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Lazy or Genius? The product that is making my ostomy life easier!

I got my first stoma in 2013 and apart from 18 months with a J-Pouch, I have had one ever since. My ileostomy is now permanent and I will have one forever. So I can’t believe it has taken me this long to figure out a solution to the smelly bin problem!! A nappy bin!

I have to say that it was someone on twitter who tweeted they have one. I am sorry I can’t remember who (but please do message me if you see this and I will happily mention you properly!)

Changing my ostomy bag

I change my ostomy bag about every 2 or 3 days when things are going well. But with leaks, if it’s hot or when I swim, it can be more often. Now I know I should probably just not be lazy and take the waste bags straight to the outside bin. But honestly sometimes I just can’t be arsed. Sometimes I am too fatigued or in too much pain and so I put them in our bedroom bin.

Some people change their bags in the bathroom, but I prefer my bedroom. Especially since I figured out my new technique which uses a hairdryer.

Anyway by the end of the week when I am emptying all the bins, there is a slight whiff to it. I use a waste bag, that looks like a dog poo bag, to wrap my used ostomy bag in but there can still be an odour. So after seeing the nappy bin suggestion I decided to give it a try.

Tommee Tippee nappy bin

I bought the Tommee Tippee Twist and Click Advanced Nappy Disposal System from Amazon for £29.99, this included 6 refills of the bag system that is used inside. My husband did give me a funny look when it arrived. Our youngest child is 15 but when I explained what it was for, he got it and wondered why we hadn’t thought of it before.

Tommy tippee twist and click nappy disposal system for ostomy bags

I have had it for a week now and I am really happy with it. I’m still putting the used ostomy bag, wipes etc in a waste bag. Then stick it in the top, twist the top panel and it is sealed and pushed down. The lid clicks closed and so far, no stink!

Lazy or genius?

I would say that this is by no means a necessity. I have managed for years without one and it isn’t a major issue. But sometimes when I have changed my bag in the middle of the night, the last thing I want to do is go outside to put waste in the big bin! When I am ill, I may need to change my bag several times in one day, I can’t be going up and down the stairs. Also I am just a bit lazy and if this takes a chore or two off my list and makes life a tiny bit easier then I will take that option!

nappy bin for ostomy bags

I am really sensitive to smell since I had all my surgeries. I worry whether I smell of poo (I don’t!). Or if there is a smell when I change bags (there is!). Changing my bag means peeling the sticky flange off my skin and so the poo inside comes into contact with the air. So as when someone is pooing in the toilet, of course there is some smell! And sometimes it is worse than others. So having the waste bags in the bedroom bin is a bit of a worry for me. I have been assured by others that they can’t smell anything once it is all wrapped up, but it doesn’t stop my twitchy nose. This bin just puts my mind at ease and feels more hygienic than using a wastepaper basket or even a swing bin.

So I thought I would pass on this little titbit of knowledge that has definitely helped just a little with ostomy life. I also get asked sometimes if there is a gift I would suggest for someone with a new stoma, and you know what? This may be my suggestion from now on!

Peace and love

Sam xx

Disclaimer

This is not a sponsored post, I wasn’t asked to promote or review this item and bought it myself. But the link above is an affiliate link and if you click and buy the item, I do get a few pence from the sale. Posts like this bring in a little money to keep SoBadAss going and free! If you would rather not buy through my affiliate link, just search for nappy bins and source one yourself! xx

Ostomy bags with a Parastomal Hernia – Aura Profile review

When I first had my surgery to remove my bowel and form my stoma, I had never even seen an ostomy bag before. The stoma nurse came to see me the night before and brought me a bag to see then after I woke up, I had the bag stuck to me. I went home with more of the same ileostomy bags and honestly I didn’t have a clue that there were any different types of bags. So when my body changed and I first had a parastomal hernia, I didn’t know I needed to get a different ostomy product.

Trying new ostomy products

And I think a lot of ostomates are the same, we stick to the bag we are given in hospital and don’t question or research whether there are other bags and products that would suit us better. Which is weird when you think about it, you wouldn’t just stick to the same hat for the rest of your life just because a shop assistant gave it you and told you it suits you. 

Stoma nurses do a cracking job, they can and do recommend lots of different products if you are having issues. But as with everything with living with a chronic illness, it is important to be your own advocate and do your own research. 

