Anyone that knows me knows that whenever I get something new I immediately look at all the accessories I can buy and inevitably will end up purchasing one or more things. This also applies to My New Bum!
One of the first things you are given post-operation is a free supplies bag that will house spare bags, wipes, bin bags and any other things necessary for a successful bag change. The one I received was a large blue bag with plenty of compartments that could easily store a couple of week’s worth of supplies. It was functional, and perfect for keeping supplies at home, but I needed something that was more slimline just to carry a couple of bags and a few wipes.
Post-op, and the proud owner of a new bum, I joined the Colostomy UK charity to both support them financially and to gain information. As a member you receive a regular magazine and the latest issue happened to feature an advert for cases made specifically for those with new bums.
Beyond Definition make two different size cases designed to carry onto my supplies and come in two different sizes – a small Essentials Case and a larger Venture Case (Buy Case). Both cases have space to carry bags and wipes plus have a clip to hang up for easy access. The larger Venture Case comes with a foldout ‘table’ and an additional clip to hold your waste bag. The cases are high quality, durable and are easy to wipe clean if they get wet.
The cases aren’t cheap compared to regular bags that could be used to store items but when you going to be using something on a regular basis I think the additional investment for something designed specifically for colostomy or ileostomy users is definitely worth it. And you’d be hard pushed to find a regular bag that matches the dimensions of their bags and also has the necessary pockets and features.
Not knowing which case to go for I opted for the larger Venture Case so that I could make sure I had enough supplies with me but I knew then that I’d definitely be buying the Essentials Case (Buy Case) and within a few days of receiving the Venture I had ordered the Essentials. The Venture case is excellent but due to it’s size I’d prefer to take it with me when I know I’m going to be out all day. If I’m only going to be out for a couple of hours I’d rather take something a lot smaller which is where the Essentials Case fits in.
I’m still learning about the different brands of stoma bags available but it appears that the majority of them are all the same cream colour, although my stoma nurse did show me a black version. I think function is more important than aesthetics and as they are free on the NHS, adding different colours and patterns is probably not a high priority. That’s where stoma bag covers come in.
Most of the time the bag is hidden away but there will be times where the bag, or part of it, will be visible. At the moment whilst I get used to it, I’m not wearing tight clothing and am opting to wear loose fitting tracksuit bottoms and allowing the bag to fall outside them. I do have a concern about tight fitting clothes such as jeans so I’m allowing the bag to fall outside so that I can see how the bag fills up. That means that on occasion it’s visible so rather than just displaying a boring cream bag I purchased a cover.
Etsy was the natural place to look for a cover and it didn’t disappoint. There were a number of sellers (e.g. SarahsSewingShed and StomaAccessories) that appeared to be making just stoma bags and there was a variety of covers from simple colours through to patterns and themes such as movies and seasons. Bag sizes vary slightly, particularly between open and closed so the covers are slightly bigger but it does appear that different sellers make slightly different sizes so I’ve ordered a variety to test out. No doubt they will appear in future updates.