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  #1  
Old 04-06-2013
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Rio, Wisconsin
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westyswoods
Default Been Gone Awhile

My it has been a long time and not even sure where to start this post. I am posting in freestyle as this is where I have been most active in the past.

Due to a diagnosis of bladder cancer last fall, a series of surgeries, with removal of bladder, prostate ... Feb 18th my swimming has been non existent for in excess of five months.

I return to my urologist this week ( 8 weeks post ) and hope to get the okay for returning to the water. I chose to receive what is called an IC which requires one to wear a pouch for urine collection. Not pretty but a tried and proven method for decades.

I would appreciate feedback members here can give as to good body or swim shirts which will serve two purposes. One hold the pouch in place and provide warmth.

One of my main challenges is going to be regaining body mass as I have lost approximately 20 lbs from last fall, was down to 156 from 175. Difficult to describe how quickly muscle tone has disappeared along with energy levels.

This is uncharted territory and will be taken one pool visit at a time just need to get back in the water.

Any suggestions will be appreciated, even the swim skins elites used, as my ability to stay warm is very compromised.

Thanks For Your Responses

Swim Silent and Be Well
Westy
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  #2  
Old 04-06-2013
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Hi Westy,

So sorry to hear of your troubles. Just shows the strong type of guy you are. Many would have given up on swimming; your positive attitude is to be admired. Maybe something like a torso wet suit might be the ticket? This is probably what you mentioned. By the way ... I've missed your posts and had wondered ....
Glad you're back !
Mike
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  #3  
Old 04-06-2013
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Welcome back Westy. Can't give you any advice but glad to see you looking for ways to get back in the water. Sure hope Coach Suzanne sees your posting--I'm sure she can give you some good advice.

Wishing you all the best

Sherry
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  #4  
Old 04-06-2013
Janos Janos is offline
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Welcome back Westy. You have been incredibly brave and in inspiration for all of us. For swimwear, I would suggest a two piece tri suit. Top is usually zip up, and shorts are large enough to be discrete. I too have been battling illness, and have suffered the drastic weight loss you are experiencing, and know how distressing that can be. If you have the appetite for it, after taking meds etc, try and fit in smoothies or weight gain drinks in between meals.

Very best of luck

Janos
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  #5  
Old 04-06-2013
Grant Grant is offline
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I am sending you my welcome back greetings as well. Can't advise as to swim ware. But I can extend best wishes for a good recovery. I donated my prostate to the compost pile about 19 months ago. Friends have had the same two removals as you and are doing well.
Again all the best.
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  #6  
Old 04-06-2013
Jim61 Jim61 is offline
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Hi Westyswoods,
I don't know but, it sound similar to an ostomy I got in 2008 (my colon was removed) and as a result I wear an appliance (bag). My stoma is a little above my naval on my right side which is above todays swim suits.

I found a company "White Rose" (a web search should find them) in England that makes a mens snug fitting swim suit for ostomys, as well as baggy ones, that rise a little above the naval and have a built-in pouch for the bag essentially hiding and helping to secure the bag.

I've been doing Ti since 2009 (that's a work in progress) three times a week and have had no problems regarding the security of the appliance/bag. It did take a couple of times times in the pool to feel confident regarding the appliance/bag's security but it's not a problem.

Recently, I got a pair of bouncy shorts, basically a swim suit made out of wet suit material, to take the place of a pull-buoy, also from a company in England "Red Zone" (I think). This suit does not cover my ostomy but they (Red Zone) suggested I wear my swim suit that does cover my ostomy underneath. It's looks a little funky but it works.

Where there's a will there's a way
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  #7  
Old 04-06-2013
cs10 cs10 is offline
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cs10
Default heated wetsuits

Most of the wetsuit companies make heated vests powered by rechargeable lithium batteries that last about 1&1/2 hr on high setting. Special pads actively supply heat as distinct from a wetsuit which relies on you supplying bodyheat to warm the insulative rubber. They are designed for activities like surfing so should be comfortable swimming. They are designed to be worn under a wetsuit, not by themselves. A thin "shortjohn" wetsuit ( Knee to shoulder) wouldn't be too restrictive and would accommodate your pouch. A shortjohn wetsuit will still fit when hopefuly you regain weight.

