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Exercise and Ostomies?  

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Songbringer
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November 20, 2018 4:00 pm  

Hi all. Just wondering if anyone here has done anything post-op to get their stomach muscles back in shape? I am just past my 2 year stomaversary, and want to get back into some half-decent shape. My abdomen is horribly mangled and scarred still. Sadly, this is permanent, but I'd like to firm those muscles back up again. I do have a hernia, so I know I am limited. However, the past few 2 or 3 weeks, the appliance I've been wearing for a long time (Assura) suddenly no longer work as well as they have been all this time. I've been very ill for quite some time, and as a result, have lost so much weight, I am literally a skeleton, and I'm pretty sure that's why they are no longer fitting adequately, but that's another issue aside from this. I really want to do something to get some muscle tone back, and was thinking maybe even gentle yoga? Something that won't be too strenuous, build some muscle tone back up, and something that won't compromise the adhesion of my flange. I have horrible stoma site placement...it's right where I bend. Just wondering what others have done,  and feedback/tips on this would be appreciated.

Crohn's Disease Diagnosis/1st emergency resection during a massively widespread blackout-August 14th/2003. Ileostomy since August 2016. Cheated death twice in 2016 during a 3 month hospital stay.


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dogtalkerer
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November 20, 2018 5:03 pm  

sounds like you should just start walking.  any areas you can go that are moderately hilly? that's a good slow start to strengthening your core muscles.

I do not have a hernia, so I do not know what precautions you need to take.

I kayak and cross country ski myself.


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john68
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November 20, 2018 5:17 pm  

Hi Songbringer, I agree with the walking, hitting the gym is not a great idea until the hernia is corrected. Have you discussed not being able to gain weight with Doctors/nurses.

ileostomy 31st August 1994 for Crohns


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Songbringer
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November 20, 2018 5:20 pm  

Hi Dogtalkerer. Love the name :) There so happens to be a park literally in my backyard that has an area somewhat hilly. Sadly, in my neck of the woods, it's been very cold and snowing the past 2 weeks, so getting outdoors has been minimal. I tend to be a complete homebody during the winter. I'm glad to hear you don't have a hernia. From day to day my limitations vary, but most days, the limitations are great. I have trouble even navigating stairs due to horrid pelvic cramping that has been going on for well over a year that no doctor has gotten to the bottom of. I went through 3 major operations 2 years ago because of Crohn's Disease, 2 of which stemmed from nearly fatal complications, so I've basically been left nearly an invalid. But, yes, I guess walking is the best thing. I've been leery these past 2 years of doing anything due to the extent of physical trauma.

Crohn's Disease Diagnosis/1st emergency resection during a massively widespread blackout-August 14th/2003. Ileostomy since August 2016. Cheated death twice in 2016 during a 3 month hospital stay.


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Dona
 Dona
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November 20, 2018 5:33 pm  

Hi,

You could try a treadmill maybe. If that works for you, get one for your home. There are large expensive ones with motors but also very good ones that fold up and are self propelled. I used one a lot when I couldn't get out of the house to exercise. I just put on some music and walked. Most seem to have adjustable inclines too so you can walk 'uphill'.  Just a thought. I think walking is you best option until the hernia gets sorted.  Sometimes I just did ten minutes at a time.  Some form of daily exercise is essential to recovery and health. Best wishes.

 

Onset of severe Ulcerative Colitus Oct.2012. Subtotal colectomy with illiostomy July 2015; Peristomal hernia repair ( Sugarbaker, mesh, laparoscopic) May 2017.


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Songbringer
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November 20, 2018 9:32 pm  

Thank you both for the advice Dona and John, I appreciate it. It wouldn't hurt me to take short walks throughout the day. The weight loss is something I will definitely be discussing with a doctor.

Crohn's Disease Diagnosis/1st emergency resection during a massively widespread blackout-August 14th/2003. Ileostomy since August 2016. Cheated death twice in 2016 during a 3 month hospital stay.


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VeganOstomy
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November 21, 2018 10:23 am  

So a couple of things re: exercise after surgery. 

  • Always get cleared by your surgeon before doing any exercise. 
  • When exercising your core, be sure to wear a hernia prevention belt, if possible. 
  • Walks a great, but be consistent if you want to see gains in your endurance and lower body strength. 
  • Swimming (actually, most water activities) is a recommended form of exercise because of it's low-impact nature. 
  • You can find core strengthening exercises for ostomates online, and they can be beneficial. 

Songbringer, weight loss and weight gain can change how our appliance fits. The Assura wafer is quite rigid, but there are other wafers that should fit your frame better. If you want to stick with Coloplast, try their Sensura Click (which will work with any bag that fits the Assura 2pc) or their softer Mio line. 

Keep in mind that building muscle and toning will take time, so please don't be discouraged by slow progress. 

Good luck!

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.

~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


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Songbringer
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November 21, 2018 12:52 pm  

Thank you Eric! I've been using the Assura for the last year, and I love it, but suddenly, the last 2 weeks, it no longer fits me like it used to. I do have a hernia belt. Just as of lastnight, I put my ostomy supplies in my "cart" online, and chose the Mio.

Crohn's Disease Diagnosis/1st emergency resection during a massively widespread blackout-August 14th/2003. Ileostomy since August 2016. Cheated death twice in 2016 during a 3 month hospital stay.


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sjlovestosing
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November 21, 2018 1:48 pm  

Hi Songbringer (I take it you either sing or play an instrument?)

I also highly recommend walking if possible. It exercises just about every muscle in the body and is easy to do. It might be easier for you to get out if you had a walking companion. I know it makes a difference. I plan on snowshoeing this winter - it will be a first with my colostomy -  but I started walking the day after my operation and got up to 2 miles within the confines of the hospital. There was a route that all the patients on my floor took, and it was discovered that if you walked this route 13 times, it was the equivalent of 1 mile.

