Due to the serious small bowel adhesion obstructions I had PRIOR to my necessary lysis of adhesions and ileostomy in 2007 (necessitated by the overly invasive surgery done on me in 2006 which later turned out to be unneeded) I don't fly to any of the cruise terminals, so getting the scissors onto an airplane is not an issue for me. (The reason I don't fly is that PRIOR to the adheison lysis, I had a small bowel obstruction while flying due to the change in air pressure when I was coming back from the Mayo Clinic where I went for a special image test. After Lahey CLinic freed up my small intestine and did the ileostomy, it MIGHT be safe for me to fly, but I have been doing so well for 3+ years now that I dare not mess with success. Both my Lahey surgeon and my stoma nurse told me it would be OK to fly with the ileostomy per se, they said likely I would be OK small bowel wise to fly too now that the loops of small bowel have been freed, but they said use my own judgement. I now err on the very conservative, hence the no flying. But just wanted to let you know that the bag would not pop off or anything as the plane cabins are pressurized to an air pressure similar to that in mile high Denver, Colorado.
You are right, keep all your supplies with you in carry on bag. If I were you, and were flying, I would definitely get a doctor's note explaining your gut arrangement and giving permission to carry those scissors. I would also pack an extra pair of scissors in my checked bags just in case those airport people "don't get it." One never knows.
I always carry with me a short, concise, typed medical history with a note from my doc saying if I ever start vomiting or having unusual output (or worse yet, no output), then I need to be evaluated for possible recurrence of adhesive small bowel obstruction and if I ever catch the Norovirus (stomach virus with vomiting and diarrhea) I would need IV hydration and an anti-nausea drug like Zofran. I usually touch base with the ship doc soon after getting on board, hand him or her the typed scenario, and say something witty like, "I hope I don't have to see you professionally, but I just wanted to give you the heads-up." They TOTALLY appreciate this. Ship docs are EXTREMELY talented docs, have seen it all, and unlike some "land docs" are totally
open to patients knowing themselves. They are not into the whole ego thing, they just appreciate the fact that I am with it enough to supply the information. This in turn helps them if anything goes wrong.
In 3 years of cruising (caused by love of travel, celebrating being alive, and not daring to fly YET), so far the only thing I've needed is an IV due to severe dehydration I got in a hot port at the end of a 3-month Circle South America cruise early in 2010. Despite drinking 3 liters of water, I started seeing stars, everything went black, and I went down like a stone just as I got back to the ship. Luckily there was this sofa at the entry to the ship I just lay down on. Next thing I knew the ship doc had 2 IV's in me and I was coming around. I wear a med-alert
bracelet too that says ileostomy on it. This doc was great.
He told me to drink gator ade the next day but it gave me ileo diarrhea due to all the sugar. When I got home, My naturopathic doc suggested this hydration powder to put in water that is sweetened with only Stevia (not even any fake sugar which gives me worse ileo diarrhea.) I will look up the name of the hydration packs sweetened with Stevia only and get you the name of it. If you are going to a hot port, it may make sense to have some of this with you.
So, this is how I do all this cruising in all parts of the world. It is NOT easy doing this as an ileostomate, but I'm doing it. I'm going for the gusto after almost losing my life. I found out the important things in life are cruising, intense travel, friends, and ballroom dancing on cruise ships. The Cunard line is especially great. They have dance hosts. They are these guys whose job it is to dance with single women passengers who love to dance and have nobody to dance with. Most of these guys are great and I have become friends with a number of them. Also I usually go on cruises with a friend or two from home just incase something happens to me I would not be alone.
Hope these suggestions help.
Assuming I stay OK, my next cruise is another to the Bahamas and Key West in March, then one across the atlantic to England, then up the baltic sea to St. Petersburg Russia then back across the Atlantic. That one is scheduled for August.
Rosemary (Ileostomate cruise consultant) I feel a new career coming on