Why Was Colostomy Clothing Such a Big Deal?
After over 5 days in the hospital, colostomy clothing was big time on my mine. Why you ask?
For 5 days I was wearing a peek-a-boo backless gown, not very becoming on a 61 year old man, I might add. What to wear, I sound like a woman now, but I had a good reason for this concern.
As I walked around I realized that my outfits right now would be sweat pants and a t-shirt. The main reason would be my ostomy was placed just immediately below my waist on my left hand side. my left hand side probably because I am left-handed?
Maybe some other reason but I do not know why. With this larger bump, It made it impossible for me to button up any of my pants that I owned.
Regular Clothes Just Didn’t Work Well
I tried, and tried all of them. The only answer was the baggy britches look with no belt but wearing suspenders. Huh?, Ah, NOT MY LOOK. Some may agree with this look others may disagree. I wasn’t going to do that look.
So I faced giving all of my pants away, and replacing them with something that I could wear. But What? A few days later, the Ostomy care nurse that I had an appointment with told us to check with a gentlemen at a store in a local mall. He would be able to help.
Searching For Clothing for Colostomy Patients, Takes Patience
So we went to this kind sir and he directed us to a shirt rack and a pants rack for what recommended for people with my needs. Was this the answer, no not really.
We did start heading in the right direction though. We purchased one shirt and we were not sure the trousers were the answer so we continued on our search.
Our search led us a few days later to an outlet store where the stocked Wrangler elastic expansion waist banded pants. These allowed me to wear a dress casual type of trouser and yet do it without a belt.
The Shirt Search Was Next
Our next search was for a shirt type that could be worn out, the untucked look that still looked dress but would hang loosely and nicely over the pants. You see the object is to be comfortable but not to show the obvious ostomy bump that is always present.
It is best when the bag is newly changed and at it’s worst when it is full of gases or feces. Then it’s time to find a restroom.
So the search was for a tail less shirt, that looked dressy and had some nice design to it, not just a very plain looking shirt. This was a challenge. Several stores visited and we left several stores were left disappointed.
Finally we found one store where I was able to find 5 different shirts that I could wear comfortably that checked off all of the boxes on the list of requirements.
The challenge is that these stores only carry a few different shirts of this style that fit me. We still haven’t found any other store but that one.
What Are You Looking For to Dress a Colostomy Patient
You will need a look that disguises the fact that you have an ostomy, with a piece of equipment attached to it.
Please be aware, as you are out of the house, that situations will arise when you bag will expand very much. the bulge that develops is rather large. It can be very embarrassing to you, if that bulge is very easily noticed.
Once you have either changed the bag or you have drained the bag, you are very happy to have a look in your clothing as a colostomy patient that covers this fact up for you.
This is an area where I have had to realize that things aren’t as recognizable to most people.
But they are really uncomfortable to you knowing and wondering how many people are noticing.
With my lack in personal confidence, I wouldn’t be in public with my t-shirt and sweat pants look.
The ostomy to me is too apparent. I only do this if I am wearing a jacket over it, or a windbreaker over it.
Have You Prepared an Ostomate Emergency Bag?
Another thing to be aware of is that if you need to change the equipment you will need to be able to access the ostomy area easily.
Tight, restrictive clothing does not work well for changing or draining situations. Also I always take a change of clothing with me in case a breakout happens.
A breakout is if the bag is so full it starts unattaching itself and leakage is happening or if the wafer is leaking or becoming unattached. I have had both things happen, And It was very helpful having other clothes to change into.
So it is very important to have a colostomy emergency bag ready and easily reached in your car, if you are out for an extended period of time. I have a great post about this, Preparing An Ostomy Emergency Travel Kit. Being prepared is now more important than ever before.
Read More About Ostomy Life-View Related Posts Below
How Food Affects My Ostomy Pouch is a personal detailed list of foods I eat every day. Using this list I comment on how each food affects my ostomy pouch.
Showering & bathing with an ostomy is an unknown area that an ostomy owner needs to get answers about. I detail my experiences showering and bathing with my ostomy.