From Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) Ostomy Outlook Oct 1996:

Alice's Ileostomy Tips

Editor's Note: This is an account by our Secretary, Ruby Lingelbach, of the presentation by Alice Bowman at the Sept 16, 1996 meeting of the Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) UOA Chapter. All opinions are those of the speaker (Alice Bowman) and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Note that item #1 is definitely contrary to standard medical advice!

Alice Bowman gave a nice group of hints on how she manages her ileostomy every day. She has a "short bowel syndrome" so her food is through and out in 15 minutes.

  1. For mild blockages, she recommends a small ear syringe filled with warm water and squirt the water into the stoma to help release the blockage. [Note: This is contrary to standard medical advice; if you wish to try such self-treatment, you do so at your own risk!--Ed.]

  2. If you feel the need to wear a girdle, wear a larger size than ordinarily needed by a non-ostomate.

  3. Put tape on the ends of the bag to stiffen it up and straighten it so it will open easier. She carries her own water when going to a public rest room.

  4. Rinse your bag at least once a day with any pine cleaner or soapy water to keep the odor down. It also leaves enough oily residue to clean the bag out easier when emptying it. Experiment to see what suits you.

  5. When traveling and you need a rest area--use rest rooms at Court Houses, City Halls, Hospitals, etc. rather than filling stations--any place where the public goes is good and usable.

  6. SkinTac H. is an adhesive she puts on her skin before applying her appliance, to make it stick better.

  7. The "Ostomy Care Center" in Kansas City is great. It has everything you might need.

  8. Alice wears a 2-piece system, and reuses the bags after cleaning them well, then hanging them up to dry.

  9. Ostomates should not carry a cat unless it has been declawed. If the cat gets spooked, the claws can rip the bag. (Also, when hand sewing, be careful where pins and needles are stuck!)

  10. With a short bowel syndrome, grind up your pills and put them in ice cream. The cold helps dull the taste buds. Baby food and applesauce are also good to mix pills in.

  11. When eating corn on the cob, run a knife down the length of the row of kernels so they will chew better and be smaller.

  12. To help cure excoriation, drain off the liquid from Milk of Magnesia, then put the residue on the skin (with the bag off). Leave it on about 20 minutes and wipe it off with water.

  13. For testing different brands of aspirin, put them in a spoonful of warm water. The one that dissolves fastest is the best.

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Content last revised 1996-10-14