind myself that it's part of my life.
Something funny...my 21 year old son tells me I should embrace this. Oh my! : )