When I was fresh out of surgery, showering was a bit awkward, not only because I had some large incisions to protect, but also because showering and drying a wet bag wasn’t something I wanted to do when I was in recovery and still weak from years of chronic illness. While I devised a few DIY methods to cover my abdomen when showering, it was quite inconvenient, produced excess garbage and wasn’t always effective.
In this review, I’ll be covering the Blue Crown Club Shower Guard that I had requested from Empower Your Change as part of a video project that I’m working on. They graciously covered the costs of both the product and shipping.
The Blue Crown Club Shower Guard is worn like an apron, and it’s intended to keep your ostomy appliance from getting wet during showers. Unlike DIY methods of keeping dry, which are often put together using plastic wrap and medical tape, this product is reusable and quite durable.
The guard is a semi-gloss, semi-transparent TPU material (Thermoplastic polyurethane) and has a flexible and slight rubbery feel to it. It comes with an adjustable waist band that secures using Velcro, which makes it easy to put on and take off. This guard can be ordered to accommodate waist sizes up to 42″, but Empower Your Change offers custom sizes as well. In addition, there is a six month manufacturer guarantee, which is quite generous.
One feature that stands out from other shower guards that I’ve seen, is the addition of a pouch pocket, which essentially guarantees that your pouch will stay dry, even if water or steam from your shower gets up under the guard.
Using this product is pretty straightforward, however, you may need to adjust the opening of the pouch pocket to accommodate your specific pouch. I’ve used this shower guard with a medium and large (12″) two-piece appliance without any trouble.
You slip your pouch (preferably an empty one) into the pouch pocket and secure the waist band so it’s snug around your body. That will create a nice seal around the front of your body, and will prevent water from falling in-between the guard and your skin.
When you’re done showering, you simply unfasten the Velcro waist band, carefully pull your pouch out from the pouch pocket and hang it to dry. I usually towel off the guard before I remove the pouch, just so that I’m not inadvertently getting my appliance wet.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well the shower guard works in keeping my opaque (cloth-covered) pouches dry. I did notice that my wafer is not 100% dry, due to steam rising and getting underneath the guard, but it would effectively protect my wafer from any peeling that might be caused by direct water contact.
I don’t have any fresh or open wounds on my abdomen any more, but I have no doubt that this guard would have been an asset for me after surgery. Because I had developed a complication with my incision after my ostomy surgery, it was important for me to cover up the wound when I showered, but it was quote an effort to do that without a product like this.
I really love the fact that i don’t have to worry about water getting between the seal created by the waist band, and I never felt that I had to make an extra effort to keep water away from the guard.
My only real complaint is when it came time to wash my privates, since the guard hangs over my junk; I did have to move it out-of-the-way so I could adequately rinse, but it’s not a huge problem, since I’d be doing the same with a long pouch anyway.
At the time of this writing (Aug 2015), one shower guard costs US$32-$40, depending on the size + postage. Shipping costs will vary depending on the destination, so it’s best to check your rates before placing an order. Empower Your Change does offer international shipping for this product.
Unfortunately, I don’t know of many insurance companies that will cover this type of accessory, so expect this to be an out-of-pocket expense. Most ostomates may not use this past their recovery period, but I find it’s convenient to use all the time and not have to worry about drying my pouch.
This product makes showering quick without any need to worry about having a wet pouch afterwards, and for an ostomate that has fresh wounds, this shower guard helps to protect those wounds during showers. I can also see this product being useful for ostomates who have issues with their wafer peeling at the edges during showers. If you have any of those concerns, then the Blue Crown Club Shower Guard will improve your quality of life.