This is especially key if you have a change to your stoma or your body. If you gain or lose a lot of weight or if you develop a parastomal hernia. As you all may know, I have had a lot of hernias over the past seven years, including parastomal hernias. They effect every part of your life, especially the way your ostomy bag fits. I had loads of leaks due to my old bags fitting badly with the change of shape of my body.

woman with a parastomal hernia wearing an aura profile ileostomy bag

Free samples

Do some research and you can get free samples of most products, no one ever told me this! I decided to try the Aura Profile which available in a colostomy bag, ileostomy bag and urostomy bag. If you head over to their website, you can get a free sample here.

The Aura Profile moulds around the profile of your parastomal hernia. The flange is soft, and it inverts on itself. So, it shapes around your hernia and fits really snugly against your stoma. Parastomal hernias can get bigger and smaller throughout the day and totally change shape, this makes it super challenging to deal with and is why I have had so many leaks in the past. But the Aura Profile does a great job at adapting to your tummy size and shape. This also helps if you have dips, folds or scars on your skin around the stoma as the bag moulds to you.

I had quite sore skin around my stoma from the leaks and as we know, bags don’t like to stick to wet, sore skin. But within a week of using the Aura Profile, I noticed a huge improvement to my skin. If I’m honest, I hadn’t read this bit of the leaflet that came in the box (who does??) but I saw that it has Manuka honey in the flange that is really soothing and promotes healthy skin. Absolute bonus!

woman with a parastomal hernia wearing an aura profile ileostomy bag

Aura Profile

I didn’t get the belt to go with the bag and it is a different shaped hole fitting to the belt I already have and it didn’t fit. So I would recommend getting the belt to go with the Aura Profile. I don’t wear a belt all the time, but with having a parastomal hernia, it adds a bit of security that I like.

The flange was nice and sticky and because it is soft, I found it easy to press it down around my stoma to get a nice close seal. It has the measurements and cutting guides printed on the peel off back so was easy to cut to shape and there is a stoma size guide on the box itself too. 

I have one of those blow up hot tubs in the garden and I also do some wild swimming, so I have had chance to wear the Aura Profile in water and it was spot on. No lifting at the edges of the flange and definitely no leaks. When I went swimming, I found my tummy swelled up quite a bit and the bag definitely worked with that change in shape and still fit really well.

man and woman wild swimming

Parastomal hernia

If you have had a change to your body, or if you feel your bag isn’t fitting well right now, I would just remind you that there are so many products out there. You don’t have to struggle on and you shouldn’t. 

I really liked the Aura Profile and would recommend you give it a try, if it doesn’t work for you then don’t give up! Speak to your stoma nurse, chat with other ostomates, do a bit of research and find the best product for you. I would also say that our bodies and stomas can change and just because something didn’t work for you last year, don’t write it off forever. It is always worth trying again if your needs have altered.

It can feel really isolating to have a parastomal hernia. I felt a weird guilt, had I done something wrong? Did I not allow enough recovery time? Was I too impatient? I felt worried that this was my fault and so I didn’t like to talk about it. I know this is silly, that parastomal hernias just happen to some people. But knowing there were products designed just for this issue made me remember that I’m not alone in this.

Sam Cleasby ileostomy blogger review for aura profile

Watch the webinar

I hosted a webinar talking all things parastomal hernias last week. I don’t think parastomal hernias are discussed enough, it certainly wasn’t something I was told before I had surgery and it was a massive shock when I got my first hernia. I hope that events like this will not only inform and support but just rid the taboo and secrecy around hernias and help people to not feel quite so isolated. If you would like to watch a recording of the webinar and also a video from Pilates trainer Jo specifically for people with parastomal hernias, just click here.

I was asked to review the Aura Profile and so this is a sponsored post, but as always, I only give honest reviews and I only work with businesses that I believe in. This is why I don’t do many reviews as it is so important to me that I don’t promote anything that I wouldn’t happily use myself. For more information about the Aura Profile head to the Clinimed website.

You can follow Clinimed on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram here:

Peace and love

Sam xx

Ostomy bag leaks

It is quite literally shit when your ostomy bag leaks. You are going about your day when all of a sudden you realise that the bag has failed and you have poop dripping down your tummy. Today’s blog is about the dreaded ostomy bag leak.

