When you wake up after stoma surgery, and you look down at the post-op see-through bag, it is hard to imagine just how many products are out there and how finding the products that suit you will transform your stoma life. The seemingly countless number of sundries, (sprays, creams, powders, wipes) as well as the essentials (pouches,back plates if applicable, disposal bags) are mind-blowing; it’s highly unlikely you’d need all of them but it’s good to know they’re out there to make living with a stoma as stress-free as possible.

I feel totally confident living with Homer now that I have made my product choices; these are my criteria that define what gives me the most confidence:

Comfort, style and dependability

After that rather scary post-op bag, I was directed towards a one piece bag that was infinitely better! I was able to apply it with ease and also change it without any difficulty. However after a while i was finding the regular changes were leaving my skin sore and irritated so I decided I would try a two-piece appliance and that has been fantastic. My bag of choice is the one I was asked to trial back in 2020, Pelican’s ModaVi bag. I find this bag to be really comfortable, easy to wear and it feels smooth under my clothes. The bag has featured in many of my social media posts and looks pretty good on camera too. The bag is also very reliable and I use it along with a barrier ring to ensure that I don’t have leakage and that means I haven’t got to worry about that aspect during my day or throughout the night.

Healthy skin

Feeling sore around your stomach is not only very unpleasant, but it is distracting when you’re trying to get on with your job or any aspect of daily life. For the last few years I have been using  Respond’s Refresh 3in1 spray, (a release spray, barrier spray and deodoriser, all in one).  This has worked so well for me and ensured that my skin is free from redness, itchiness and soreness. There are very many options out there to help with this, it’s just a matter of finding the right right product to suit you and your lifestyle.

Hobbies and interests unhindered

I really enjoy being out in the fresh air. I love walking and continue to try to raise some money for charity, but whenever I can, I like to go for a swim. It is reassuring to me to know that I can use one of those “sundries”, a flange extender, that fits around the edge of the flange that’s stuck to your body, so really an extra sticky bit to ensure that a bigger surface area adhering to you will reduce the risk of the bag coming off in the water. Great to know.

No odour

One of the biggest fears for an ostomate is that the bag/contents of the bag will smell and that people around will detect it.  I know for a fact that the bags today have such sophisticated filters in them that this isn’t likely. Again referring to some of the sundries mentioned earlier. There are different deodorising products available to suit everyone’s preference; I’ve already mentioned the Refresh 3in1 spray but there are other deodorising products available from the Respond Care Range, both for the bag itself and for the bathroom where you’ve emptied your bag. These can be very handy to carry round with your spare bags etc to give you additional confidence if or when you need it.

Reliability of the supplier

There’s nothing worse than worrying that you’re going to ‘run out’ of your supplies. Thankfully I know that via Respond, my prescription is ordered whenever I need it and delivered without delay. That direct communication with the friendly and proactive team running the dispensing service is worth the world, and certainly gives me peace of mind. It really is a great service.

Whatever your situation or circumstances, you and your stoma are not going to be exactly  the same as anyone else’s. Your needs might be different, your preferences might be different. However, the range of supplies that are available for ostomates will definitely help you to find what works best for you and your lifestyle. There is no reason why your products can’t give you the confidence you need to continue living your best life,you just have to look, ask and try something different if what you have isn’t working. Good luck – and don’t forget to have a good look at the Pelican and Respond websites for inspiration.

Keith
@keiththom2014

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