Keeping my ostomy supplies neat and organized is important for my sanity. It’s also pretty simple for me when I live in one place and don’t travel much. I know where everything I need is and I keep it easily accessible in case I need to grab a change quickly. I’ve got a system for storage and do my best to keep up with it because if there’s one thing I really enjoy, it’s organizing and being organized.
The key words in the above paragraph are “when I live in one place and don’t travel much”. In the three and a half years I’ve had my ostomy, I’ve spent a good portion of time splitting my time between multiple places. Most recently, I spent much of my time at the home of my significant other and had belongings at his house, but I did not officially live there. At first, packing a bag of clothes and toiletries to cart over was no big deal because I was excited to be invited to spend more time over there. It didn’t take too long though, for me to feel like I was living out of a suitcase at both homes since as soon as I unpacked at one place it was time to pack back up to go to the other.
Finding Balance Between Two Places
To make my life feel a little more balanced, we agreed that I would start leaving some basics at his house. I didn’t want to take over his space too much, but it was important to me that if I was going to be spending a lot of time there, I would have the things I’d need to feel comfortable. I imagine the basics that I chose to have duplicates of are pretty similar to those that most couples would choose (toothbrush, deodorant, pajamas…), but I’m an ostomate so I come with more baggage.
In an effort to be prepared for emergency changes, but also to not let my ostomy determine where I chose to sleep each night, I opted to keep supplies at both at my home and his. I adopted a space in the hall closet to keep a stash of supplies and tried to stay diligent about keeping track of how many supplies were at each location so that I could reload as necessary. I used a couple different methods for organizing my supplies, depending on the location they were being kept at.
Having supplies in both locations gave me the freedom to make change day happen regardless of which house I was at. It was nice to not have to worry about carting around a bunch of extra supplies every time I thought I might spend the night. It made me feel more comfortable spending the weekend there knowing that if I needed to make an unplanned change, I would not just be relying on my emergency kit.
Constantly splitting time in multiple places is stressful enough without an ostomy, so I was really grateful to have the opportunity to knock out some of the added stress by keeping my ostomy supplies in both places. Figuring out how to keep track of my clothes was a whole different story though…
How do you manage your ostomy supplies when you’re spending time in multiple places?