The first 2 weeks after returning to your home, your daily routine will be slower to begin with. When you become confident with your stoma care, you will get into a routine and the changing of the bag should only add a few minutes to your normal bathroom routine. In the beginning you may feel that the stoma will be controlling you, but you will soon be in control of the stoma. Your tummy may still be distended after surgery, so you may wish to keep your clothing loose for the first couple of weeks. Try moving around your house or garden every 2 hours, as this will help your general blood circulation and reduce the feeling of distension and discomfort in your pelvic area and lower limbs. To avoid undue abdominal discomfort and the risk of developing a hernia around the stoma, it is advisable to avoid the following activities in the early weeks after surgery:
- Mowing or cutting the grass
- Using the vacuum cleaner
- Pushing a pram, pushchair, supermarket trolleys or wheelchair
- Digging the garden
- Lifting anything heavy (such as a full kettle)
- Moving furniture
- Cleaning the windows
- It is also recommended not to drive a car during the early weeks following surgery because the side effects of medication and anaesthetic slow your reaction time and reduce concentration.
- Your progress will go up and down, one day forward, two days back in the beginning. You may be tearful, irritable and snappy. Make sure your family and friends understand, as this is a normal reaction following surgery and during recovery. You will be best in the morning, tired in the afternoon and exhausted in the evening.