For anyone who doesn’t know, ostomy bags are bags that stick to the abdomen, they go around a stoma which is a man made hole into your body. Mine is an ileostomy which means a small part of my small intestine comes through my stomach and the bag sticks around it and catches my poo. There is no control over when the poo comes out. Most of the time the bags work well, but occasionally they will fail in some way or another and can leak. I thought I would talk through some of the leaks I have had.

Types of ostomy bag leaks

There are a few different types of leaks in my experience. Do let me know in the comments your leak stories!

The itchy one that you catch before it comes out

I have very little feeling in the nerves on my skin of my tummy due to all the surgeries. But sometimes I get this burning itch that tells me that poop has lifted the sticky flange on my tummy and it is coming to get me. Usually I can see the flange darken underneath and it gives me enough time to run and do a bag change.

The surprise

This is one that comes with zero warning. One minute you are totally fine, the next you wonder why your leg feels wet and you realise you are covered in crap!

The morning bag of farts

I have no butt hole. I can’t fart. But my body still produces gas and that gas comes out of my belly through my stoma and into my bag. Overnight, this gas builds up and the bag swells. Imagine a bag of crisps on an airplane flight and you get my drift. Sometimes the bag can fill up so much that the pressure pulls the sticky flange away from the skin. And the poop doth flow.

The have I or haven’t I?

Sometimes I get the feeling, the itchy, burning feeling that my bag is starting to leak. But then I look and see no signs. It is the have I or haven’t I? You can’t risk it and so do a full bag change, often to find your mind has been playing tricks on you and there is no leak at all.

The poonami

As the name suggests it is a tsunami of poo. You have no idea where it started or how but you look down and the shit is everywhere! It’s in your pants, on your legs, in your bellybutton. It is a horror show. There is no other option than mega shower and probably a little weepy cry.

The annoying gap

The ostomy bags these days are brilliant. But sometimes they just don’t want to stick. Maybe your skin is sore, maybe it’s a bit damp, maybe the gods of stomas are mocking you? Who knows? But it is annoying, you do a bag change and think all is well but the sides are just not sticking. And that poop can find the tiniest crack to sneak out of.

The OMG I didn’t do up the bottom!

I have only done this once. And full disclosure; I was drunk. I had been to empty my bag and just plain forgotten to do back up the velcro bottom afterwards. And you can imagine the result. I also once started to have a leak whilst out on a night out. I was already a bit squiffy and went to the loo to change my bag and accidentally stuck it on upside down so the spout was pointing upwards. Not ideal. And this is why I rarely get drunk any more!!

The stuck in a vicious circle

The poop that comes out of my bag is very acidic and bad for your skin. When it leaks onto the skin, it irritates and burns. This can create big sores on the skin. These sores make the skin like an open wound and are damp. Here’s the kicker, ostomy bags don’t stick to sore, damp skin very well. So it is easy to get stuck in this vicious circle of leaking, getting sore skin and then leaking more because the bags don’t stick to sore skin. And round and round and round you go. It is shit.

The are you freaking kidding me

There are times when the leaks have just been constant. The worst time for me was at Glastonbury and a mixture of heat, sweat, vegan food, booze and who knows what. I went through 16 bags in two days. It was hell…

What can you do?

Though I have named a lot of leaks here, really it is important to know that you shouldn’t be facing leaks all the time. If you are, then you need to speak to a professional, usually a stoma nurse or ostomy company who can help. It is important to figure out WHY you are leaking.

It could be that you need to try and different bag or system. It could be that you have a hernia and it has changed the shape of your tummy. Maybe you have sore skin and that needs to be resolved. You shouldn’t be leaking so much that it is effecting your day to day life, so please don’t just put up with it. Speak to someone and ask for support.

There are so many different products on the market to help. It is important you know this. You have so many different options, have a google and remember you can get free trials of products. But do speak to your stoma nurse about what could be good for you.

It’s ok

I know I am making light of it here, but truly I do understand how utterly soul destroying it can be when you have a bag leak. I have felt embarrassed, humiliated, angry, frustrated, devastated. I have cried, Ive locked myself away, I have vowed to not go out again. I have felt dirty and smelly and wondered how anyone could want to be near me. I get it.

