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Crohn's Disease Forum » Surgery » Stoma Subforum » Can you shower with the wafer part on stoma


11-02-2010, 09:59 AM   #1
NCgirl
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Can you shower with the wafer part on stoma

I have had my ostomy (Rosy) for about 4 weeks now and still have some questions. I have posted these questions in a couple places and have gotten a few answers that have been really helpful but I wanted to get a few more opinions.
First, do people shower with the wafer part on? If you do, how do you not get it wet? Or do you?
Second, what is the average time that your wafer stays on? My ostomy nurse told me to change mine every 3 days but I feel like if I'm not having issues with it, I can leave it longer.
Third, does anyone use a convex wafer? I think it's the wafer that's convex. I'm still figuring out the terms. If anyone that uses the convex can tell me if they have used a 2 piece and how they like it. I have only used the convex for the past week and I really like it but I really don't like the one piece bags. I ordered some 2 piece but am sort of afraid to use them.
Fourth (yes, I have a lot of questions, sorry!), has anyone used the phenoix ostomy belt? How did you like it? My ostomy nurse wasn't keen on it bc you have to turn the pouch sideways. I am a labor and delivery nurse and I need something to protect my bag when I go back to work bc women in labor like to grab!! Any feelings on these belts?
Fifth, does anyone take immodium daily? I know that might be a stupid question but I take 8 immodium a day (per doctors orders) and still have very runny stool. Is there anything else out there that I can try that might work a little better (and be a little cheaper)?

Thanks in advance for all the help
11-02-2010, 10:27 AM   #2
ThatGuy2006
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I've only had my ostomy for 2 weeks but have learned alot so I hope I can help some.

1. I have a 2-piece bag so I shower with the bag and wafer on with little to no issue. Just make sure you dry it well.
2. I've had good luck with having it stay on for about a week. If there is no itchiness or stinging around your stoma and the seal is good, i see no reason to change it so often. I go about 6-7 days.
3. I can't really answer this one because I'm still new to the supplies and terms as well.
4. I've used the hollister belt they send in the sample package but I didnt care for it. Mainly because I don't like things that bind me unless its a belt for my pants....weird, i know lol.
5. I don't take immodium but I prefer for my stools to be a little runny because it's easier to clean the bag when emptying. Try to eat some fiber to thicken up the stool. I eat oatmeal every morning and that gets me off to a good start!

Hope this helps you out some. Like I said before, I'm a bit of an ostomy noob but I'll help where I can!
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11-02-2010, 04:02 PM   #3
Jer's Girl
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I had my ostomy for six months and I found that everyone is different (very un-helpful, I know).

Here is what my experience was: I used a one piece, but I showered every day and changed my bag every two to three days. This is not usual however. Most people can go longer, weather they shower daily or not. Unless your bag is itchy or hurts, you can keep using the same one. As soon as it itches however, change it immediately. you don't want to irritate the skin and end up with worse problems (been there done that).

I read that the average time that a wafer stays on is five days, so three days is way too soon to change it in my opinion if you aren't having any problems. I think the less often you change it the better for your skin.

Sorry, I didn't use convex wafers. Hopefully someone else can help you with this one.

This is my main advice for having an ostomy. Go to Ostomysecrets.com and check out their "special undies" and wraps. They are so great for hiding an ostomy under your clothes, as well as keeping it in place and away from your skin. I really really liked the wraps. I wore them every day. They aren't cheap, but you can re-use one for a few days, so if you get two, you are all set for the week (as long as you don't have a leak).

These wraps meant the world to me in giving me confidence to get back into the world after my surgery. Also, they made it so I could wear almost anything without being able to see a bulge.

A friend of mine told his wife that he didn't understand how I was so good at hiding my ostomy and that if i hadn't told him that I had one he never would have ever guessed.

I had mixed results with the underwear, but I am very vain and like to wear pretty undies, ostomy or no ostomy! They do work however in keeping the ostomy in place and hidden. BUT, since they are underwear you can not reuse them day after day so it can get pretty expensive to stock your drawer with them.