"Thermalution" brand seem to get good reviews. You could google heated wetsuit reviews and Thermalution heated wetsuits. They cost round $400. Getting back swimming will do wonders for your spirit, health, energy and happiness. Good luck.
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  #8  
Old 04-07-2013
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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Jim 61,

Same thing except mine is a urostomy. A couple of questions if you don't mind.
Do you find the compression of your suit hinders excretion?
Does being in the water lessen the time your appliance holds up?
What type of system are you using? One piece/two piece and brand name.
I am very fearful of developing a paristomal hernia, any experience here and or thoughts.
Were you swimming when you had surgery and if so how long did you stay out of the water post surgery?

I almost took off for the pool today, but promised my Dr I would wait until my appointment this coming Thursday to discuss moving forward.

Thanks to all for your responses, getting antsy.

Swim Silent and Be Well
Westy

Last edited by westyswoods : 04-07-2013 at 08:49 PM. Reason: spelling, grammar
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  #9  
Old 04-08-2013
Jim61 Jim61 is offline
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Westyswood,
A little history about my circumstances that may or may not prove relevent and give perspective.

I actually had my colon removed 20yrs. ago and went throught a series of extensive surgeries to create an internal pouch with the end of my small intestine, sometimes refered to as a "J-Pouch". I had limited success with it. Incontinence was common place. Surgeries and recovery went on for months. Like you, I was about 150lbs and lost around 30lbs. in the process.

At that time I was not swimming but, did do some running and biking. It was so long ago I don't remember how long it took me to get back to "normal" but I know it took quite awhile.

Then in 2008, I couldn't take the uncertainty of incontinence any longer and had an ostomy performed laproscopically. Recovery was almost immediate. As it turns out, what I feared most, the ostomy/appliance (bag) works great. I don't know why I didn't do this years ago. Vanity?!

I haven't run in 15yrs., I have MS and am partially parayzed on my left side, so, in 2009, after my ostomy, I set a goal to really learn how to swim (Basically I doing freestyle and back). Enter Ti.

Enough of my history garbage, let me try to answer your questions.

- I wear a two part appliance (flange and bag) from a company named Hollister and I am very happy with it. I tried several other companies appliances but, I liked Hollister the best for security and ease of use. At first I used a small closed bag when I started in the pool but soon relized that my normal drainable bag was more than secure and that's what I use now and never have had a problem. Why two Part? Originally I thought I would changing between a drainable pouch and a smaller closed pouch a lot. But as it turns out I hardly ever use the smaller closed pouch. I think the two part affords a little more control during the installation of the flange without the bag being in the way.

I try to swim first thing in the morning and as a precaution I do limit my food intake before swimming to prevent the bag from filling while I'm in the pool.

Hollister has a bag with a "lock and roll" drain that uses a velcro type enclosure, no separate clip. (Hollister also has a bag without the lock and roll feature but I find the drain end to too flimsy and hard to hold on to when wipping it clean. The velcroed opening on the lock and roll gives the drain structure)

A year or two ago Hollister modified their design, but, at least for me, it leaked and I complained. I still use their modified design today but I use a clip rather than the velcro closure. Most recently Hollister came out with a modification of the modified design which I tested and had no leakage. It should be in production now or soon.

- I get my ostomy supplies from a company named Edgepark and I am also very happy with them. You should be able to request their catalogue and free samples of various companys' products to see what works best.

- Water has not affected the appliance security or longivity. Normally, I change my appliance every 5 days. I'm in the pool 3 times a week for about and hour each time, shower two or three times a day on the days I'm at the gym and the appliance has not been affected.

- I visit my surgeon annually and he is on the lookout for hernias, so for so good.

Personally would wait until the doctor gave me the ok. I wouldn't want to chance screwing something up. But that's just me.

- I'm not positive what you ment when you asked if compression of my suit hinders my excertion. If you mean physical excertion on me the answer is no. But I don't do flip turns. I use to do them, kind of, until someone kindly pointed out to me that I was doing them wrong so, I stopped.

If you mean does the suit compression interfear with the appliance I would say no. If anything the snuggness of the suit helps to keep everything in place and secure.

I'm happy to answer anything I can. Next time I'll try not to be sooo long winded. Hope some of this will help.
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  #10  
Old 04-08-2013
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Rio, Wisconsin
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Jim,

Thanks so much for your reply. You answered a lot of my questions. To the point of hindering excretion, it was the second of your answers to which I was alluding. Just wondering if the tightness will prevent waste from entering the pouch.

I am currently in the process of testing various products. Where my stoma is located has caused problems when using a two piece system. They are significantly stiffer than one piece and do not flex into a fold on my abdomen when bending over. I have tried and do like the Hollister one piece 8460, but the most I've gotten out of it is three days, reall would like to find something which will give a consistent five days.

Thanks so much for your response.

Swim Silent and Be Well
Westy
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