When you have a stoma, you’re often warned about how hot weather can affect you. We’re told to make sure we stay hydrated, we regulate body temperature and keep our ostomy supplies out of direct sunlight. However, what about when the colder months come round? Here’s the one stop shop for ostomates in autumn!
The ostomates essential autumn/winter checklist
You still need to stay hydrated
Whilst it’s obvious that you need to stay hydrated in the summer, it’s just as important in the winter too. I know that I am the worst at remembering to drink water once it gets cooler so I think I’m going to download one of those apps which remind you to drink!
It’s important that you drink water too; drinking tea and coffee, even if you opt for decaf, isn’t hydrating enough. An option if water isn’t for you, or if the thought of drinking something cold fills you with dread in the colder months, try hot water or a caffeine free herbal tea such as peppermint or lemon and ginger.
Get your flu jab
Flu jabs are so important if you have a stoma. The main reason being that having the flu/pneumonia is even more dangerous if you have a stoma because of the dehydration issues. It can also make your bag go a bit crazy, mainly because you’re not eating as much and are more thirsty.
The other reason why getting your flu jab is important is because you’re more likely to have a weakened immune system. If you have crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, you may be on immunosuppressants and if you have a stoma for other health reasons, it is likely that your immune system is compromised as well!
Having a stoma doesn’t automatically make you a candidate for a free NHS flu jab but you can check here to see if your an ‘at risk’ patient. If you’re not eligible, it is still worth getting one at your local pharmacist and I think they’re £10.
Make sure you have enough stoma supplies
Now, you should always make sure you have enough stoma supplies, that’s kind of a given, but it’s even more important in the colder months because of weather issues. I use SecuriCare and they always do there best to get stoma supplies to me, whatever the weather! Cast your minds to the beast from the east earlier this year though; it was impossible to get delivery’s where I was and I was so lucky I had enough supplies!
The key to this is make sure you re-order your supplies in plenty of time. SecuriCare have a really good phone line you can ring if you are concerned about this. If you have any worries about anything to do with your stoma and supplies, I really recommend phoning them as they’re so friendly and helpful!
I hope this helps you get prepared for the upcoming season! Leave your tips in the comments below and don’t forget to sign up to the new Chronically Living newsletter for all things chronic illness