But unfortunately it is a part of my life now. And I refuse to let the occasional bag leak ruin my life. I don’t want a bit of poo to stop me living my best life, to stop me from doing the things I want to do. So I laugh about it, I make a joke, I deal with it and put it behind me. I try to make myself more resilient for the next time it happens.

It’s ok. If you have a bag, you will have faced bigger, badder and darker things in your life than a bit of poo. It is ok and you are ok. You clean that shit up, sort yourself out and carry on being your badass self.

Peace and love

Sam xx

Why I’m a proud flasher

Don’t worry, I don’t have a mac and follow people around at night flashing my boobies. But I am a very proud flasher of my osteomy bag and here’s why…

I have had many comments about the images I share of my ileostomy bag, most of them are positive but I get the occasional one that says ‘why are you doing this? We don’t want to see it! Is nothing private any more? Won’t somebody think of the children?!!!’

OK, I may have made the last one up! But the point is that people do seem offended by the fact that I happily flash my bag, and these comments always seem to come from a person in the position of priviledge who have never had to face the scary event of surgery to remove your bowel and being fitted with a colostomy or ileostomy bag.

ostomy photoshoot sexy ileostomy 50s pin up photo shoot so bad ass sam cleasby

So why do I do it?

I remember sitting in a hospital bed, having just been told that I had to have surgery and they were going to remove my entire large intestine and I would have a stoma, they were going to give me an ileostomy bag and I was in tears.  I was terrified, I couldn’t imagine how my life would be afterwards and though I was in part relieved to see an end to the severe and excrutiating pain, diarrhoea, accidents and misery of ulcerative colitis, I was also devastated.

I thought my life would be over, how would I ever feel beautiful or sexy again? What would my husband think of my new body? Would I ever wear a bikini again? Would my new body inspire disgust from others? Would I be able to love myself?  I sat in bed weeping and I felt so lonely.

I googled ostomy bags and it came up with frightening, medical images of sick, old people in bed wearing huge bags on their stomachs looking sad and frail.  And I felt numb.  Was this the end of life as I knew it?  This was in 2013 and there were no UK bloggers talking about this, no one sharing their images of a happy life, no positive, joyful photos, just misery and illness.

stoma ileostomy femininity black and white photography creative shoot #stomaselfie sam cleasby

And that is why I started this blog. And that is why I am proud to flash my bag.

You see, though life can still be tough now, my ostomy bag changed my life for the better in so many ways, it gave me back a sense of control over my body, it made me feel well again, it stopped the pain and the isolation that 9 years of ulcerative colitis had caused.  And once I had the surgery, I realised that rather than fear and sadness, when I looked at my bag and my body I felt pride! I felt strong and powerful, I felt like I had dealt with a huge surgery and my body was still standing.

I realised that I never wanted another person to sit alone, frightened and crying in a hospital bed, wondering what their life would hold for them with a stoma.  I wanted to be the image that came up when they googled that showed them happiness, a fresh start, a normal life, damn it an EXTRAORDINARY life!

sam cleasby blogger ostomy ibd woman with a colostomy ileostomy bag stoma

I wanted to be a small ray of light in an otherwise frightening time that could show someone that life with an ostomy bag is a positive and wonderful thing.  That they could be what they wanted to be with their bag, that it wasn’t something to be feared or disgusted by, but to be proud of.

I wanted to show the world that my ostomy bag saved my life and that I am proud of it and myself.

I wanted to show that I can feel beautiful, sexy, strong, powerful and like ME.

I will never stop flashing my bag because every time I do, I get messages from people thanking me, saying that it helps to see others with a bag, that it inspires them to be proud of their bodies, that even if they don’t want to show their own bag, that they share my images to explain to their friends and family what they have.

ileostomy bag and fashion swimwear

Should everyone flash their bag?

No, of course not! It is a totally private and personal decision, I am happy to flash my bag but that doesn’t mean that everyone should.  I hope that showing my bag off will help those people who want to wear a bikini on a beach to do it with pride, to show them not to be scared of being themselves.  But some people are very private and don’t want to have their ostomy bag on show and their privacy is as important as my desire to flash mine.

sam cleasby chicken keeping allotments kiveton sheffield

The stigma around talking about poo is part of day to day life, generally if we talk about toilet habits, it is done by making fun about it.  We find it hard to have an honest and open conversation about our bowels and that needs to change.  This fear of talking bums stops people from accessing medical help when they have bowel issues, it stops them from asking for help and that can have a hugely negative effect on our health.

