I'm a member of several online ostomy-related groups and they provide A LOT of support to new and seasoned ostomates who need answers, support, and sometimes just someone who can relate. I noticed that the issue of swimwear has come up quite a bit in the past few months leading up to summer. Many women in the groups would discuss how they did not feel ready, sexy, or bold enough to wear a bikini to the beach. However, one young enterprising ostomate shared the great success that she had wearing a two piece high waist suit...and she even showed a pic of herself sporting the suit. I was immediately motivated to wear a two piece. I even talked about it in this blog post. Once I made up in my mind to do it, I started noticing other female ostomates catching the wave...so to speak.
Now, I'm not against a one-piece. As long as it's not one of those athletic looking, "boobie-smashing" suits....where if I throw on a swim cap, you'll struggle to determine my gender. No way, Jose! But if it's cute and accentuates my curves (of course), I'll sport it ;)
My friend Janet (also an ostomate) enlightened me at our last meeting about how discreet pouches look whenever you wear a closed-ended instead of open-ended pouch whilst wearing a swimsuit. Open ended pouches have a tail end that must be folded up and clamped via clip, velcro, etc. to stop waste from escaping. This makes for easy drainage and is the popular choice for those with high-output stomas, such as an ileostomy. However, that tail end creates an unsightly bulge in the bikini area. Janet has an ileostomy and just makes sure not to eat a lot prior to swimming because she prefers not to have the bulge in her swimsuit that an open-ended pouch would produce. When finished, she just discards the whole bag.
During my first trip to the beach since my surgery, I wore high waisted bikini separates AND a closed end pouch. These tips worked out great because I thought I looked pretty terrific! What say you?
Pretty seamless, eh? Don't mind my hair...I was going for a real "beachy" style, and then the wind decided to re-arrange it a bit ;-) But overall, my family and I had a blast!