A woman and her stoma relax in spa chairs, each wrapped in their own bathrobe.

My Day at the Spa with Winnie, My Stoma

So after writing my last article about how I had lost and was now slowly regaining confidence in my stoma. I decided that it was time to start doing all the things that I had always loved previously. And prior to having my stoma surgery, there was nothing that I enjoyed more than a day at the health spa.

I particularly loved the sauna and jacuzzi, and now, they filled me full of dread.

Plucking up the courage

Thinking about doing something and then actually going ahead and doing it are two completely different things. As I realized when I went to make the appointment. However, I personally find that if I have to pay a "non-refundable" deposit, it is much more likely to encourage me to attend than not.

So that is what I did.

Preparing for spa day

It was a mixture of emotions when the day came from real happy excitement to sheer panic and every negative emotion in between. What on earth was wrong with me?

My husband was coming along for the occasion. Anyway, I got up early, had a shower, and changed Winnie. I also added what I call "my wings." These are semi-circular plaster-type product that sticks around the edge of your stoma bag to give increased adherence and security - check with your stoma supplier for information.

I packed my newly put-together emergency bag, therefore ensuring that none of the products were out of date or damaged. I wore my heavily patterned clothing, and off we went!

At the spa

I wore a swimsuit that had a frill skirt attached. This gave me the confidence that my stoma bag cannot be seen by others.

A dip in the jacuzzi

First, I went into the jacuzzi spa bath, and it was heaven! Oh, that hot water splashing around my body was just divine. I had forgotten what it felt like - I used to have regular spa days before my stoma.

Unfortunately, I also suffer from quite extensive arthritis and the hot pulsating jets of water on my joints felt like every sore joint was being massaged. "Why have I stayed away from the spa for so long?" I said to my husband.

Entering the sauna

Next came the sauna, which I was a little nervous about, as I have never had a hot sauna with my stoma before. So before entering the sauna, I made a quick trip to the little girl's room, checked Winnie was all okay, and back I went. Ready to go and enter the sauna.

Yet again, my nervousness and fear were totally unfounded. The sauna was great. Sitting relaxing, and feeling all my pores open, was amazing. Then the cold shower afterward and one last dip in the jacuzzi before leaving. I didn't even feel the need to go and check Winnie before entering.

And the outcome

Finally, finally! I was starting to live and enjoy life again. After all, what is the point of going through all of my cancer treatment and ultimately a radical cystectomy if I don't make the best of each day?

So my advice, get out there and start living! Your stoma really doesn't have to stop you from doing what you love. Just sometimes, it takes a little more preparation.

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