The aim of my blog has always been to help others, to stop poo being taboo and to raise awareness of IBD, Crohns, Colitis, Ostomy bags and invisible impairments as a whole.  If I have to continue flashing this scarred body of mine and showing off my ostomy bag to keep the conversation going then I will do this till the day I die.

Sam Cleasby blogger ostomy ileostomy colostomy stoma

I am a flasher and proud!

 

Love Sam xx

Why I show off my ostomy bag 

I’d like this post to just say ‘BECAUSE FUCK YOU!”
but I’m going to try and be a little more level headed. Which is difficult when I’ve just read a post on mumsnet by a charming person called Frikkadilla…

I should probably pop a warning in here to say this post is ever so sweary! If you’re offended by f-bombs, you should probably step away now.

Still here? Then let the rant commence.
Ohhhh FrikkaDilla… How I’d like to really show you my bag. Close up. Rammed in your face.
Let’s go through the points.
“Those Facebook photos with Stoma pictures. Am I wrong to really not want to see this?” 
Well, no. We have a choice in what we view on social media. If you don’t want to see these images, turn off your fucking computer.
In life, unless you wish to walk around with a bag over your head, then you will see people with disabilities, people who have medical devices that are part of their lives, people who are different to you. If you don’t wish to see people with medical problems, I’d suggest you fuck off and live in a cave.

sam cleasby body positive plus size ostomy
I have family and a friend who needs this piece of medical help however I keep being surprised (no…shocked) when I see people posting photos of themselves showing their bag off.
‘I’m not racist because I have this one black pal…’ Oh sorry! I thought we were all giving ourselves shitty excuses to say terrible things!
I’m sure your family member and friend must feel so supported by you and your desire to get people with an ostomy to hide away!
Your “surprise” and “shock” make me howl, you have the whole of the Internet at your fingertips and a photo of a woman in a bikini with an ostomy bag have affected you this much? Blimey! Let me send you a few links to some really shocking stuff. There’s this one video, at band camp…

stoma ileostomy bag woman junk food ulcerative colitis crowns ibd
I’ve even seen a woman on the beach in a bikini showing one off (Facebook photo)
How very fucking dare she? A woman went on holiday and wore a bikini??? No way!
You get that we can’t take the ostomy bag off right? That it’s something worn all day every day, it’s not a fashion statement, it’s a health device that allows us to still be alive!
People with an ostomy are like anyone else, they go on holiday, they wear human clothes, they own cameras and they are allowed on Facebook…

ileostomy bag bikini swimwear beachwear holiday

I just don’t understand this need to show it off. Why are they doing it?
Firstly, it’s none of your god damned business what other people choose to do.
Secondly, people are ‘showing it off’ because it is a part of their body, a device that can’t be removed and so most people are just trying to live their lives without embarrassment or fear of nasty, small minded bigots like you. They are sharing a photo of them, in their full glory.
Would you like all people with a disability to hide away? What about those attention grabbing amputees showing off with their missing limbs? They need to wipe their Facebook photo albums, right? Or even worse, those drama queens in wheelchairs!! All their photos are just chair, chair, chair!!!!
That was all sarcasm, in case you didn’t get it. As you don’t seem to get much do you Frikkadilla.

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

Those of us who do show off our bags, and I’m talking about myself here do it for many reasons. I can’t speak for others but I’ll share just a few of mine.
• I want to raise awareness of something that affects over 100,000 people in the UK alone.
• Any illness to do with poo tends to be seen as embarrassing and taboo. This makes sufferers feel ashamed, isolated and depressed. I want to help end this taboo.
• I find it helps my recovery to share my story including photos of myself. I feel like I’m regaining control of my life after 13 years of illness, medication and surgeries.
• I am proud of my body and myself. I’ve been through hell and I refuse to let people like you body shame me.
• I want to show my kids that whatever humans look like, they are awesome. That I’m not ashamed of my imperfect body, because it’s perfect to me and they should love themselves no matter what society tells them.
• I make a difference to people’s lives by doing what I do. I get 50,000 views a month on this website! And I get hundreds of messages every month of people telling me that I am helping them through their journey. Who have you helped today Frikkadilla?
• Because I look fucking amazing! My size 16, scarred body with an ostomy may not to be your liking, but I think I look shit hot! (No pun intended!)
• I own my body, I don’t have to live by anyone else’s rules. I have full ownership and if I wish to share photos of it, I will without shame, bullying or fear.
• Because fuck you.

stoma ileostomy femininity black and white photography creative shoot

Thanks to everyone else on that mumsnet thread (that admin decided to pull because it was so shitty) who told Frikkadilla alllllllll the reasons why she was wrong/stupid/ablist/a cotton headed ninny muggins.

