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 than the expert himself, Eric Polsinelli of Vegan Ostomy! Here he describes a typical Sunday from the time he wakes up until he goes to bed at night:
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 deodorant (or whatever else I happen to be using) into my pouch, and that helps to eliminate odors 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 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 gets 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.
Eric had permanent ileostomy surgery in August, 2013 due to Crohn’s disease. He is an IBD/ostomy advocate, vegan enthusiast and the creator of VeganOstomy.ca from Ontario, Canada.