The novice colostomate may in some respects be likened to a mother who has given birth: leaving hospital with the new addition, lacking some confidence about looking after it, but knowing that now there is no turning back!
There is a vast range of sources of information, to the point that a new colostomate may be overwhelmed by it all. Grouped on this page is a selection from the content of this website of those documents and notes which are most likely to be useful during the early stages of living with a colostomy. They can be downloaded individually, or collectively as a single file: InfoPack.zip.
One of the difficulties experienced by anyone dealing with a stoma for the first time, and particularly a new colostomate, is finding out more about it: most particularly what attention it requires, and how it may affect normal living. Colostomies and Other -Ostomies is intended to provide a general overview of the subject, and is perhaps the best place to start in order to understand that whatever problem may appear to threaten, there will be others who have already encountered it, and will be happy to share their knowledge.
Don’t Hold Your Breath! - Patients leaving hospital after abdominal surgery are often advised not to lift anything heavy. In itself this is not particularly helpful, because it is essential to understand the reason behind the warning. This note provides the explanation, and points out that the advice refers to any form of straining, not just lifting. It also introduces the Grunt Rule, which could help a patient to avoid the risk of a hernia.
Living with a Colostomy - A Colostomy Association booklet explaining how the Colostomy Association can help colostomates, outlining the principles of colostomy management, and how having a colostomy may affect your life, your work, your ability to travel, and your participation in sport. For more detailed advice on sport refer to the Sports Activities page, on this website.
Healthy Eating - A Colostomy Association leaflet outlining the general principles of nutritional management for people with a colostomy.
Nutrition Notes - A Technical Note written by Adrian March dealing with issues relating to food likes and dislikes, spicy foods, the effects of oral antibiotics, fish oils, the importance of adequate hydration, and antioxidants in vegetables and fruit.
Getting Help - A useful “prompt sheet” to remind the new colostomate about the most useful sources of advice and information.