Surgery school done!

So, I survived surgery school. For those of you who don’t know, it’s an optional, pre-surgery casual group meeting with several nurses and hospital staff who go through what to expect after surgery and how best to prepare for surgery. I knew most if what they had to say but it was nice to go anyway because they gave out leaflets on ways to be more active along with some (not 100% relevant) dietary advice. I spoke to the nurse during the break and she said she’ll get the dietitian to give me a call later this week. Overall, this morning has been pretty good. Now, it’s off to work for the afternoon.

Just had the bike test in preparation for my surgery in June. It was harder than I was expecting but they don’t make you do more than you are able to. I’m currently sat in waiting for “surgery school” to start. Not really sure what to expect but I’m hopinh it’ll be informative.

I went to the gym last night for the first time in two weeks! I only spent about half an hour there though because it’s so warm at the moment and I was worried my bag might come unstuck mid-workout. It was a good session but I’m so tired from it; it’s surprising what two weeks off can do to your fitness. Anyway, I plan to keep going every week up until my surgery then I’ll be taking a couple of months off. I’m considering going just to walk on the treadmill once I feel up to it but I don’t intend to do anything more than that between surgeries. I’m hoping this will help my recovery whilst keeping myself somewhat active without over doing it.

Travelling with a stoma

So, obviously we made it through security no problem. I was quite lucky to not be asked any questions about my bag or supplies at either end of our journey (I have heard several ostomates have had pat-downs as well as having to show their bags to the security guards when travelling). The guards at the UK end waved me through the scanner and that was that. When we landed, we didn’t even see the guards because everything is done with machines.

The flight itself, although a little turbulent to begin with, went pretty well. There was no blowing up of my bag, no excessive amount of gas and no having to use the tiny planes tiny toilet. Admittedly, our flight was only about an hour so I imagine I would have needed to use the bathroom on a longer flight.

As for the last couple of days, they have been great! Today (Sunday) is the third and last day of the LAN party and we are just waiting for dinner to arrive then we’ll be packing up in a few hours. It’s been an amazing three days of just games, YouTube and more games. I have met some amazing people too and am really looking forward to the next LAN.

Tomorrow is a chill day of not doing a lot but Tuesday we are visiting Amsterdam. I’ve never been so I’ll be taking a lot of photos. We have a rough idea of what we are doing whilst we are there so it should be a fun-filled day. We fly back to the UK on Wednesday evening.

Travelling with a stoma – update

I spoke to our airline last night about taking my ostomy supplies, specifically my adhesive removal spray, in my hand luggage and they guy I spoke to was so helpful; he said that it isn’t a problem so long as it’s within the 100ml liquid limit and I’ve got my travel certificate with me. This made me very happy. My spray bottle is only 50ml and Charter give a multi-language “travel certificate” with their welcome pack. The certificate is about credit card sized and has space to list yours and your GPs details, what you are carrying and why.

I highly recommend that if you are flying, call your airline to check what their policies are on certain medical supplys if you are not sure.

So, I realise it’s only been a short couple of weeks since I cut out dairy and gluten from my diet, but I’ve found that although gluten makes me bloat, I can have small amounts of it and be mostly fine. This means I will still be going gluten free but I know it won’t be too bad if I have the smallest amount once in a while. In the case of dairy, I am fine with cheese. No problems with cheese whatsoever, but milk and chocolate cause my stomach to ache the most so I’m have almond milk instead and only very small amounts of chocolate at a time (I’ve tried the dairy free stuff and I’m not too keen). It does mean I’ll probably come across as a?picky eater but if that’s what I’ve got to do to make myself comfortable then I’ll deal with it. Has anyone else had to do weird diet things like this?

Dressing with an ostomy

One thing I’ve found since having my ostomy is that getting dressed isn’t as easy anymore; I have to be mindful of where my clothes sit over my bag/stoma.

I’ve found the biggest issue is trousers; I have several pairs of work trousers that I can’t wear any more due to them sitting too low to be comfortable over my bag but too high to sit under it. To solve this, I’ve turned to high-waisted trousers and skirts with elasticated waists. As for casual wear, I have found that most of my jeans will sit under my bag quite comfortably, except one pair that rubs the bottom of the adhesive just enough to worry me. It doesn’t create a hole but the last few times I’ve worn them I’ve noticed the edge of the flange has frayed slightly.

There’s also making sure that tops and dresses aren’t too tight over my bag as well but that’s why I try everything on before buying it.

Does anyone else have similar issues and if so, what have you found works for you?

Food!

I’ve been trying different foods recently. Not foods that I’ve never tried but foods that I haven’t eaten since having my stoma because I was advised against doing so for a while. Given it’s been nine months tomorrow since I had my surgery, I thought it was about time I started introducing more foods so the things I’ve found I can eat (but was advised not to) include beansprouts, soft carrots, green cabbage and sesame seeds. Bear in mind these are all in small amounts and I am no way saying that all ostomates will be ok with these foods. My point is that it’s ok to test what your body (and your stoma/s) can handle. Has anyone else found that they can eat something they were told not to? I’m actually really interested to know what other ostomates/IBD/IBS sufferers have been able to digest despite being to told to avoid it.

Despite having to give Zynaida (one of my furbabies) playtime at 3 o’clock this morning, I’m not as tired as I thought I’d be. I’m currently on my way to the hospital for a consultation with my new surgeon. Hopefully, we’ll just be forming a plan of action today. My other surgeon said he didn’t want to do anything until next year which is fine by me.
I’m also going to have another blood test to see if I need more iron infusions.