If you want to do something other than walking and cannot get to a pool, after getting your doctor's approval, gentle chair yoga (under the guidance of a yoga teacher) may be the best thing to do at first. Then you can gradually do the traditional form. Before my operation, when I began yoga MANY years ago, I went with the chair option until I could build up strength to do the traditional version. I plan on going back to the chair option as it has been at least  7 months since I did any kind of yoga. 

Hope this helps. Good luck and God bless.

Stella


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Songbringer
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November 21, 2018 1:55 pm  

Hi Stella. No, I don't play any type of instrument other than air violin or guitar :D I sing, but not very well :D Thank you for your input...I really appreciate it...the consensus does seem to be walking, and I really need to do more of it. The odd time I put on music and dance, and that gladly causes me no pain, but not sure if it is causing damage without knowing it. I really wish a pool was accessible, sadly not, or I'd live in it. Snowshoeing sounds like so much fun :)

Crohn's Disease Diagnosis/1st emergency resection during a massively widespread blackout-August 14th/2003. Ileostomy since August 2016. Cheated death twice in 2016 during a 3 month hospital stay.


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dogtalkerer
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November 21, 2018 5:37 pm  

here's what i find.  when I go out in colder weather, dressed on the light side, there is a noticeable feeling of exhilaration once my body starts producing slightly more than enough heat, but not sweating.   its similar to a runners high i think.   not sure if you can get this indoors.   at 56 yrs old, my aches and pains go away with moderate to heavy activity where I get my heart rate up for over 20minutes     I would really give outside a real try.

laughter is the best medicine, I think exercise is the 2nd best medicine, lasts longer too.


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john68
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November 21, 2018 5:45 pm  

I totally agree with this, I work outdoors in all weather and their is a saying “no such thing as bad weather only bad clothes” nothing makes you forget the Ostomy like being active and busy 

ileostomy 31st August 1994 for Crohns


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Linda Knelsen
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November 21, 2018 11:14 pm  

Good topic here...after  my year in the hospital, I was weak and very tired from all the surgery and tubes, lights, noise...I started walking going one driveway further every three days. From there I expanded to once around the block (we had a two block size block) then worked up to three times around the block a day. My dogs loved this. Once I had my doctors permission, I did my standing push-ups. There is another thing you can do to access your strength a bit better at first. I often do this during this time of malabsorption and malnutrition, being very weak these days, I lay down where I can get up easily, and while laying down I tighten all the muscles in my body and then while breathing in thru the nose, out thru the mouth, nice and deep, I slowly start from the top of my head and work down to my toes, releasing the muscles one section at a time slowly. This makes me feel like I have done some form of exercise. I have found this to be helpful when I have trouble relaxing before bed. That and the mug of sleepy time tea go a long way...and the melatonin.  Just what ever you do, do not over do anything. It may be wise to check with your doctor what he advises for your situation. I have only ever had an umbilical hernia, not even worth mentioning, and that was no fun, so be careful with what you choose, but  I pretty much think that walking until your healed up is the best thing at this point. All things in moderation. If I had the facility, I would definitely be swimming everyday. If I could afford it, I would have a stationary bike for winter, but I do love walking the best. You meet neighbors and their  kids if they have them, and if you have a dog, it socializes him also.  Have fun, and breath. Just do not overdo anything. Good luck and feel very well soon.


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Songbringer
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November 22, 2018 1:42 pm  

Thank you all for the input/advice. Linda, I like your idea of the driveway thing. As I said above, I'm 2 years now with an ostomy, I think enough time has passed to get back in shape.

Crohn's Disease Diagnosis/1st emergency resection during a massively widespread blackout-August 14th/2003. Ileostomy since August 2016. Cheated death twice in 2016 during a 3 month hospital stay.


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Marcie
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November 23, 2018 2:34 pm  

songbringer-----------  just do some house work--------------- works for me.. this has streching involved...and you see progress !!  and a nice cup of tea and cookies when you want to sit back and enjoy your work.. About 2 years after my stoma arrived, (about a year in hospital) I got a busted gull bladder.  That included 3 surgeries..  So, had to do it all over again.. Also, taking care of  yourself is progress.. Don't have to go into major expense.. I am snowed in also--so get some books per week and go take yourself out to a little lunch or coffee/tea- Once a week go out !!  Window shop--   and no back talk !!    Just do it and you will be happier..  Trust me.. --------------read my personal--I went through like you did also-- and still having issues but gaining some pounds now..  I think it is the evening ice cream-- I find is you rest after eating such--stays inside longer--at  night...…. Have a nice holiday !! 

 

 

2014 - 3 strangulations of colon, Ulcerative colitis, removal of colon, illiostomcy named woooh Nellie..


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Valerie
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November 23, 2018 6:29 pm  

The first thing I did after surgery was to buy super comfy jogging pants that didn't irritate my scar, and start walking in my neighborhood even though it was cold. The walks saved me, improving my outlook and lifting my depression. I also use housework as my exercise- I make it a game to go downstairs for something every hour, and even on a bad day I make myself get up and stretch during commercials. Baby steps.

UC at age 18, 1981. Diagnosed at 20, proctocolectomy with permanent ileostomy at age 23, 1986.


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VeganOstomy
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November 27, 2018 11:06 am  
Posted by: john68

I totally agree with this, I work outdoors in all weather and their is a saying “no such thing as bad weather only bad clothes” nothing makes you forget the Ostomy like being active and busy 

John, as someone who usually hates the winter but has been making an effort to get out when it's cold - this is 100% truth. What a difference good quality clothing/boots can make! 

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.

~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


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