Lastly, I had very runny poo at first, but it calmed down after a while without medication. My guess is that that will happen to you too. Don't worry too much about the runny poo. In my opinion it makes things easier in a way. Looks like Thatguy feels the same way.

Good luck! Don't forget to call a wound care specialist if you have any questions. They know everything!
11-02-2010, 07:29 PM   #4
NCgirl
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Thank you guys, you've been really helpful. I have gotten brave and started showering with my bag. I have noticed that some of the adhesive doesn't stick as well after a couple days though. Could that be bc of the soap? I don't wash directly over it and I try to avoid getting soap on it but it usually does anyway. I have to make sure I wash my incision well so I usually end up getting soap everywhere.

Jer's girl - I just got some of the panties in the mail yesterday and am trying them for the first time today. I have mixed feelings about them. Mainly bc where the band is, it goes right across the middle of my ostomy and not above it. I really don't want to get the high wasted ones but I think my ostomy is higher than normal. I got the pheonix belt but I think I may try the other wrap you were talking about. That one seems a little easier. The pheonix belt hurt my stoma (I know you can't actually feel the stoma but mine is still tender right around it).

I still am taking the immodium but I cut back to 6 a day bc you both are right, the runnier poo is easier to clean. My only problem was my output was too high at first. They told me it should be around 1200 and it was around 2000 so my surgeon told me to take the immodium. I cut back on the immodium but I just make sure to drink plenty of water to make up for the increased output.

Thanks for all the help!
11-02-2010, 08:42 PM   #5
Nyx
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My Support Groups:
I can't really add much more than what you've gotten here but I will comment on showering. I bought this:

http://www.weircomfees.com/demo/inde...roducts_id=199

It's great for the shower. My bag never gets wet. The only problem I have with it is that it tends to roll up when I move since I'm a bit hippy. Otherwise, it's great. There are also some great products on that site that I've tried out. I have the pouch cover which I wear to bed (it keeps the bag against my leg instead of flopping all over the place), and the cummerbund with is really great! It's kind of like a corset, and keeps things flat and in place.

In regards to having feeling in your stoma...I have feeling in mine. I can feel when it's being squished, when I'm having a movement, as well as hot and cold (like when water gets poured on it).

I never take Immodium, but then again I have poops like bullets most of the time...lol I have a colostomy rather than an ileostomy so that makes a huge difference. I also use the bag liners and they make cleanup so much easier. Here's the site for them if you're interested...

http://www.colostomymajic.com/

Good luck..and any more questions, feel free to ask
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Crohn's Diagnosis: May 2006
Current meds: none
Surgeries: Colostomy, December 2009

"Never trust a fart." Jack Nicholson, The Bucket List

Oscar is awesome! Loving my life with my stoma (with a hint of poo)!!

11-02-2010, 10:39 PM   #6
Jer's Girl
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I thought of something else that really helped me with showering! Use medical tape all around the edge of your bag before showering, and just leave it on until you change the bag. It keeps the edges from peeling up since they never get wet, and it adds extra support for the bag too. The best kind to use is the soft pink kind you can get at Target. I think it is Ace bandage brand but I am not sure. Other kinds are too thin or too hard or don't stay in place. I'll try to look up the brand and let you know.

This might only be helpful if you use the one piece bags, I don't know because I have never used the two piece. Hopefully it helps someone who sees this if it is not useful to you.

Are you doing well otherwise? It can be a pretty emotional journey. A lot of people on this site have been through this and can be really helpful in making this all easier. I never would have made it without Cindy for one! She and the others helped me to feel comfortable, and then even feel pretty great about having an ostomy.
11-03-2010, 09:08 AM   #7
ThatGuy2006
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Thats an awesome idea about the medical tape Jer! I wish I would've thought of that because I had my wafer slip off in the shower last night but I had just changed it and didn't give it time to adhere properly.

