The ostomy procedure, whether it's colostomy, ileostomy, or urostomy, does not have to mean the end of a vibrant social life. Especially with well-tailored ostomy supplies, many patients can resume the active life they had pre-surgery.
Of course, there is an adjustment phase, immediately post-op. We’d like to use this post to discuss what it’s like to adjust to the social components of life following your ostomy procedure.
First, there are two very important components to the post-ostomy recovery program: healing from the procedure itself, and learning how to adjust to new dietary habits. The former you’ll work out with your doctor, while the latter requires help from a nutritionist.
The second part involves a lot of trial-and-error, but it's essential. It takes a while to determine all the acceptable foods for your condition. One of the best ways to do this is to keep a diary of what reacts well (and what doesn’t) with your stoma. From there, the best thing you can do is focus on drinking plenty of water, eating slowly, chewing thoroughly, and with smaller bites.
This phase may last a few weeks, according to your physician’s regimen, before you’ll return to normal. In the meantime, it’s also important to get plenty of restorative sleep.
Unless you have other conditions that impede having an active lifestyle, you should be able to resume activities once you’ve healed from surgery. The good news is that, assuming you take things slowly, you can return to a thriving lifestyle of basketball, running, attending events, socializing, and sexual activity without too many restrictions.
One thing you’ll want to do, if you haven’t already, is to keep your friends and family abreast of your condition. Aside from your spouse, this doesn’t have to include every intimate detail, but you should make them aware so they can encourage you during any rough patches. As is often the case with any surgical recovery, you’re bound to experience some setbacks.
No matter what you do in life, it helps to be around like-minded individuals or folks with similar circumstances. Therefore, it only makes sense to network or befriend fellow ostomates. Don’t forget to check out our last article on finding an ostomy support group.
This is the best way to find solutions to stifling problems with pouches or diet and it’s a nice way to find ostomy success stories. Nobody should feel like they’re marooned on a faraway island after going through this procedure. We believe it’s a net positive, especially if you can connect with others who have been through it already.
That's the gist of resuming your social life and thriving as an ostomy patient. Fortis Medical Products wants you to know that you still have every opportunity to live life to the fullest after you’ve experienced an ostomy. If you have other questions about the procedure, or ostomy products, contact us anytime at 855-550-2600.