For The last 6 weeks I’ve been irrigating in the comfort of my own home. During that time I’ve built up a solid routine of irrigating first thing in the morning with kit that I’m comfortable with in a time that doesn’t interfere with me getting on with my day. Inevitably I would need to experience irrigating outside of the home and this weekend was that time.

So Where Will I Be Irrigating?

It’s been a long time since I visited family in the Lake District and the last time I was there I didn’t have a hernia. I managed to do a bit of running around the hills and in hindsight, that may well have contributed to me getting the hernia!

I’ll be staying with family in their house so will have a large bathroom to set up my kit and there’s a shower to to hang up the water container. It should be just the same as home so there shouldn’t be any issues at all. 

What’s In My Kit?

Rather than trying anything new (apart from one thing), I took everything with me that I use at home. I use the Dansac Irrigation Set with the water container, cone and tubing, irrigation sleeve and pegs which I’ve got on well with. Extra kit includes:

  • a bowl (bought a collapsible bowl to save space)
  • a jug for water,
  • a hook (cobbled together by my dad) for hanging the water container,
  • gloves for times when you may get some poop on your hands,
  • Optilube for use when checking which way the bowel is going,
  • VIPoo to spray in the bowl,
  • air freshener so those using the bathroom after me don’t have to smell the liquid poop,
  • Flash wipes for cleaning the toilet at the end,
  • disinfectant for cleaning the bowl after use,
  • a puppy pad for the floor in case of any spillages,
  • a replacement colostomy bag,
  • and a black bag to put waste in. 

That’s quite a lot of kit. Not all of it is required but I’m driving to my destination so have the space. Some of the things could be removed and I could use disinfectant, wipes and air freshener at the destination but right now I’d rather go prepared with everything I need. 

So How Did It Go?

Uneventful, which is great. The main concern was worrying about the smell, which isn’t that bad when you’re used to it, but it’s still poop. Plenty of Oust helped ensure that things smelled ‘normal’.

At home the toilet is close enough to the shower so that I can sit on it and the tube is long enough to reach the stoma. In this bathroom the toilet was too far away so I would either need a chair or sit on the bath. With irrigation not taking long at all I opted to sit on the edge of the bath. With the combination of a high sided bath and a smaller collapsible bowl, the irrigation sleeve was hovering need the edge so I needed to concentrate on making sure nothing missed the bowl (rather than trying to multitask like I usually do at home).

The next step is to irrigate whilst travelling in a hotel. If I’m driving there’s no issue in taking the kit but if I’m not then I I need to decide whether I take kit with me or not irrigate. I could get away with not taking the bowl and irrigate directly into the toilet but there’s still a bit of kit to carry which takes up space if just taking a small bag.

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Diagnosed with IBD in 2002, I have experienced the usual ups and downs of having a chronic disease and tried numerous medications but the time finally came in 2018 to elect to have surgery to improve my life. I had the surgery in 2019 and this is my journey having a 'New Bum'.

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