Hot Tub Confession

I have a confession to make. I didn’t get my ostomy pouch wet for the first 2.5 years I had it.

I know. Crazy right? How did I shower? Carefully. Didn’t I want to go in the pool? Not particularly, plus I didn’t really have the opportunity. What about the hot tub? It’s never really been my thing.

..But even in the shower? Yep.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that nothing bad will happen when you’re contemplating trying a new experience like getting your pouch all wet, even though you’ve read online that other people get their pouch soaked in the shower every day, or do aqua aerobics, or sit in hot tubs, go surfing, swim in the ocean, etc. I realized how silly my fears were when someone emailed me recently asking about taking baths and another friend asked about going in the ocean. I felt silly responding because in order to be honest I had to say something like “well, I haven’t taken a bath or gone swimming in the ocean, but I know a number of people who have and it hasn’t been a problem”. I advocate for living a normal life with an ostomy and I’d been holding myself back from it in small ways that didn’t really bother me, but might be important to other people. It was time to make a change. Plus, I’d already put wake-surfing on my ostomy bucket list for this summer, so I was going to have to face the water soon anyway.

I tested it in the shower. A long, hot shower. I put all my worries in a box and went for it, full frontal. And guess what? It was fine. I didn’t even use a blow dryer to dry off my pouch the first time. I’ve used it a couple times since, but mostly because I didn’t want to wait for it to dry on it’s own.

Next up? The hot tub. Again, fears aside and I took my ostomy into the hot tub. It was hot, both in the hot tub and outside but my friend sat with me in there for an hour. Aside from a relaxed back, I have nothing to report. No incidents, whatsoever.

Before the Hot Tub Ostomy Climbing Into Hot Tub Ostomy Sitting in Hot Tub Ostomy

One of the concerns I had was that the Hollister base-plate wouldn’t do so well in the wet. Some of my friends who go in the water regularly wear Coloplast and their base-plates seem a lot more water resistant than the base-plate material on Convatec and Hollister. I think I had this idea in my head that my pouch would peel off while it was in the shower. It didn’t though. It didn’t even peel off after, until I helped it along.

A friend of mine told me that if she doesn’t use a blow dryer to dry the base plate off after showers, she gets a skin rash from the moisture – so if you’re getting ready to try new things with water, it probably wouldn’t hurt bring a blow dryer until you figure out how your skin responds.

I’m pretty excited for a watery summer this year!

3 Comments on “Hot Tub Confession”

  1. Hi
    I have had an ileostomy for 37 years. I now use a convatec one piece faceplate and pouch. I hot tub for up to an hour with no problem. Empty the pouch and check the appliance attachment to the skin and go soak. I have been doing it for years. I just got banned from my apartment complex hot tub because the manager was told I had an ileostomy and
    and was afraid if I used the hot tub I would contaminate it which is ridiculous and that is not in my lease agreement.
    I do not know the outcome of the ban but maybe I need to find another place to live.

    1. Thanks for sharing your hot tubbing experience! It’s so frustrating and sad to hear that your apartment complex manager has banned you from using your complex’s hot tub. I feel like it’s probably not legal for them to ban you based on some sort of discrimination law and urge you to look further into it and fight for your freedom to get your hot tubbing on. I think when people make decisions like banning an ostomate from using a hot tub because “contamination risk”, it’s because fear of the unknown is easier than taking a moment to learn about it (which really sucks). So, while I know it’s probably pretty stressful and doesn’t feel like a welcoming environment, I hope you’ve taken this opportunity to educate them about what an ostomy is and how your hot tubbing with an ileostomy is probably more sterile than any of the other people who use the hot tub (I’m pretty sure lots of adults, and most kids get poop streaks on their underwear so I can’t imagine their butts are very clean). I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with this, I would love to hear how you get it resolved and I hope you’re able to stay living in your community (and using the hot tub) without further backlash or negativity. Cheering for you!

    2. Hi Kelley,
      I was listening to someone speak about ostomy Advocacy yesterday and she mentioned that it does indeed fall under the umbrella of discrimination if you’re being restricted from using a pool. The UOAA website offers some really good resources about what your rights are (in the United States) and some tools for how to be your own advocate and where you can go if you can’t get the issue resolved on your own. Here’s the link for the swimming in public (or at an apartment complex) information: http://www.ostomy.org/Swimming_with_an_Ostomy_Toolkit.html I hope this is helpful for you!

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