I read the post and was fuming but the responses reminded me that most people are awesome and just a few in this world who are dicks.
Sam xx

Ostomy photoshoot – 50s pin up

There is a lot of negativity when it comes to ostomies, I have heard many a time things like “Id rather die than wear a colostomy/ileostomy bag” “I don’t want to look like a freak” “Im not normal if I have a bag” etc etc

It is absolutely gutting to hear comments like this being made in public, the fact is that these bags save lives, we aren’t choosing to have them as a fashion accessory, they are there because the people who have them have been so sick and battled so hard that they now have to live with an ostomy.

As you may know I have done a couple of photoshoots before in order to demystify the whole process, to show how small a part of me my bag is.

I decided to do one last shoot before my pouch surgery next week and the theme was 50s pin up.  I wanted to show that people living with an ostomy can be sexy, fun and cheeky… That this little bag doesn’t define who I am, it is just a small add on to my body that allows me to function in a way I have been unable to for 10 years.

Im a bit nervous at putting these up so please be kind, I do this because I want to make a difference, I want to show people what an ileostomy bag is like, and that it doesn’t stop my femininity, sexuality or sense of humour because when I had my surgery I was so terrified that I would lose those things.

Enjoy x

ostomy photoshoot sexy ileostomy 50s pin up photo shoot so bad ass sam cleasby

 

ostomy photoshoot sexy ileostomy 50s pin up photo shoot so bad ass sam cleasby

 

ostomy photoshoot sexy ileostomy 50s pin up photo shoot so bad ass sam cleasby

 

ostomy photoshoot sexy ileostomy 50s pin up photo shoot so bad ass sam cleasby

 

ostomy photoshoot sexy ileostomy 50s pin up photo shoot so bad ass sam cleasby

 

 

Please like, comment and share these images with anyone you think they could make a difference with.
Thanks so much for looking

Remember that you can make a difference, to donate to Crohns and Colitis UK you can text CCUK14 and your donation amount to 70070
e.g. If you wanted to donate £5 you would text: CCUK14 £5 and send it to 70070.

Or online through Just Giving

 

Thank you so much to my husband Timm for The Picture Foundry for photographing me for this shoot.

 

Sam xxx

First ever vlog! How to change your ileostomy bag video

I have been threatening to do this video for months and never got round to it, so here it is.  My first ever vlog, a how to video on how to change your ileostomy bag.

Enjoy!

 

Love Sam xx

Fashion tips for women with ileostomy or colostomy bags

One of the questions I get asked a lot is how do you choose clothes to wear with your ileostomy bag, and so I thought Id do a little post on the question…

Its a funny one because my first reaction is ‘Wear whatever the hell you want to” and that is my general rule.  But there are a few things I wear for comfort and ease…

1. Maternity trousers

I know, I know, wearing maternity trousers when you aren’t pregnant seems awful, but they are FANTASTIC.  You can get a ton of different styles these days from most high street stores and they are really affordable.

I went for maternity jeans because from the crotch down they look like any other pair of trousers, but that soft stretchy band above makes them super comfortable and holds your bag snugly against your stomach so it just feels so safe.  Wearing these means I happily wear jeans and a vest and don’t even think about my bag.

2. Don’t feel that you have to hide it

The fact is that sometimes you will be able to make out the shape of your bag under your clothes, but seriously who cares?  What is the absolute worse that will happen? Someone will ask you what it is, you tell them.  The End.  Wear what make you feel good, if you can see the bag, own it and make it awesome…

ileostomy bag and fashion

I love this tshirt and didn’t want to go bigger and get a baggy top, I know you can see the shape of my bag through and so what!

ileostomy bag and fashion

I bought this is Australia and its totally see through… I think Im rocking it!

