First of all, congrats on the wonderful decision!! I had my colostomy surgery on Nov.23 and I have honestly never felt better. I was able to sit through my first movie at a theatre in about 10 years (and im only 32, missed lots of good movies!) and today waited in LINE at the bank with not a care in the world. Awsome. Ok, so Im going to answer your question's as they pertained to me when I had the surgery (only 5 weeks ago)
1. Depends on the pouching system you use. I use the Hollister 2 piece system with a closed pouch, Hollister cut to fit flat skin barrier's as well as convex skin barriers (depending on how Oscar is doing), coloplast paste, Eakin ring, colomagic disposable liners and a host of powders depending on how my skin and Oscar (my ostomy!!) are doing. I keep most of my supplies in my dresser drawer in my bedroom. In the washroom I keep one little basket that contains a few pouches, some paste and some ziplock baggies if I need to change the pouch. Really, not much in the washroom, my drawer however looks like a ostomy store exploded! I didn't get any of this until I was in the hospital recovering and my ostomy nurse just kept trying different things to see what would work.
2. Whoa...you will NOT be awake for the procedure. I chose the epidural and it was wonderful until the second day when the nurses rolled me over and it wiggled out a bit...less then 24 hours ater surger and I had NO pain medication. Was awful when it happened but when it was working (day of and following day) I had NO pain. I was on a Patient administered moriphine drip afterwards for 2 days, then an occasional shot until I was discharged. To take at home I was given a prescription for percocets. I think I've taken 2.
3. You can absolutely take a bath but you will have to wait until your healed (ie: incsion/drains), im able to take baths now, but prefer showers. In fact, every few days I take off the skin barrier/pouch and Oscar and I take a completely NAKED shower. It feels amazing.
4. The doc's say to wait at least 6-8 weeks before resuming exercise. Im in yoga withdrawl but on Jan.4 im going right back to classes, taking care with stretching my tummy of course. It's better to wait and make sure your healed rather then over-do it and have to go through the healing all over again.
5. I did everything the week-end before, ate Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken, decorated the house for x-mas and just did stuff that I knew I wouldn't be able to do for a few weeks. Now however...the only thing I can't do is vacuum (for another few weeks...according to the dr.) or lift anything too heavy. I've honestly never felt better.
Good luck with your surgery!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
RX Crohn's 1999, over 30 surgeries, 3 strokes, permanent colostomy and rectum removal.
"The most unfortunate thing that happens to a person who fears failure is that he limits himself by becoming afraid to try anything new."