Be like the Boy Scouts – “Prepared”

An important thing to remember is, the Boy Scout motto:  Be Prepared..When you are first trying the appliance (bag) you might have a leak. It usually depends on how much liquid you are taking in, but it might be the fault of the appliance. In any case, each time you leave your home, you should have the following items pre-packed and ready to go.

Two new bags/appliances
Any adhesive items you use to attach it
A paper diagram and pen to show how to cut the hole, it takes practice
Small scissors to cut the appliance the desired width,
I suggest the medical type with rounded points
Two washcloths
One hand towel
Wipes, the non-alcohol type
Sanitary hand wipes, not for use on ostomy skin
Two pairs of underwear
One pair of pants, I carry a black pair because it will match anything
A pair of socks just in case the leak gets out of control
The grey ostomy disposal bag you receive with the bags for the used one
Ziplock bags to carry the wet items home

Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? I have used everything on the list when first starting out. If you read my initial post, you know why. It was Leak City for a while. Everything fits in a backpack or large purse or bag, messenger bag, briefcase, etc. I’m writing this for men and women. This bag will save you embarrassment in a day of sight-seeing, shopping, or work. I’ve been there. It may be that you are perfectly fitted the first time and never have a leak. Great! But it only takes once to make you wish you took a pre-packed bag. I recommend two appliances because until you get used to trimming the hole for the ostomy, you may accidentally cut the appliance. You cannot mend it with tape. It’s no longer useful, just dispose of it. You can always precut the bags at home and pack them. That’s easier than trying to wrestle around with stuff in your lap in a small restroom booth.

Now that it’s been a year, my ostomy is the size it’s always going to be, so I don’t carry scissors, I use the pre-sized, already cut type. I don’t use any adhesive cream, lotion, spray or powder, so that lessens the bag bulk. I do carry two appliances, washcloths, and non-alcohol wipes, underwear, and a pair of pants. I’d rather be safe than sorry. Restrooms aren’t always ideal so I carry my own washcloths, etc.

I have my routine down, and a trip to a restaurant, shopping center, whatever, is much more enjoyable.You may not need any of this information. But if you do, I hope it’s useful.

The following website is a good one:   fightbladdercancer.co.uk