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Coping After Ostomy Surgery

Gina Flores
Caregiver Advocate | Shield HealthCare
05/02/12  6:52 PM PST
Coping After Ostomy Surgery cirugía de ostomía

Coming home from the hospital and coping after ostomy surgery is understandably a major adjustment for both the ostomate and the caregiver. It may take a few weeks to get comfortable and fully understand the new system.

While some can adapt to an ostomy very easily, others do not. It’s important to realize that  frustration or anxiety are common and perfectly normal feelings.

Consider these tips to better cope and adjust to an ostomy…

Be patient. Don’t be too hard on yourself.  Some days might be harder than others, but in just a while you will get comfortable and feel like yourself again.

Communicate. Talk about your feelings with a loved one or caregiver. You may find that talking it out can ease your mind. Visit the United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA) website to find a local support group and attend their informative meetings. It helps to speak to others going through the same thing.

Educate yourself. The more you know about ostomies and how they work, the easier it is to manage your personal care and lifestyle. Seek videos, guides and resources online or through your ostomy nurse to learn as much as you can.

Keep busy. Stay active and in good company. Getting involved in activity groups or fun hobbies can be a positive outlet and refocus the mind.

Remember, you’re still wonderful YOU. The way you go to the bathroom may have changed, but it shouldn’t stop you from getting the most out of life and enjoying every minute of it.

For more information, see related ostomy support articles and ostomy resources here:

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My 89-year-old mother loves to swim but she has found that the pouch fills with water when she gets into the pool. What can we do to fix this?
Cathy
We recently had someone reach out to our Facebook community with a similar question, and several of our OstomyLife community members responded with their own advice.
 
Hopefully you and your mother will find their answers helpful ...


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1 Comment

  1. Posted August 3, 2012 at 3:46 pm PST

    Please add CCA’s online support group as another place for caring and sharing…
    http://www.ccalliance.org/mycrcconnections/index.html

    THank you!
    Randy, 26 year colon cancer survivor and ostomate
    CCA helpline

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