Summer advice from April Way

Summer advice from April Way

We asked April Wilson A.K.A @thatgirlwiththebag how she deals with summer and her stoma; this is what she had to say!

"I live in Florida where it is summer year-round, and I have found through trial and error that specific bag types are for different climates. I wear a silicon wafer that adheres to my skin with heat, so it works perfectly in warmer climates, the only downside to a silicon wafer is the saltwater in the ocean. The saltwater will eat away at the outer seal of my wafer when I go into the ocean. To combat this problem, I wear an Ostomy belt with my swimsuit that keeps my bag close to my body. I change my bag after my beach day just to make sure I have a good seal that hasn’t been compromised. 

Heat rash is a problem for me and sometimes can go unnoticed as well as Fungal rash and Yeast build-up in and around the wafer. Every rash is different, and my dermatologist helps me decipher which one is which and how to treat it. You can treat these rashes with over-the-counter medication found at any drug store. These rashes are not ideal or wanted but it happens when you wear an appliance on your skin. One thing that has helped me keep these rashes at bay is making sure the outside of my bag dries, when I take a shower, I dry my bag and the skin under where my bag hangs quickly with a blow-dryer before putting on any clothes. This will help prevent any yeast or fungal build-up. 

I have a 6-year-old son and he LOVES waterparks and theme parks. In the beginning, it made me nervous to go down a water slide or attempt a rollercoaster, but what I have found is that if you wear the right clothing and prepare your bag for each activity you can enjoy it just like everyone else.

For waterparks I wear a one-piece suit so I know my bag won’t go flying off going down a super-fast intimidating waterslide, it works! I can enjoy every slide with my son, and I have found some really fashionable one-piece suits.

For theme parks I make sure to keep my bag empty, I never pass up a quick trip to the bathroom and this is because roller coasters either have harnesses that come across your chest and land on your abdomen or go across the lap pushing up against your abdomen as well. The last thing you want is to burst your bag because it is too full of all the forces of a rollercoaster. I have ridden multiple rollercoasters with no problems, and I know a lot of Ostomates are wary of doing such activities. It is possible! You just have to be aware and prepared."

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