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Video: Body Image With an Ostomy

Laura Cox
Ostomy Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
04/03/17  3:34 PM PST

In this video from Shield HealthCare’s Ostomy Lifestyle Specialist, Laura Cox, discusses different aspects of body image with an ostomy, and the thoughts people may have before or after ostomy surgery. Laura speaks candidly about the different challenges that come up depending on how old someone is when they get their ostomy surgery, along with dating and physical attraction. She reveals that at first she was scared her pouch would scare her soul mate off. She then addresses how to begin to accept your new body image and more.

She states “Having an ostomy can definitely change your perception of your body. Not only did you have a disease that was life-threatening, that affected your body image, but now your anatomy is literally rearranged… No matter what age people get their ostomy, there are unique challenges, but all of those challenges can be worked through.”

For more information about living life with an ostomy, see related 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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5 Comments

  1. Mike
    Posted May 11, 2017 at 7:09 pm PST

    Great video and all I have to say is “where the heck were you 15 years ago”! I had those exact same thoughts but I went the other direction. Luckily my now wife who was my then girlfriend was supper supportive and helped me through all my “self-imposed” embarrassment over the years. It’s only now that I plan to get out of my funk and embrace the life my ostomy has given me.

    Thanks for sharing Laura!

  2. Janice Coene
    Posted May 28, 2017 at 12:33 pm PST

    What do you do if you have a small Hernia when wearing slimmer clothes, I feel everyone is looking at me.

  3. Aimee Sharp
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:23 am PST

    Hi Janice! People probably aren’t looking at you, but we know that it can certainly feel that way when it’s all you can think about. While these tips are about how to hide an ostomy pouch, they may be helpful for how to draw eyes away from a hernia bulge: Dressing With an Ostomy. Please let us know if you have any other questions and best of luck! -Aimee, Shield HealthCare

  4. Kilian christian
    Posted July 2, 2017 at 8:23 am PST

    Hi i have the surgery at may5 2017 this year .. and i use Ostomy
    i stop working for now but i want back to work in Agost15 soon .. and my
    work is to climbing the mountain . .. Can i climb and be ok with ostomy if i will change and dressing every day ? Thanks for finding this website

  5. Posted July 5, 2017 at 12:52 pm PST

    Hi Kilian! I’m glad you found our site! I would talk to your doctor about going back to your work since it sounds very physical. There should be no reason why you can’t go back to climbing mountains, but you may need more time to heal. I would just emphasize drinking a lot of fluids to stay hydrated, as high altitude and strenuous activity can make you dehydrated, especially with an ostomy. I would also suggest investing in a hernia belt if you can. Hernias can happen when you are lifting heavy things when the abdominal wall isn’t strong enough. I really like Nu-Hope’s hernia belt. Here is the link http://nu-hope.com/products.php
    I also wrote a blog about going back to work. Although I did not discuss your type of work, it may be helpful. http://www.shieldhealthcare.com/community/ostomylife/2017/05/03/work-after-ostomy-surgery/
    Lastly, here is a link to tips to being active with an ostomy. http://www.shieldhealthcare.com/community/ostomylife/2015/03/10/how-to-exercise-with-an-ostomy/

    Please let us know if you have any other questions! Good luck to you!

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