Newsletter for September 2022
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I hope everyone had a great summer and stayed safe and healthy. It was a very busy summer for me. I had to travel by plane for two trips this summer and with the delays and cancellations they ended up being long, drawn-out wait times. I was patient and finally got to my destinations, although a little late. I feel fortunate because so many had to wait days to get to their destinations. The planes seem smaller with less leg room and on some flights they ask people to check in their carry-on bags when they get to the gate because of a full plane with less space. You are allowed a carry-on and a personal bag. I have a small duffle bag for my medical supplies and electronic connections that fit perfectly under most planes’ seats, but barely on the last plane, I was on. I did check in my carry on a flight from Baltimore, Maryland to Manchester NH, and when I got it off the plane the handle was broken and I couldn’t get it out to pull it around. I was in a real bind until someone helped me get out the door to the curb to my waiting ride. This was after midnight. I am very thankful to the person that helped me.
Our computers were hacked and we had no connection for over a month. That was hard to deal with, but we got through it. I did lose a lot of information. I got some back, but am still missing a lot, mostly e-mail addresses and some articles. I found these two articles on Hollister Incorporated online. I picked one for travel tips, because it may help some of you if you need to travel. It helped me. There are many articles about traveling with an ostomy online through UOAA and other sources.
Actress, model, businesswoman, and cancer survivor LeeAnne Hayden shares diet and fitness tips that can help you live your best life with an ostomy.
Learn Simple Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Improve Your Health and Wellness
Living a healthy lifestyle. We all know we should be doing it, but sometimes it’s not so easy – especially after having ostomy surgery. When it comes to eating and exercise, we’re worried about the possibility of blockages and hernias. I get a lot of questions about those issues.
I have had my colostomy for over six years now, and after doing a lot of testing of what my body can and can’t tolerate, I feel great. Regardless of any concerns, you may be experiencing, it is so important to live a healthy lifestyle. When we feed our bodies the right foods and move our bodies with exercise, over time we will see, and more importantly, FEEL the positive results.
6 Tips for Healthy Eating With an Ostomy
So, what do we do? Our Moms always said, “Eat those vegetables and have an apple!” However, most of us must watch our fruit and vegetable intake so that we avoid intestinal blockages. Here are six tips that can help you eat well and safely:
Cook your fruits and vegetables. When foods are cooked, they are easier for the body to break down. Try sautéing, baking, or even air frying your favorite fruits and vegetables. I am constantly sautéing spinach, red peppers, onions, and mushrooms, and then tossing in some lean protein and jasmine rice or sweet potatoes to complete the meal.
Blend your fruits and vegetables. After every workout, I have a protein smoothie. I combine one cup of unsweetened almond milk with one scoop of vanilla whey protein, a handful of spinach, half of a banana, and one tablespoon of peanut butter.
Chop your salads. The smaller the pieces, the easier they are to digest. I’ve been loving the bags of pre-chopped salad that are in grocery stores now.
Take a digestive enzyme after a meal. These supplements can help your system break down vegetables and fruits even more.
Chew slowly. Our lives are so busy that when we sit down to eat, we often don’t take our time. Slow down at the table and chew your food more. This will help you digest it better.
Keep a food log. Writing down what you ate and how it made you feel will help you make better choices.
Be sure to check with a dietitian about what foods you can safely eat. For example, mushrooms can cause intestinal blockages for some people living with an ileostomy.
3 Tips for Exercising Your Core After Ostomy Surgery
When you have an ostomy, working on your core is important. It can be a scary prospect, however, since the fear of getting a hernia is a real thing. So, always check with your doctor before starting any fitness program.
Core exercise is great for improving pelvic floor strength, posture, and balance. It also can help prevent ostomy bag leaks because the flange will fit better on your peristomal skin.
Here are three gentle core movements that you can do to help strengthen your core:
Standing single knee lift. Stand with your feet hips-length apart, and your hands on your waist or down by your side. Tense your abdominal muscles and lift one knee. Do as many as you can or three sets of 10 to 20 on one side before moving to the other side.
Holding a plank position. Planks put less strain on your spine and hip flexors than abdominal crunches or sit-ups. A beginner version can be done against a piece of furniture (e.g., a chair or a low table). Place your forearms on the furniture, keep your back flat, don’t sag into your forearms, keep your core tight, and hold that position for 15 to 30 seconds. The further away your legs are from the furniture the more activated the core will become. Advanced options are done on the floor. Put your hands directly under your shoulders, grind your toes into the floor, and tighten your gluteal and core muscles. Neutralize your neck and spine by looking at a place on the floor about a foot beyond your hands. Hold this position from 20 seconds to two minutes.
Stomach crunches. Lie on your back with your knees bent to a 90-degree angle and your feet on the floor. Make sure your back is flat. Squeeze in your abdominal muscles and bring your head to your knees. Your glutes will try to play too, but don’t let them. Focus solely on your abs, hold for three to five seconds, and then release. Do three sets of 10 to 20.
I hope these wellness tips have been helpful to you! Share with us on social media your favorite fruit and vegetable recipes, and what you think of these moves!
To learn more about LeeAnne Hayden, listen to The Beautiful Bag podcast, visit leeannhayden.com, or follow @leeannehayden on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
Editor’s note: This article is from Hollister Incorporated, a digital sponsor in support of the free online resources of ostomy.org and UOAA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
5 Smart Packing Tips for Travel with an Ostomy
Learn how to pack for a worry-free trip.
You’ve prepared for your trip and checked off some essential to-do’s. So, now it’s time to pack, but you’re not sure what to do about your stoma supplies. Pack with confidence by following these simple and smart tips.
Smart tip #1 – Divide and conquer: Divide the items you will need. Keep some in your carry-on bag. Put the rest in the luggage that you check with the airline, or in the baggage of a traveling companion. Then, if one of the bags is lost, you’ll still have supplies available in the other. For most trips, you’ll want to pack double the supplies you need. If you’re going on a cruise, you may want to pack more.
Smart tip #2 – Keep calm and carry-on: Pack enough supplies for your short-term needs in your carry-on luggage. That way, you have them within easy reach for a quick change. Put them in a separate, small travel kit to make visits to the toilet fast, simple, and discreet.
Smart tip #3 – Be a cut above: Some airlines don’t allow scissors on the aircraft, even for ostomy products. So, if you use a cut-to-fit skin barrier, be sure you have enough barriers cut ahead of time so that you have them on hand before reaching your destination. You can pack your scissors in your checked luggage. Check with your airline, as well as with your country’s federal travel agency (e.g., the Transportation Security Administration in the United States).
Smart tip #4 – Stay cool: Ostomy products need to be kept cool in transit. When traveling by car in warm and humid climates, do not keep your supplies in a hot trunk or glove compartment. It’s best to put them in a cooler. Also, read the manufacturer’s product storage guidelines. When you get to your destination, look for a cool spot for your supplies, such as a bathroom floor closet (if it’s not too steamy).
Smart tip #5 – Keep it clean: You can use normal household items to dispose of your used ostomy pouches. Include toilet paper in your travel kit for wrapping up used pouches. Pack scented diaper disposal bags or freezer bags to make discarding them simple and discreet. Also pack moist wipes to clean up any accidents, or to wash your hands if running water isn’t available.