Without question the hardest part of this entire journey has been my colostomy. It requires constant maintenance and I’m almost always concerned about some aspect of it. Is it sealed? Is it showing? Do I have extra supplies? This problem is compounded as an athlete as the extra sweat and movement means my average wear time is even less than the usual colostomate.
I was lamenting this to a friend who had been through stage 3 colon cancer just the year before and he asked what colostomy supplies I was using. I showed him and he told me he had something for me. He had had his ileostomy reversed but still had some supplies kicking around so he told me to give them a try. I immediately noticed a few very distinct differences between what I was using and what he was showing me.
My colostomy supplies were an ugly beige medical looking product and the flanges were a hard plastic and monstrous. This other product was a much more attractive fabric, the flanges were bendable and a much smaller size.
He told me they were a Coloplast product, SenSura Mio , and I went home and changed my flange to try it out. I was immediately impressed. I decided to test it out by riding my bike and the difference was instantaneous. In triathlon you ride a great deal of time bent over your handle bars which means your stomach area is folded. My old flanges made this uncomfortable as they were solid and dug into me. The SenSura Mio flanges allowed movement and made my riding so much more bearable. The addition of the adhesive strips on the outside of the flange gave me extra security to do things like swim, run and just live my regular life.
Another benefit of SenSura Mio I’ve noticed over the other product I was using is that the flange is clear. This means that you don’t have any doubt when you’ve lost your seal. The other product was like a bandage so you were always inspecting and guessing whether or not it was still working and sometimes it was too late.
While having a colostomy is not the greatest thing that’s ever happened, Coloplast helps make me feel as normal as possible. As a young man it can be embarrassing to have a colostomy and having you pouch hang out of your shirt can be mortifying. Coloplast SenSura Mio pouches don’t look medical though. The silk-like fabric accidentally hanging out of your shirt, while not the best look, doesn’t look like a medical product.