Curing Cabin Fever

*This is a paid blog post sponsored by Coloplast

 

I love sharing discoveries that might brighten someone’s day. I have always been that way, and I have always tried to look out for anyone who feels alone in whatever struggles burden them. After I had my ostomy surgery, my nurturing impulses naturally went toward everyone who needed similar operations. Now I use various social media outlets to broadcast as much useful information and encouragement as I can.

Education and encouragement are wonderful, but we all need fun in our lives too. I believe I can make my own fun if I’m open to possibilities and I remain mindful enough to enjoy great company when I have the chance. Due to physical and mental challenges, I often have difficulty planning events with my ostomy support group buddies, but sometimes things come together beautifully. And I get to make good memories that help me through my less wonderful days

DSC_0058When I go out with my support group buddies, we talk about our health issues and we find humor in things that would horrify most people, but the laughter helps keep things positive. We help each other by talking through challenges and comforting each other when our bodies misbehave. Our common ground with a little injection of humor takes away the sadness and gives us hope. We discuss anything and everything; we get to know each other better, comment on the awesomeness of our accomplishments, and share our ambitions. As a matter of fact, I have a “summer bucket list” gathered during one outing in one of my notebooks, and while I can never do as much as I want, I’ve enjoyed some pretty great adventures this summer with my ostomy buddies. We do not let missing organs stand in the way of a good time!

My favorite adventures are the ones that allow me to spend time outside without slowing anyone down or feeling self-conscious, which makes my support group the perfect people to join me for all sorts of great activities. In one summer, I got to see free outdoor concerts, go square dancing in downtown Chicago, hike through a river at Warren Dunes State Park, explore canyons and waterfalls at Starved Rock, and stay at a lake house in Michigan where I lounged on a raft, walked in the woods, went shooting, and much to my surprise- ziplining! I am a very active person and like a good adventure, so I need a pouch that can keep up with me. Little things make a big difference for me. To the fullest extent possible, I want to forget I have a medical appliance on my abdomen. I am not ashamed of it, but I also do not want to feel like it has a significant presence when I am out trying to enjoy my life. If something does go wrong with my ostomy, I want the cleanup and changing process to go smoothly and quickly. Individually wrapped no-sting adhesive remover wipes from Coloplast are wonderful. If I have to change my bag on the run, there’s a good chance my skin is irritated, so a sting-free wipe makes for a much more pleasant experience.

I want an ostomy appliance system that sticks to me when I’m a sweaty beast, doesn’t fall off when my belly fat rolls, and fastens securely so I don’t have to worry about the end of my pouch unrolling. Those qualifications all have bad experiences behind them, but that’s okay because there is a great variety of products on the market. I’m always up for trying new things, so after watching a promo video for Coloplast’s new Sensura® Mio line, I got excited.

1836897_10202492125521812_4800244138410090623_oEven though I currently use a convex barrier, I was excited to try SenSura Mio and see if it worked for me.  I tried a one piece and a two piece flat version of the new Sensura Mio bags, but they did not work out. I am kinda bummed out about that, because I loved some of the features of the new Mio bag.  The gray fabric-like cover on these bags is less crinkly-sounding than most I have encountered, the filter actually works. There is a flap on the top half that covers a neat little clear window where you can check to make sure your stoma is centered and you can see leaks starting before you end up with a mess. (Don’t worry, the flap sits flat and does not move around, so you will not be flashing your poop to anybody when you move around!)I love the color and feel of the fabric in particular, so I will be eager to try the convex version when they come out with it next year! Until then, I will keep pursuing adventures that test my limits and help me feel free. As always, my trusty ostomy kit, complete with the Coloplast Adhesive remover wipes and Moldable rings, will go everywhere with me.

Interested in trying Coloplast products? Click here.