Dealing With A ‘Normal’ Illness When You Have A Stoma

Dealing With A Normal Illness When You Have A Stoma

My family and I were recently hit by the 24 hour tummy bug that has been doing the rounds. It affected us all in slightly different ways. My five-year-old and almost two-year-old picked it up from their auntie and thankfully they were only sick, but I then got what would have been diarrhoea which in my case meant very high output. Lastly my partner 00Steve, got sickness and migraines. So I thought I would share with you all my top tips for when you get ’normal person’ sick!

  1. Keep up your fluids - If you have an ileostomy or a colostomy I recommend using a rehydration solution such as Dioralyte or St Marks Solution. Neither of them taste too pleasant but it is better than a trip to hospital to be put on a drip!
  2. If you can eat or want to risk eating choose little and often rather than your regular portions. 00Steve learnt this the hard way after vomiting and he doesn’t have an ostomy!
  3. Get plenty of rest – seriously, just lay on the bed or on the sofa because your body can’t kick the bug's butt if you don’t give it the best medicine: rest.
  4. Regulate your temperature - this is something we struggled with but having blankets and cool flannels at hand are the easiest way to do this.
  5. Having a shower or a bath when you start to feel a bit better can make all the difference, at least to how you feel mentally! Just remember it might take it out of you so maybe just a quick warm one will do till you are back on your feet.
  6. Keep visitors at bay. You don’t want to risk getting other people sick or run the risk of you contracting a different strain whilst your body is still busy fighting the one you have!
  7. If you work, you should take 48 hours off after the last bout of sickness or high output. As worrying as this can be for financial reasons or if you have a less than compassionate boss, ultimately it is the guidelines under infection control. Plus, surely your boss wouldn’t want you to make your colleagues sick too?
  8. Good hygiene is paramount to preventing the spread of bacteria and viruses. The usual things apply like covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough, but you should also wash your hands and do so thoroughly after using the bathroom!

Do you have any other tips that may prove helpful to other ostomates?

“Have you caught a ‘normal’ bug? Read my top tips for dealing with illness as an ostomate.” - @colitistoosotmy

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Dealing with watery output? Try a free sample of Morform from our sister company, CliniMed. If you’re concerned about an illness please seek professional healthcare advice.

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by Stephie Simpson

Stephie Simpson

About the author

I’m Stephie - a mum, wife and punk rock ostomate, blessed to be from North Yorkshire. I'll be writing about different campaigns that can help ostomates & general lifestyle posts.

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