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7 Important Tips for Ostomates During the Holidays

The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone, including ostomates. There are gifts to buy, the house to clean, decorations to go up, meals to plan, etc. One thing we need to remember is being prepared when it comes to our ostomy.

Here are a few tips to manage it during the festivities:

1. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids so you don’t dehydrate.

2. If you’re traveling by airplane, make sure to put your ostomy supplies and medications in your carry on. This way, in case your luggage is lost, you’ll have these important items.

3. Pre-cut your wafers at home or try a moldable skin barrier to make pouch changing easier. Plus, you won’t need to bring scissors with you when flying.

4. If you don’t want to leave an odor in someone’s bathroom, there are several options you can try. Use a travel size deodorant and spray first. Then empty. Light a candle, blow it out, repeat several times, empty pouch. There are deodorant products available by Hollister and Coloplast. Drops are placed in the bag and when you notice it’s time to empty, drain it, and repeat with the drops.

5. When you are traveling by car, make sure you have extra supplies with you in case you can’t get home due to bad weather and are stuck at “Aunt Em’s” or “Cousin Bob’s.”

6. During mealtime, choose foods that are easy on the stoma and won’t cause a blockage. Nothing’s worse than having  to go to the ER and missing out on the fun activities with friends and relatives.

7. Remember to take care of yourself and not overdo it. If you are tired, rest. If you start to feel rundown and are not feeling well, it’s OK to cancel and ask loved ones if they can visit on another day when you feel better.

When you’re prepared before all of the Christmas excitement, you won’t have to worry about dealing with unforeseen circumstances when it comes to your stoma and appliance.

Getty image via Daniel Besic.