When To Change an Ostomy Bag Depends On Many Things
So life is every day. It is still every day when you have an ostomy. You now have to remember when to change your ostomy bag.
When I change my ostomy bag and when you do will depend on a number of variables. There are a few things that have changed for you
What I have found over my 4 plus years is that it even varies for me and the routine schedule I have set up for myself. Here is what I am talking about.
My Views-When to Change An Ostomy Bag
As I have lived longer with my ostomy, I have developed certain views on many things in relation to my ostomy. I do know that you should set up a bag change schedule for your ostomy. I also have found that the bag change schedule can be seasonal.
Let Me Explain
In the summer the warmer season It seems I have my skin get irritated a bit easier and more often than it does in the winter, or colder season.
So the conclusion is that I am not changing my equipment as often in the colder weather season.
As an example, like today, the top part of the wafer seal just started itching like crazy. This, as I found out, was because a little leak along the top of the wafer seal was a bit bothered by a small area of dried on fecal matter. This caused the itching.
Now if I had itched it, it would probably take me three cycles to get it healed up again. But what if I was on my normal change the bag every four days schedule, then I would be changing things on day three, not day four.
As we have discussed in our post, Who Pays for Ostomy Supplies, you are most likely paying for your ostomy supplies so this type of thing could cause you to be paying more for your supplies in the long term.
Ostomy Bag Change Schedule As I Do It
I figured out that I needed to establish an everyday routine. One that was dependable, so that I could have a normal life again. In many ways it has worked out well.
You will need to figure out for yourself if this would be beneficial for you. Maybe a regular routine will make it easier for you. You will find that not having to always be concentrating or worrying about your new circumstances, will be good for your daily life.
I figured out that I needed to establish an everyday routine. One that was dependable, so that I could have a normal life again. This is good. If you can work out the anxiety from it. You will be much happier with your life. In many ways, it has worked out well.
Now you need to apply to your life. You will need to figure out for yourself if this would be beneficial for you.
To have a routine will make it easier to not have to concentrate or worry about your new circumstances. So I like to set up my scheduled dates on my calendar in my office.
It is a simple process that you may adapt to your lifestyle and it works. Simple, easy and it works. Here is a video I made to help you see what I do exactly.
My Ostomy Bag Change Routine Looks Like This
My routine is: I have set up this routine, and it works for me.
What I do I as a regularly scheduled is that I will change out my equipment every fourth day. I change my ostomy bag every 4th day as a regular routine.
What this means is as an example, (this day that I am writing this), Wednesday, July 4, I have changed my equipment this afternoon. The last time I did the change was on Saturday evening June 30. So today is the fourth day since I last changed it.
My next day to change will be Sunday, July 8. Barring any unforeseen consequences, this will work for me. An unforeseen consequence is anything from the following items that could come up or appear, that you need to deal with.
- A break out while sleeping. Yes, this has happened before. (this is a major big time leak)
- A leakage, which causes an extra odor to my sense of smelling😷. I can tell if something is different than normal.
- Much more activity than normal. Everything is getting rattier than normal wear. It’s a good idea to go with a new set.
- The wafer just has not sealed up properly. This does happen occasionally. Rare but it will happen.
You never can tell for sure what will happen but these situations will cause you to make the change earlier. Thus your schedule is different. You need to be flexible.
You Learn to Be Very Flexible
But you also need to remember about your set up schedule. I set up my calendar at my desk, with penciled in scheduled days. I also will write on the two supply boxes when I change them last. I find this is beneficial because 4 days go by really fast and you will need to check.
You will tend to forget without reminders and keeping records. Use them as a guideline for remaining problem free. Ah normalcy, for an ostomate as they call us is heaven on earth.
Some days I really have a sad day😔where I just wish I didn’t need to deal with this anymore, BUT guess what, That does not make it go away. So, I personally need normal routines.
For most human beings, If you need to go pooh, then you just go. Basically no thought, you just find a bathroom.
❓❓❓For us it has a much larger anxiety curve. Questions like these come up in my head❓❓❓
My List Of Anxiety
- Will I be able to get to a restroom, before it gets filled up near too much?
- Will the bag and wafer hold, not have a blowout or a leak develops. This may happen from sitting scrunched up in a car traveling. This has and could happen again for me
- Do I have a fresh set (a wafer and a bag) readily available to change to, If I need to do this?
- Do I have a clean set of clothes to change into, if the need arises?
- Will the bathroom allow me to do what I need to do, to effectively work with my emergency situation?
- Can I successfully deal with this emergency situation? No two situations seem to be the same. Some much worse than others.
So When Do I Change An Ostomy Bag
To summarize everything we have been discussing, basically, everything will be fluid for you, until you set up some type of natural rhythm with your body and how your ostomy interacts with you. There are some common guidelines, but yet you are also an individual. Then the guidelines will be big for you.
I have several usual things I can count on for me.
- I know that the wear and tear on a bag for me is maxed out at 5 days. with the bag getting ratting looking, plus the inside having been soiled for several days, I am more comfortable with changing my appliances every fourth day, as I said.
- That works best for me, and I usually get through 4 days totally problem free.
- I know that as long as I eat a steady diet of foods that I have figured out work best for me, my schedule as planned will work out as well.
- Furthermore, if I have done my job during the changeover, then the seal will last me four days and beyond. I know when I plan out my expenses that I can count on myself for making any changes be good ones that will not cause any problems for me and my ostomy bag.
- If I am on a fixed budget, this helps to know my expenses are properly controlled by not having many accidents, or slipshod personal care.
Care Enough To Take Good Care of Yourself
Early on in my ostomy life span, my home care nurse, Barb, relayed to me the message that good personal hygiene, is a good idea for my long term health. She told me, that she had cared, for ostomy patients in the past, who didn’t learn to take care of themselves.
This did in turn lead to infections, hospitalizations, escalated medical bills, etc… Not a Good Look!
Now that you have this ammunition of information I would like to suggest even more insights from my post titled When to Change Ostomy Bag-An Answer Will Come With Time, you can read more by going to that post by clicking here.