Since have my new bum installed, I haven’t been at all been concerned about who knows about it, if my bag is on show and I’m happy to blog about my progress and show off my new bum to anyone that us curious enough to want to see it. I think the hard work done by ostomates and support groups in reducing the stigma around wearing the bag has helped me feel more confident about not being afraid to show it off.
Wearing My Bag with Pride
Going to a public place like a swimming pool would be too much for some ostomates who may be worried about the looks that people give but I was actually looking forward to ‘getting my belly out’. I’m not ashamed at having a stoma and I see it as just another part of my body. The bag has given me a new lease of life and is going to allow me to do the things that I used to love to do before Crohn’s (temporarily) put a stop to it.
Visiting the pool would be another way of building confidence of having the bag on display and if people looked at the bag they were probably intrigued about it and I’d just take it in my stride.
Visiting the Pool
Even though I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t be refused entry because of the colostomy bag, I still had to double check at reception. The young person didn’t see a problem but wasn’t completely sure so I went ahead to the changing rooms. I double checked with a pool attendant and as I thought, there was no issue.
I had already prepared by making sure that the bag was completely empty and triple checked that there were no wrinkles that could let water. The new Dansac Nova bags that I’ve been using for the last couple of days have been sticking great so I was confident that it wouldn’t let in any water. There is a filter on the front of the bag and apparently you can get a sticker to go over it to help prevent the water interfering with how it works. If I’m sticking with these bags I’ll have to check with my stoma nurse.
I wore my regular swimming shorts which sat below the stoma meaning that the bag was always on show and I’m not sure if anyone actually looked at it. As soon as I was in the water it was no longer visible.
As it’s only just over four weeks since surgery I was planning on doing aqua jogging rather than swimming. I did try a little bit of swimming but it does put some strain on your abdominal muscles and it probably wasn’t the right time to be putting too much strain on them.
It felt great aqua jogging back and forth along the shallow end of the pool. It’s surprising how much effort you have to put in to move your legs and felt like I was getting a workout. I did some extra exercises by sitting up against the wall . These exercises mimicked some the exercises that I’ve been instructed to do at home but felt better doing them in the pool.
I’m keen to get back running in a few weeks and I’m seeing doing exercises in the pool as the ideal way of building up my cardiovascular fitness in preparation for lacing up the trainers again.