Swimming with an Ostomy
I've been asked a lot about swimming with an Ostomy lately and I have been so confused about some of the things that my fellow Ostomates are being told...
Recently a lady had been told by the head of gastroenterology that she shouldn't be swimming and to not be surprised if she is asked to leave a public swimming pool! WTH?! This infuriates me. The mentality unfortunately is still so prevalent in even the medical industry that having an ostomy will stop you from living your life! This is absolutely ridiculous!
I swim every single week all year long! I wear bikinis - briefs or high waisted, one pieces, shorts and t-shirt - it all depends on the last time I had a wax. ;) My bag is waterproof! Nothing is getting in or out!
So what are some important tips for swimming with an ostomy?
I make sure my bag is secure on and isn't itchy around my stoma or showing any signs of leaking any time soon. There are usually some obvious pre-warning signs, pressure feeling as it's pooing, itching, burning or any discomfort. If you are feeling these I suggest changing your bag. Sometimes, changing your bag the day before swimming you know if its a "sticker".
Some bags will get soggy around the outside of the base plate but I can assure you that it will not go all the way through and lift off your bag. Even if it did, I would imagine you'd have been soaking for 10 hours and once you were home it might start lifting.... unless its a really bad batch! But they are all designed to get wet!
You shouldn't be ashamed.
You will most likely feel absolutely exposed in a way that you never thought possible! Its going to feel so foreign and you will want to hide away but yet show that you aren't ashamed! You shouldn't be ashamed. You will most likely find that no one will say anything to you because they're the ones too embarrassed to bring it up. They might even think you are an absolute superstar for effing societies "beauty standards".
I have recently donned my bikini on a boat full of sexy model looking people. Was I nervous? Hell yes! Was I scared, even more and I absolutely felt so exposed. In hind sight my husband now understands why I was clinging to him like a fly! He hadn't even realized that I was trying to cover up by using him as a human shield! lol.
Now, I'm not ever very good in water! If it's cold water, I am even worse! I hyperventilate and get all anxious but I jumped in.
Sometimes to move forward in our road to recovery, we've just got to do exactly that: Jump in!
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