Any ostomy athletes out there? I need your insight

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Devin
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 3/23/2006 2:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi All,
 
After 4 years of hell with UC, I'm considering getting an ileostomy.  UC has robbed me of so many things that I love, I feel I need to break free from this disease once and for all or I'll be living in a kind of prison for the rest of my life.  However, I have so many doubts and questions.  Obviously, some of them are related to the serious issues of surgery complications and body image.  But, and this may seem kind of funny, one thing I'm also really curious about is will I be able to be really active in sports?  For instance, I love skiing and I dream about how this surgery would actually allow me to ski without stopping in the chalet (or the woods!) to have a BM every second run.  But then I wonder - what if I wipe out hard - will the bag come off? And basketball - what do I have to wear to make sure the bag doesn't swing around?  Can I swim in a lake? Can I do sit-ups still? etc...Furthermore, after your surgery, did you eventually get back the energy and strength that you had before getting sick?
 
Ostomy people, please share your experiences!
 
This probably won't be the last you hear from me :-)
 
Thanks!
 
Devin
UC since 2002
 

Randy C.
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/26/2006 2:36 AM (GMT -7)   

You should be fine, Devin.  I've been an ostomate for going on 6 years now.  I do martial arts (judo, brazilian jujitsu & others), and I'm a vertical caver as well.  So I rappel & ascend ropes, crawl on my belly through rocky cave passages, etc without any trouble from my ostomy.  I also love trail running, hiking, & camping.  You can do pretty much whatever you set your mind on. You might find www.ostomyathlete.com an interesting read as well.  And don't worry about having to detour your skiing into the woods to empty.  That won't be as much of a problem as you are thinking.  There are also low-profile stoma protectors that you can get if you're concerned about hurting your stoma when you wipe out on the slopes.   My life as an ostomate is awesome!  The people as Shaz's site where I hang out are probably sick of hearing me say this!  tongue   It's what you make of it, Devin, and I chose to make mine an adventure!  I have a photo sharing site where I share my activities with the world if you want to check it out.  I began it for ostomates in fact.  It's www.randycain.smugmug.com.  As a fellow caver says, "LIVE while you are ALIVE!"  Good luck to you, Devin!  And feel free to contact me at ropenut@insightbb.com if you want.

Randy

Post Edited (Randy C.) : 3/26/2006 2:39:19 AM (GMT-7)


Devin
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 3/27/2006 8:02 AM (GMT -7)   

Randy,

Thanks for your reply!  I checked out your website - very inspiring.  Good luck in the TransRockies race. 

Devin


Devin
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 3/27/2006 8:22 AM (GMT -7)   

Oops Randy, I just realized that www.ostomyathlete.com is not your website! Ha! Must be the Monday morning fog that's clouding my brain.   I did check out your real website though - you're into some crazy stuff man!  That cave climbing looks great, I'll have to try it sometime...

Devin


Ostomy | Athlete
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/13/2006 5:22 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey Devin,

I'm glad you've seen my site.  Hopefully you checked out Rob Hill at ideas-na.com too.  Rob is a bit closer to you in disease experience; yet he is still managing to do REALLY BIG mountain climbs.

As far as having an ostomy and doing sports go: I wouldn't have it any other way.  Sometimes the pouches leak during workouts or races, but sometimes they leak for no reason too.  Nothing is perfect, we just have to adapt.  Anyone I know who has had IBD and then done the ostomy surgery has had a really good recovery and their health has improved drastically.  Ostomy management is pretty simple once you get the hang of it.  I have done a lot of skiing, rarely had any problems with the pouch; and its really easy to go in the wild when you have to without freezing the tender bits.

One bit of advice I would give you if and when you have the surgery, don't compromise your quality of life for pouch wear time.  The products are expensive for certain, but life isn't much fun when your sitting on the couch for fear of springing a leak.  Don't worry about the small stuff, and believe me after a time, leaks will really be the little things. 

Feel free to contact me anytime.

John


artist65
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 49
   Posted 4/15/2006 6:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Devin....I had a permanent ileostomy placed on January 23, 2006. At 6 weeks post op I started back at the gym.  I have had no problems with leaks or anything.  I run on the treadmill and do the nautalis equipment.  I wear something spandex under my sweatpants.  The big test was just yesterday when I played tennis for the first time since the surgery.  The tennis skirt has spandex trunks attatched to them, so no problem with swishing, or leaking, or flopping.  I have to say I played hard.  I was playing with my daughter who is a competitor on a tournament circuit.  So I was running like crazy. Just empty your bag before you go.  My only problem..I hadn't used those muscles in a while..darn I'm sore.  Go do your sports. If you wear a spandex undergarment or trunks you'll be good to go.  Good luck
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