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Summertime and the Livin' is Easy

Summertime and the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high
Oh, your daddy's rich and your ma is good-lookin'
So hush, little baby; don't you cry

At least according to Ella Fitzgerald and George Gershwin that is.  Summer time can be a time filled with concerns about ostomy management for new and experienced ostomates alike. However with a few safegaurds in place, it is easy to relax and enjoy the summer!

Traveling with Medications and/or Ostomy Supplies
Many of the Ostomy Supplies you use on a daily basis are heat sensitive due to the plastics, adhesives, and seals.  If you are traveling for an extended period by car, remember to keep your supplies cool.  Also be sure to remove your supplies when you leave the car as the temperature in the car can rapidly rise to over 100 degrees in the summer heat.

Keep a list of your medications and Ostomy Supplies with you in case you need to pick up an emergency prescription due to loss or theft.  If you are traveling by plane, keep your medications and emergency ostomy supplies with you in your carry-on baggage to prevent against loss should the airlines misplace your checked luggage.  Your checked baggage should contain your other supplies, including more supplies than you would normally need.  It is always a good idea to carry extra supplies just in case you may need them away from home.  Using a Pill Organizer on the road is a great way to keep your medications organized while away from home.  With the ability to grab a day's worth of meds and stash it in your purse or pocket, you can spend more time relaxing and less dealing with your pill bottles on vacation.

Fluids and Staying Hydrated
Staying hydrated is important for everyone, even moreso for Ostomates and remaining hydrated is a key part of enjoying the summer months out of doors.  Water is essential for nearly every facet of our bodies, down to a cellular level.  Our bodies mass is made up of approximately 75% water.  Water controls and regulates or core body temperature, it helps to transport nutrients through our body, and new studies show that it plays a vital role on our bodies converting fat to energy.  When we are thirty, it is not just a minor uncomfrtable feeling, it is a signal from our bodies that we need more fluids.

Maintaining proper hydration levels is most easily done with simply drinking plenty of water.  Sports and energy drinks may taste better, however they often contain too much sugar, calories, and/or sodium to actually properly hydrate the body.  The current recommendation is to drink "half your weight in ounces of water" per day.  So a 180lb person should therefore drink approximately 90 ounces of water daily.  Keep a water bottle with you and refill it as needed to keep track of your daily water intake.  I personally find it is easier to maintain my hydration levels when I know how many how many bottles of water I need to drink per day and simply count those.

Swimming with your Ostomy
Last summer we discussed swimming with an Ostomy and the information is still just as pertinent then as it is today.  Let's review some of the key points of last summer's article.

“He who fails to plan, plans to fail” really applies to everything we do and swimming with your ostomy is no exception.  Try to schedule your eating and swimming sessions so that you are not swimming during your greatest period of output from your ostomy.

Flexible Ostomy systems with waterproof tapes and flanges work best for swimming when they can be used.  Mini non-drainable pouches also work great for low profile concealment under your swimming garments.

When picking a swimming garment to use in conjuction with your ostomy, look for garments with colored patterns and prints rather than solid one piece colors to visually hide the appliance.  Sashes, skirts, and wraps can also help to hide ostomy appliances for women while wearing a tighter fit undergarment can help hide the appliances for the men.

We hope that by following some of these tips you can peacefully enjoy the rest of the summer! We would love to hear more tips from our readers. Please feel free to comment with your tips for enjoying the pool this summer!

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