Living in Miami, swimsuit season is year round. I know my family and friends up north just love it when I post bragging photos of our perfect weather while they are shoveling snow. I understand that for many of you, swimsuit season is only during the summer and since spring is here and summer is right around the corner lets talk about swimming with an ostomy.
Eric from Vegan Ostomy has some great product reviews on things you can purchase for your ostomy to use while swimming. Many ostomates swear by Hy-Tape. I’ve tried it, and it’s never really done anything for me when it comes to swimming. It always comes off. I have found that just going as is, with my bag on, works just fine. The trick is not putting a brand new bag on and then going right to the pool. If you need to change your bag, you should wait a few hours before going into the pool. The adhesive needs time to set for it to be effective.
I’ve purchased the swimming wrap from Ostomysecrets and used it once or twice. It was okay, I didn’t really feel it was necessary and I could only wear it under a one piece. It was very similar to my everyday wrap. Also, I felt like I had too much on in the pool. All that wet material wasn’t that comfortable. But it might work for you. Ostomysecrets also has special swim bottoms that might work for you, check them out.
When I’m swimming I kind of keep my eye on the bag from time to time. I make sure I empty it before going to the pool, no big deal. Between dips in the pool I glance at the wafer to make sure it is still sealed, just for my own piece of mind. This sounds like more work than it is, but you wouldn’t even notice me checking.
Typically, once I’m done at the pool I usually change my bag after I shower. A few times I’ve noticed that the bag didn’t need a change (the adhesive was still completely intact) so I kept on going, business as usual.
I freaking love the pool. Growing up in Miami every weekend we went to our local community center and I spent pretty much every day of summer there. After my first surgery, I had an open wound that became a fistula right under my belly button. Not pretty or fun. It took me over a year to go back to the pool and I was all covered up in a one piece. I missed swimming so much, and even though my doctors told me I could still swim, I felt like some freak that shouldn’t be out in public. Harsh, I know. I am my own worst enemy.
The first time I had a colostomy I did not let it stop me from going to the pool, but I did only wear one piece swimsuits. I never publicly displayed my colostomy and no pictures exist. I wasn’t ashamed, but I wasn’t ready to be so public about it.
Back in the summer of 2013, I went to the beach and wore a bikini for the first time since I had surgery. I didn’t have a colostomy at the time, just a massive scar. It was a big deal and my friends helped make it a lot of fun. Once I took my coverall off I realized most of my fears were just in my head. No one cared. I looked around and people were all keeping to themselves, being comfortable in their own skin, enjoying life. None of us were photo shopped models, we were real people with curves and scars. It was so liberating and I realized no one cared about my scars. That day was a big step for me.
I’ve worn your standard bikini showing my ostomy to the world, a standard one-piece when I’m not in the mood and most recently I’ve worn some fabulous high waisted bikinis that do a great job at hiding the bag. I did a search on Amazon and purchased a couple for a cruise I went on earlier this year. The high waisted bikini is super flattering on all figures and does a great job at keeping the bag hidden. My scar still shows, but I’m okay with that. It really is up to you and what you feel comfortable with.
I found the high waisted bikini pictured above on Amazon. It was only $25 and a great buy. The high waist keeps the bag completely covered, you don’t even know it’s there. Yes you can still see the top of my scar, but I’m okay with that. This cut comes in several different colors and patterns. I want them all.
This bikini has been a favorite among my friends. It’s got that retro vibe, and once again the cut is super flattering. This is another Amazon find and again only $25. It also comes in several different colors. This cut covers more of my scar than the previous bathing suit, just for the record my scar is pretty big. Notice how high up it goes. For many of you, this might completely cover your scar.
I also wear your standard bikini from time to time with my bag on full display. Not for everyone, and I’m not always in the mood, but sometimes I go for it. What the hell? I’ve never had an issue and no one has ever made me feel uncomfortable. FYI – all bikini’s you see below are from Old Navy, the white one was from Walmart.
You should be comfortable, beach and pool days are supposed to be fun. Get out of your head and enjoy yourself.
In the market for a new swimsuit? Here are a few I’m currently eyeing:
This one piece from Old Navy might be next on my list, it’s so cute, love the design.
Another great one piece from Old Navy, and it’s only $34.
Calling all nerds, this is such an adorable nerdy high waisted bikini from Modcloth.
I’ve never purchased swimwear from Forever 21, but for the price I’m willing to give it a shot. This is another high waisted bikini, top and bottom sold separately, but together it’s about $30, which isn’t bad.
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliated links, meaning I might make a buck or two if you click the links. Help my pay for some of my medical bills and click away! This girl has got to eat.