How to Take Care of Your Colostomy
Becoming comfortable with living with an ostomy will take time, particularly if you have a colostomy. Since a passage was created from the large intestine to the outside of your body, you may feel strange and have several questions regarding recovery and going back to your life before the surgery.
Many people who have a colostomy have concerns about their appearance and the impact the ostomy will have on their life—some people feel like they have lost their independence. In contrast, others become depressed and have trouble adjusting.
There’s no denying that adjusting to colostomy will be challenging, but remember that you have not lost your independence, and you can still do the things you love!
Getting the surgery to create a colostomy is the first step in a long process. To be successful in your healing, you need to learn how to care for yourself, especially your stoma and the skin around it.
Self-care is an essential part of life with a colostomy. As a person with a colostomy, you have to take extra steps to protect the opening from getting irritated, infected, or injured. It is also important to take care of the skin around the stoma and ensure that clothing and toiletries do not irritate the skin.
After your stoma has been created, you will heal up fairly quickly. While special products can help the healing process, it will still take 6-12 weeks for the area to heal and become less swollen and sensitive to the touch. During this time, the skin around the stoma can become fragile and easily damaged.
People who have a colostomy often have to make certain adjustments to their life and body to help the healing process. To recover properly, we suggest:
1. Getting 24-Hour Nursing Care
Many hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and long-term care facilities offer this kind of help. With 24-hour nursing care, you have a nurse with you at all times, even when you sleep. This kind of help will ensure your safety and create a safer recovery environment.
2. Protect the Skin around the Stoma
The skin around your stoma needs protection. Because the opening is directly connected to your large intestine, constantly releasing stool, the skin around the stoma will be sensitive and fragile. Make sure that the skin is kept clean, dry, and free of irritation.
You may want to apply a barrier cream that protects the skin. This cream is used on the skin around the stoma, which prevents the skin from getting irritated or damaged. Applying a barrier cream can be done anytime, even when you are going out in public.
3. Understanding Your Care Plan
Many people who have a colostomy are excited to get back to their everyday life. However, some people who have a colostomy find it challenging to understand their care plan. Depending on your situation, you may need extra assistance to help you know what you should do to care for the stoma, skin, and pouching system so it heals properly.
The decision to have a colostomy is a big one. On the one hand, it can be a way to save your life. On the other, it changes your life in many ways and can be an emotional and physical challenge. While many people who have a colostomy find it challenging to accept this new change, they also discover that they can live a full life with a colostomy with the best nursing care and the appropriate steps in healing!
If you’re looking for the best nursing care in Morristown for your colostomy recovery, you’ve come to the right place! Our multidisciplinary team of medical professionals at Morristown HC develops personalized medical care plans that set our patients on the road to recovery and minimize re-hospitalization. Schedule your tour today!