Debunking the Most common Stoma Myths
There’s a lot of misconceptions that involve having a stoma, which can be anything from confusing to frightening especially when you’re facing surgery or recovering from this.
Bowels of course aren’t a subject that’s freely discussed, so there are more questions than answers in a lot of cases, especially with this kind of life-changing surgery.
Speaking to the stoma nurse is good, and so is joining an ostomates group, but here, we’ll tie into a few of the myths that are here, to help you feel a little bit better about stomas.
Your Stoma Will Keep Changing Shape!
Some people believe your stoma will continue to morph and change shapes. Within the first six or so weeks, the stoma will dramatically get smaller in shape, and that’s because the swelling initially happens at the beginning, but it will lessen over time. It also changes if you do lose or gain weight, due to how the abdomen changes.
Having sore Skin is a big part of having a Stoma
This is another myth because if it’s continuously irritated, that’s due to the leaking of excrements and such, and that shouldn’t be happening.
Check to make sure that your stoma is properly fitted or contact the nurse for guidance. In a few instances, a sore stoma or one that’s irritated is due to allergies in the skin, or a mild infection.
Definitely consult the stoma team for the help that you need, especially involving your stoma too.
Your stoma Will Smell
This is another myth that’s been pushed by a lot of people, that if you have a stoma, it will be smelly.
But that always isn’t the case.
In most instances, it’s actually not as smelly as you’d think it is. Most pouches do come with a charcoal filter in order to help with odor control, so that it’s contained, and you won’t be able to smell anything crazy.
If you’re worried about this and you’re paranoid about it smelling badly, keep the freshener spray with you, and get a small-sized one if you know you’re self-conscious about this type of thing.
You Need a Strict diet
This is another myth that isn’t necessarily true, due to the fact that after surgery, you might notice a bit of sensitivity to some foods, and you may have some trouble with a few things.
But this is just like any diet, where you take it out, and then slowly put it in, monitoring the results of how you feel.
That way, you know what you like, and what you don’t like.
There’s s a lot of literature about diet while with a colostomy or an ileostomy, and the foods that are best avoided when it comes to the blockages too.
You’re not Allowed to shower with the Pouch or Swim and Bathe
This is another myth that is kind of wrong.
Some people think hat they’re not allowed to. But you totally can. You also can shower without it, with the choice in this ultimately up to you.
You can definitely swim and bathe as well. With swimming however, you will want to cover the filters out there with filter covers, and you also may want to consider one of those swimming pouches, or a girdle if that’s what you’d like. Sometimes, you can even get a certain swimsuit that hides all of this, depending on how it makes you feel and such.
Regardless, there are some myths that make people shy away, but a stoma surgery is a necessary surgery for many, and a great one too.