My ostomy is going swimmingly

Today I ventured to the town waterpark for a few hours. I shot down the slides, leaped off the diving board and played like a fish for several hours. Okay– going to the town pool may not qualify as an outdoor “adventure.” And plunging into the pool is a far cry from the dunks I have been known to take in frigid alpine lakes. Still, I had so much fun being in the water again. Hanging around in my swimsuit and feeling the sun on my skin was absolute bliss. I thought my gums might get sunburned I smiled and laughed so much.

Over the course of the afternoon, I checked on my appliance a few times. I fully expected to see the edges of my wafer peel up, but it held in place as if affixed with super glue. I am certain no one could tell I had an ostomy. My appliance could not be seen at all under my swimsuit– especially with the help of my Ostomy Secrets swim wrap. I am actually a little more self-conscious about those ribs that are showing. I lost a lot of weight and muscle when I was sick and it is only slowly coming back on.

I hope you’ll take my experience to heart if you’ve been hesitating about taking a swim yourself. Just get out there and give it a shot. You’ll be glad you did.

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8 thoughts on “My ostomy is going swimmingly

  1. Hope you have a great time! Once I started getting out and doing all my favorite things, I began to feel so much better about my ostomy. I hope to go rock climbing too (indoor walls at first) in a couple of months and I can’t wait. I am still waiting for my abs to get a bit stronger. I had some complications with my incision and it didn’t fully heal until the beginning of March, so I am taking that sport a little more slowly. Best wishes!

  2. Hey i am 2much2bear from Healingwell – where did you get your swim suit?? i have never seen tops as long as that over here in the UK for swimwear (i dont hae an ostomy anymore but that could change soon).

    1. Hi Karen,
      I got my swimsuit at a department store we have in the US called Kohl’s. Swimwear separates, where you buy the top and bottom individually, are popular here. The bottoms are Nike brand. The top was made by a different company called Mudd. The stores here have tankini designs in many different lengths. I even saw some that were ruched on the side and the length could be adjusted with a drawstring. It would probably be hard to find this exact swimsuit now, as winter clothing is already popping up in the stores and summer stuff is being cleared out. I actually bought two pairs of the bottoms because I liked them so much and wasn’t sure if the store would be carrying them again. That way when the chlorine finally takes its toll on this swimsuit, I only have to worry about finding another top.

  3. Before my colostomy, I lov d being in the water…especially jumping off diving boards when at the pool. However, as a guy wearing swim trunks, I rarely hit the water the last 17 years. I have ostomy secrets wrap for casual swimming, but for diving board fun, it does not work for me; comes down every time even with a t shirt over it. As a guy I actually feel silly swimming in a T-shirt. Anyway, this year I am thinking of trying a diving vest or something similar. I think it would provide better protection when jumping off the board. Any thoughts or suggestions? I have not let it stop me from doing anything else, so I need to get past this one obstacle as well.

    1. Hi Alex,

      I am sure you can find something that works! If you aren’t having good luck with swim wraps, you might consider Comfizz high-waisted boxers under your swim trunks. They will protect the part of your pouch that sticks out above your swim trunk waistband. I am not a diver, but last summer I took a few runs down a natural water slide in a canyon that involved hitting the water with quite a bit of force. I was wearing Comfizz high-waisted boxers under my swim shorts and things stayed in place so well. The Comfizz boxers are nice and snug, yet they allow output to reach the bottom of the pouch just fine. I have never had the top roll down or move. They hold up pretty well to chlorine too. I love wearing them for all sports! The Comfizz boxers are made in the UK, but the product and shipping are pretty reasonable. Last time I placed an order, it arrived in a little over a week. I was amazed because it said on the site that shipping could take 28 days.

      http://www.comfizz.com/products/ostomy/level1/men/boxer-high-waist-white.html

      A diving vest would be a good idea too. A rash guard might work as well… but that would be more like a t-shirt.

      Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Heidi

  4. Just saw this post and love the bathing suit. I had been wondering about what to wear when swimming and that’s the same type of suit I have. Found it at Eddie Bauer. I’ve never worn a swim wrap. Does that help? I found that the inner liner of the shorts held everything in, but maybe more support…

    1. The only reason I use the wrap is because the very top of my pouch sticks up above my swim short waistband. The wrap conceals that portion for those times when the bottom of tankini top might shift upward. If it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t really need a wrap under my suit either. I just bought my first bikini top and plan to wear it this summer with my usual swim shorts… and I may ditch the wrap. It has taken a little while, but I think I finally feel confident enough to not worry if my ostomy shows a bit at the pool:)

      -Heidi

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