15. Travelling Tips

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The patient is able to discuss travel tips.

The following "tips" can be shared with your patient:

  • Always carry identification which would include your type of stoma, appliance used and names of physician/Enterostomal Therapy Nurse. Your ostomy chapter, ostomy retailer or company will often supply ostomy identification cards.

  • Before departing on a trip, check for the name and address of the local ostomy vendor as well as the Enterostomal Therapy Nurse (ET). Your ET nurse can provide you with that information.

  • Always take at least twice as many ostomy supplies than your normal requirement and always carry supplies in your hand luggage. Do not check them with luggage as they could get lost.

  • With the new airline regulations, you will want to avoid carrying scissors in your luggage. Pre-cut your flanges or pouches in advance.

  • To avoid unnecessary questioning by immigration in the event of luggage checks, a letter outlining the medical reasons for the ostomy supplies may be helpful. Your Enterostomal Therapy Nurse can provide you with the letter.

  • Always carry a supply of prescription drugs that you are using. Also, have a written prescription, with the name address and telephone number of your doctor. Obtain the generic names or chemical compositions of drugs from your doctor or pharmacist. Brand names vary in different countries. Keep prescriptions in their original bottles instead of other plastic containers. This way, you will not have to explain your medication to a customs officer.

  • Make sure you have travel insurance.

  • Place your closure clamp underneath your watchband when emptying your pouch to keep it from falling or being misplaced.

  • Take advantage of available bathroom facilities to empty your pouch more frequently than you normally would to avoid unexpected bathroom delays.

  • Carry extra toilet tissues or pre-moistened wipes in the event a restroom is lacking.

  • Always be prepared for potential problems by carrying an “emergency kit”. A make-up bag, tobacco pouch, glass case or man’s handbag (fanny pack) can be used. The kit should contain a zip lock baggie, extra closure clip, pre-cut flange, pouch, paste (optional), individually packaged pre-moistened towelettes or J-cloths to serve as a washcloth/towel and mirror. It is important to periodically check your kit. Heat can interfere with the adhesives of the appliance.

  • In an emergency, your pouching can be emptied into a zip lock bag or baggie with twist tie until it can be disposed of later.

  • Apple sauce, oatmeal, bananas, cheese, creamy peanut butter, boiled rice, tapioca, boiled milk will help to thicken loose stool.

  • Drink at least 6-8 glasses of non-caffeine liquids each day.

  • Caffeine may cause diarrhea. Beverages such as coffee, tea, chocolate and cola drinks contain caffeine.

  • Eat lightly and sensible, especially on airplanes. Gases expand as the plane ascends.

  • Yogurt helps to control gas formation and buttermilk helps to soothe an irritated bowel.

  • If carbonated drinks result in gas problems, a shake of salt or sugar will cause fizzing which helps to dissipate the carbonation.

  • Plan your visits to the washroom on airplanes to avoid peak times, such as after meals, after the movie, and before landing.

  • Travel with understanding, patient people

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