Leaking stoma bags suck. They can make a great day rubbish if you let them and can leave you feeling on edge about leaks happening again. I used to really struggle with my mucus fiscula leaking on a daily basis and I also had some trouble with my stoma bag in the early days too. There are ways to deal with stoma leaks to help prevent them and to make it easier if it does happen so here are my tips for dealing with stoma bag leaks!
Carry emergency stoma bags with you
I have a little bag in my handbag which has enough supplies in to do a quick bag change if I ave a leak when I’m out. I have actually had to use this before and it really helps put your mind at rest when your out that if something happens, you can deal with it!
Try to stay calm
This can be easier said than done but try and stay calm and don’t get too upset. Just focus on finding some toilets somewhere so you can change it quick and easy. If you can’t find any public toilets, you can always go in to a cafe or pub and ask if you can use theirs! If you’re with friends you can all just sit down and order drinks but if you’re not and just wanted to use their facilities, you could always just ask if you can use them. It may be handy to carry a Can’t Wait card (which you can get from Crohn’s and Colitis UK and SecuriCare) which explains why you need to use the toilet or get yourself a radar key (also available from SecuriCare) so you can use disabled toilets
Try and find a disabled toilet if you can
If I need to change a bag, I always prefer to use a disabled toilet because you have more space to change your bag and put your supplies and there’s a sink in them which makes it way easier! I always feel really awkward going into disabled toilets because I worry that someone will say something to me (because I don’t look like there’s anything wrong with me) but don’t be afraid! I’ve never had anyone say anything to me luckily and you know yourself that you need to be there.
Go and talk to your stoma nurse if your leaks are becoming regular
If you’re having regular leaks, it could mean that the bags you’re using just don’t work for you and you need to try a different brand of bags. This was the issue with my stoma bag in the beginning and when I changed the brand of bag, I stopped having issues. It may be because your stoma goes flat to your stomach sometimes and you need a convex bag instead. There are different accessories you can get too which can help keep your bag sticking to your skin so it’s worth having a chat with your stoma nurses or, if you’re a SecuriCare customer you could also try ringing their helpline.
There are some of my tips for dealing with the dreaded stoma leaks! Leave your own tips in the comments below because I’d love to hear how you all deal with them.