3.  In there like swimwear

I looked at a few ileostomy swimming costumes and never found one I liked and so I just wear what I already have! On the beach or sunbathing I am happy to wear a bikini and just let is all hang out…

ileostomy bag and fashion swimwear ileostomy bag and fashion having fun swimwear ostomy stoma

If I want to cover up on the beach, or at the local swimming pool I wear a one piece, if you are bothered about people seeing it, go for a large pattern.

ileostomy bag and fashion swimwear

4. Tight fitting clothes.

You had your bowel removed, you did not become a nun.  If you liked wearing tight fitting clothes before there is no reason you can’t still wear them.  It comes down to confidence and self esteem – your bag has probably saved your life, its not something to be ashamed of, wear what makes you feel amazing.

ileostomy bag and fashion

5. Loose women

If you want to go baggy then do it, but do it because you love the dress, not because you want to cover everything up.

ileostomy bag and fashion

6. In the bedroom

I don’t usually talk about ‘bedroom stuff’ just because it isn’t really something I want my mum or kids to read, but regarding clothes Ill talk a bit.  There are some specialist lingerie sets for ostomates, I have had a look and to be honest they aren’t for me.  There are specialist wraps but in a way I find them a little bit offensive, its like saying I need to cover up my bag for my partner to find me sexually attractive.

I tend to wear a vest in bed because I feel more comfortable when my bag is close against my skin, but honestly, with the right partner, you really don’t need to worry about what you are wearing in the bedroom.  I think sex is about trust and respect, if my partner didn’t want to see my bag during sex, he probably wouldn’t be the right partner for me.

7. Underwear

I tend to wear big panties, you know the high waisted ones, I do this because I prefer to have the cotton between my skin and the bag.  Its total personal preference, you can buy specialist underwear that has a pouch in it for your bag.  I haven’t bothered with these so far as Im comfortable in what I have.

8. Wear what makes you feel amazing…

This is the main point.  Clothes are such a personal choice, there is little reason for you to change your style because of your bag.  There are a few things I avoid nowadays because of the position of my stoma, waistbands need to go above or below my stoma to feel comfortable.  I’d never stop wearing something that I loved unless it was ridiculously impractical or uncomfortable.

ileostomy bag and fashion

Wear what makes you feel awesome and amazing, you deserve it xxx

Love Sam xxx

Ileostomy swimwear

I was a little nervous after my op about what sort of swimwear would suit me. I looked at a few specialist stoma swim wear places but couldn’t find anything I liked and so I have just stuck with my old stuff.

This dark swimming costume with large print totally disguises the shape of my bag and makes it feel secure against my body.

This was me on Christmas Day on the beach, it was a bit rainy and grey but I wasn’t letting that stop me jumping in the waves. My sister was another story though…

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For bikinis I’m going for a fuller bottom, either little shorts or high waisted bottoms.

Having my bag and scar out does cause a few stares but I’m mostly ok with that, it’s usually from curiousity than anything malicious.

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Today I was sat on a beautiful Australian beach in a bikini, I got a few looks but as I people watched, it got me thinking about just how many different shapes and sizes we all are. Some of us a skinny, some bigger, some busty, some flat chested, some of us have scars or even bags stuck to our stomachs. But the most beautiful people around are those who are confident, smiling and having fun.

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So when people stare whether it is openly or surreptitiously, my first instinct is to feel upset, embarrassed or angry. I swallow it down and just smile.

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Most people are good, I have to believe that and so I take their stares as folk being curious about something different that they probably haven’t seen before.

I hold my head up and be proud of how awesome it is that my body has healed me and my bag is making my quality of life better.

Sam xx

Living with my ileostomy bag – Photo shoot

I know I have been a little quiet of late but the honest reason is that life is all going quite smoothly at the minute.  My stoma and ileostomy bag are behaving and life is getting back to normal… Actually better than how I was before as I no longer have any symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis.  No pain, no meds and no constant running to the loo!

Living with a photographer has its benefits, one of which is having him on hand to photograph me when I ask!  This shoot was kind of unplanned and was just around the grounds of our studio at The Picture Foundry.  Our chickens are limelight whores and decided to jump into a few of the shots.

I think the shoot shows that Im in a good place at the minute, I feel relaxed, happy and kind of proud of my little bag.

Enjoy xx

 

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

stoma ostomy ileostomy colostomy ibd ulcerative colitis photo shoot

 

 

 

Love Sam xx