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Vietnam with an ileostomy

Cin ciao from Vietnam!!! Hello!!

After my surgery in 3rd September this year to remove my colon and create an ileostomy I was nervous about our planned trip to Vietnam and Australia but here I am and all is going well!

The flight was fine, I avoided the (free) alcohol which is always a bit depressing as I knew that dehydration was a possibility that could affect me badly. I took an Imodium in the morning and took two large bottles of water onto the flight with me to make sure I had easy access to water.

It was an 11 hour flight so I had to empty my bag a few times during that time. I figured out which was the slightly larger loo and made sure I went for that toilet. I packed most of my supplies in my hand luggage but made sure I had a small bag with a set of everything I needed so I didn’t have to take my big bag.

One tip is to put loo roll down the pan before emptying your bag as otherwise the output can be difficult to flush. I also packed a mini spray of ostomy scent and some anti bacterial hand gel which made life a little easier.

Despite drinking tons I did end up feeling quite dehydrated so I drank a couple of cokes and had some salty snacks. I did have some diaralytes packed too to replace the salts and fluids lost.

All in all the flight was ok, I was worried but it all went fine. And no, my bag didn’t swell up with air when I was flying!!!

So onto Vietnam – it is an amazing place!!! I have been blogging on our family travel blog so if you want to read more on our trip take a look here

We are staying in Ho Chi Minh City and we are having a fantastic time, my bag is not stopping me doing anything though I am aware of it and conscious of looking after myself.

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I have been on boat trips, walked all over the city and even cycled around an island!

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The heat and humidity has caused my stoma to swell, which in turn has caused some soreness and bleeding of my stoma. I have increased the size of the hole in the flange to compensate for this.

I’ve also had some soreness of my skin around my stoma due to the glue on the flange and general sweating in the 32 degree plus heat!!

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Regarding clothes I found shorts that fitted comfortably under my ileostomy bag before we came and I’m wearing those with long vests or tshirts. I have occasionally felt a little self conscious about my bag. It was peeking from under my top as I got out of a boat and I saw a group of men staring but it’s been fine.

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The food in Vietnam is amazing and I have enjoyed eating everything I have wanted. I’m aware of general cleanliness and only drank bottled water, not eaten street food and used anti bac gel before eating.

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There have been a couple of times where I have been in some discomfort due to my stoma being swollen or my skin feeling sore but I was adamant that it wasn’t going to ruin our trip. It is really important to me that I live a normal life and I don’t want my bag to negatively affect my experiences.

This has been an amazing trip, I have had the time of my life and I’m glad I didn’t let the surgery put me off coming. It has meant thinking some things through and making my health a priority but it really hasn’t affected our holiday.

Vietnam is crazy but beautiful – it is one of the most fantastic places I have ever visited and I’d recommend it to anyone!

This morning I have woken with some stomach cramps and diarrhoea – something I ate yesterday hasn’t agreed with me. So I’ve taken Imodium and I’m drinking plenty. This could happen bag or no bag so I won’t let it get me down!!

I’ll keep an eye on things and make sure I stay hydrated, I’ll take some diaralyte and enjoy our last day in Vietnam!!

Tonight we fly to Australia, I’ll update next week!

Anyone with an ostomy, I really hope this inspires you to know that your stoma and bag are no reason to stop you living life to the full – your ostomy is there because it saved your life – so live it and live it well.

Gam hon!!! Thank you!

Love Sam xx

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  1. […] (no real reason, I just love a pun and it made me laugh!) and it allowed me to go traveling to Vietnam and Australia just three months after surgery, something I couldn’t imagine trying to plan […]

  2. […] (no real reason, I just love a pun and it made me laugh!) and it allowed me to go traveling to Vietnam and Australia just three months after surgery, something I couldn’t imagine trying to plan […]

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