What kind of appliance do you use NC?
11-03-2010, 10:35 AM   #8
acg101
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Hi NCGirl:

As Jer's commented above we are all somewhat diferent since we use different appliances, etc... BUT generaly, some common experience might apply.


1. I shower daily with the appliance on and have no issues. I am using a Convatec two piece appliance (convex) and love it!. I also use (learned from Jer's.. lol) medical tape and make sure I dry the area after the shower.
2. On average I keep my appliance on for 5 days. I could (and have) kept it on for 7 days, but It started to itch.
3. I use Convatec CONVEX appliance and loving it. I have tried the regular non-convex and it did not work. Since I started to use the convex, I have had no problems and no more blow outs.
4. I tried various belts but none worked for me. the belt that one gets from the ostomy company caused me to pull away on my bag and it was VERY messy. I have not try the belt that NYX reffers to above.
5. I dont take immodium as I dont care if my poop is fluid (much easier to clean the bag). But dont worry, the poop consistancy will change with time and diet.
Please let us know if you have ANY question and we will be happy to answer
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-Best wishes - Dan

1. Diagnosed with Crohn's UC 1995
2. Flagyl/Cipro Imuran in 80%remission 1997 2005
3. Used 5mp, asacol, 6mp, remicade, imuran, Cimzia, entocourt, Flagyl/Cipro and enemas/suppositories until 2010 with periodic relief.
4. July 9th 2010 total ProctoCollectomy surgery! Free at Last!
11-03-2010, 11:23 AM   #9
Jer's Girl
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We learned so much from each other Dan! NCGirl and Thatguy, Acg101 is yet another good resource for you! I love how we all can help each other, both with ostomys, and with Crohns in general.
11-03-2010, 02:38 PM   #10
NCgirl
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You guys have been so helpful!! Thank you for all the good ideas. I am going to try the medical tape in the shower bc I just changed my appliance yesterday and the edges are already coming up.
I am currently using the Coloplast two piece convex. Not sure it's my favorite but it's doing good for now. I also have some of the Convatec convex one piece but I like the two pieces better. I think next time I am going to order some of the extended wear. From what I have heard, those last longer than the regular ones.
I have started showering with my appliance on (and on days I change without anything) which is a huge step for me. I am getting more and more use to my ostomy every day

So, I had a problem the other day that I wanted to see if anyone else has experienced. I had bright red bleeding (small amt) from my J-pouch. I frequently have mucousy drainage but this is the first time that it's been bright red. I had no associated fever or pain and it only happened one time and then stayed light pink for about a day or so. It happened Sunday night after I had a really busy weekend. Saturday night we did trick or treating with my 2 y/o and then had a get together after. Then Sunday we went to the mountains (2.5hr car ride one way) to an apple orchard and picked apples. We also went on a wagon ride (a very bumpy wagon ride) and walked around a lot. I did pick up my daughter a lot those two days and didn't know if maybe I just over did it. Has anyone else had this happen? My doc said bc it was only once and then turned light pink w/o pain or fever, everything was probably ok but to call if it happened again. I am just very paranoid and had flashbacks of when I was sick. I thought that having this surgery would fix everything and I wouldn't have anymore bleeding. I just need to know that this has happened to others and it's ok. I know that the doc said so, but it'd be better to hear it from someone that has experienced it...not just someone that has seen or read it.

Thank you all so much for all the help. You guys really make this whole ordeal a little easier to deal with
11-03-2010, 03:28 PM   #11
Jer's Girl
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This may be stupid, but did you eat anything with lots of red dye in it like licorice? Not trying to be condescending, but I thought I was bleeding a few times and it ended up being that.
11-03-2010, 04:44 PM   #12
NCgirl
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Jer's girl - not stupid...I thought the same thing. I had a biscuit for breakfast, a turkey sandwhich, chips, and cookies for lunch and the bleeding happened before dinner. I even thought about what I had the night before and nothing jumps out. Plus, the bleeding was from my j-pouch, not my stoma, which is what worried/confused me.
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