Ileostomy life: The Cleaner Way To Open The Bag

Ostomate + homie = “Ost-homie”

(pronounced ‘ostomy’ = a friend of mine who can share in ostomy experiences with me)

In the hospital whenever I needed my ileostomy bag drained the nurses would come in and fumble around trying to separate the plastic “lip”  (for lack of a better word) to allow it to drain. The plastic lip can get stuck when the bag is full (in a mystery suction physics phenomenon) making it difficult to open if you use the hospital approach (Figure 2). I only saw people opening my bag by pinching the plastic at the very top (Figure 2). This method is messier as your fingers are closer to the opening and it promotes the suctioning phenomenon. Look at the pictures below to see the way I found opening the bag is faster, cleaner and I just get it done without fumbling with the bag.

It’s super bowl weekend folks so I am considering taking break from posting (catch up on everything I did this week). Post comments and I will get to them.

The bag I am using: hollister 18133

Figure 1. The bag I am using: hollister 18133.

How the bag was opened in the hospital. Fingers close to bueno

Figure 2. How the bag was opened in the hospital. Fingers WAY TOO close to the opening…no bueno.

Apply pressure, push outward with thumb and pull in with the index

Figure 3. New and improved method: Apply pressure inward with each finger then push in opposing directions.

New and improved method: fingers stay well away from the lip, keeps you hands cleaner

Figure 4. Fingers stay further from the lip which keeps your hands cleaner.

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