New ostomates often ask, “What does a typical day look like with an ostomy?”
Ostomates who are curious about a vegan lifestyle often ask, “Can you eat vegan with an ostomy?”
Who better to answer both than an expert like Eric Polsinelli of VeganOstomy. Eric had permanent ileostomy surgery in August 2013 because of Crohn’s disease. He is a patient advocate and vegan enthusiast from Ontario, Canada.
Here's what a typical Sunday looks like in the life of a vegan ostomate.
9:00am – Our two dogs and five cats are fed before the humans eat, classic pet lover. It’s laundry day, so I get hampers ready for a trip to the basement. I skip breakfast today (typical of most days), although I’m known to eat leftovers for breakfast from the previous night (vegan pizza anyone?).
9:15am — Today is appliance change day. I like to take my time, making sure my skin and stoma look good. To prepare, I’ll put on some music, remove my wafer, hop in the shower and put on a fresh pouching system after I've dried off. The whole process takes about 45 minutes, and then I clean up the bathroom.
10:30am — The first load of laundry goes in - 3 more to go! Depending on who's willing to help, I may or may not fold the laundry alone.
10:40am — After my two kids eat, my son and I play a video game. During the cold season in Canada, nobody in my family wants to go outside.
11:45am — I sit at my computer, prepping my blog newsletters which I send out every Sunday. I usually try to get this done the night before, but that doesn’t happen all the time.
12:30pm — For lunch, I’m having a lentil salad and a V8. I would normally empty my pouch again, but since I skipped breakfast, it isn’t very full. I will empty it later this afternoon.
12:45pm — I'll continue to work on the newsletter. If I have a new blog post to publish, I'll do it right before the newsletter gets sent out so I can include it in the email. If nothing new needs to go out then I’ll work on something for the upcoming week.
2:00pm — I empty my pouch before heading out to the grocery store. I put a few drops of Na’Scent (or another ostomy deodorant I happen to be using) into my pouch, and that helps to eliminate odor if I have to empty in a public restroom.
3:30pm — Home from shopping, now I'll put the groceries away and snack on a few apples or bananas. I eat apples unpeeled, but chew them very well; Pink Lady apples are my favorite, even at nearly $2.00/lb.
3:45pm — Last load of laundry! I put away my own clothes and so does everyone else to balance out the workload.
4:00pm — I get some blog writing done before dinner. I previously recorded a YouTube video, so I’ll edit that too.
6:00pm — I'll empty my pouch before preparing dinner. I really enjoy cooking and now have a love for food after years of not being able to eat well with Crohn’s disease.
6:45pm — I made a one-pot rice dish and salad. I’ve been eating vegan for over 16 years, so raw veggies are a staple in my diet and don’t cause me to have issues such as blockages. My family prefers pasta, but they can't win all the time.
8:00pm — My kids get ready for bed. I empty my pouch again.
8:15pm — Time to relax and watch a movie with my wife.
10:00pm — It’s time to empty my pouch again. My wife heads upstairs to read and I play a video game or two - "Far Cry 3" is a favorite of mine right now.
12:00am — I’m burning the midnight oil working on my blog. I research topics, checking out Instagram and read other IBD/ostomy blogs. I scroll through some support forums, hoping I can add something valuable to help others.
2:30am — Time for bed. I empty my pouch for the last time, and won’t have to empty again until I wake up around 7am.