One of the most irritating aspects of having a stoma for me, on top of all the unexpected passing wind and fretting about leaks is all the paraphernalia that I have to carry on a daily basis, some days I would just like to go out without having to remember my bag full of appliances and wipes etc. Much in the same way new mums would like to break free form carrying a pram bag around. I thought my changing bag days were long gone, seeing as my babies are 19 and 17!
It can very often feel like a nappy changing bag, especially if its a long day out and about, I have no choice by to go prepared for every eventuality. I have trialed a few ways of breaking free. The very best situation is if my car is parked near by, I can just load the car up with everything and store it there till its needed. Personally I happily change my bag in my car, but when I did a radio show phone in a few months back one woman caller found my suggestion a most unsatisfactory place to change her bag, to each their own of course. Carrying my Radar key does give me another option should the need arise.
Some outfits or events don't lend themselves to lugging a large bag around, for example we went to dinner at The Savoy and then the theater after a few weeks ago, I didn't want to take a large day bag with me, so I opted for a small black clutch bag, no mean feat you understand, but with small bags in fashion at the moment I have to try and condense my kit.
Here are my 5 must haves;
1, I use the Ostoguard wipes to remove my bag when out for the day, as a multi function wipe, they can remove bags, clean and sooth the skin. I have to be totally honest I don't find them a very comfortable way of removing a bag, but the up side is a couple of small sachets take up far less room than an can of removal spray.
2, I pre cut my bags (I have no idea what other peoples preference is but I only order uncut bags) I much prefer to cut my own, I know most stoma companies offer a cutting service but in the past I found that a pre cut bag has a tendency to leak where the sticky part has been lifted during the cutting. I've had a few mishaps with leaks due to that in part. For a day or evening out though I will pre cut the bag to save carrying scissors with me.
3, 'Fresh aire' room deodoriser, I wish they did this in smaller hand bag sized cans but alas they do not. At least I'm one can down by ditching removal spray.
4, Dry wipes or kitchen towel.
5, Scented disposal sacks. I take plenty, it makes me more comfortable binning my used bag if I can quadruple wrap it, I appreciate its not very eco friendly but one problem at a time please!
A selection of my smaller sized bags; left to right, Silver Jimmy Choo - Zadie cross body bag, orange and cream bag Tory Burch, black and animal print bag Karen Millen, Black clutch Aspinal of London.
Aspinal clutch packed with essentials, even room for my phone and a lippy!
I take just one of the room sprays depending on the size and the shape of the bag.
I only use these for removing a bag whilst I'm out and about, but they are really very soothing to use at home as a cleaning wipe.
Having gorgeous bags to lug all my colostomy stuff round in does somewhat take the sting out of it!
I was recently contacted by a very kind lady to say that she had discovered using perfume sprays from M&S work very well as room sprays and they come in a handy little 10ml bottles which makes it ideal to carry round in handbags as well as in the home.