It’s crazy how much we take for granted, even small things we do on a daily basis that we’d never stop to think about. Things we feel are no bother at all, they’re just things we we learned to do throughout life.
I showered without my ileostomy bag for the first time, and although it felt amazing on my skin, it was a bit of a worry not having any cover on my stoma. My skin had been so itchy, so red and sore; so feeling warm water over it for longer than a couple of minutes was bliss. I showered pretty simply, but soon realised I was too scared to risk leaning over to shave my legs, or to stand fully in the shower whilst washing my hair, worried the chemicals from my shampoo may get into the wound. The shower I managed to have was very restrictive, and it made me very aware that I’d have to relearn a few things if I was to shower without my bag a little more regularly.
Getting out of the shower was the most worrying part, as it was very awkward to dry myself. Usually, when wearing my bag, drying myself is not an issue. This time, I had to keep a dry wipe over my stoma with one hand, wrap my hair in another towel with the other (so that water did not drip back down to my stomach), and slowly bend down to reach for another towel (also with one very awkward hand) and finally, at least make attempt to pat my self dry as best as I could. Of course, the towel on my head kept falling off making it very awkward for me to get dry, and then to make matters worse my stoma chose the worst time to start working, so I ended up having to race around my bathroom getting a fresh bag ready.
Normally, when changing my bag, I measure my stoma with a template, and draw it onto the “flange” part (sticky part) of the bag. But this time, I really wasn’t prepared! I had to roughly measure whilst standing still very damp with my hair dripping down my attempt at a dry body, and stick the bag over my stoma – which was still playing up. Of course, with me not being able to dry myself in time, the bag took time to stick down. This is a bit of a worry for me as I’m still a little cautious of leaks.
Well, that was pretty much most of the evening gone. I just can’t believe how quickly the simplest of things can turn into such a task. It’s safe to say it’ll take a lot of practice before I can shower without my bag again! I just wish it didn’t feel so bloody good!