Having my little friend is second nature to me now, but it took a while getting used to him and there’s days I still am adjusting. He looks different compared to the stomas on the books or websites that you see. I have learnt to deal with that, as someone told me that nobody can be perfect in every way.
But the thing that I am self-conscious about is how my stoma decides to make a lot of noise at the most in appropriate times. It has never bothered me until I started to meet new people, especially on placement as a nurse. The noises my stoma makes can go from a rumble noise like someone’s tummy to the extreme of a fart-like noise, which I have found really embarrassing lately.
Usually I can judge when a noise is about to be made so I place my hand over where my stoma is and it softens the noise but there have been quite a few moments of surprise when it makes a noise and the whole place goes silent. I am over in the corner trying not to act suspicious and just continue what I am doing.
Until one day, I was working with a patient when my stoma made a huge noise that it sounds that it echoed through the 4 bedded bay . Once the patients went away, a colleague made a remark “who is that phantom farter in here today”…. I said nothing. After a chat with a good friend, I explained to that person the next day that I had a stoma and the noise happened because I had just eaten and so the little rascal decides to try and misbehave. I just laughed it off and nothing was said again.
From that day on, I decided to be more open about my stoma - I have no control over how it is going to work, I just can’t tell it to ssshh. But I have found things that can help reduce the noise when I am at work and on placement. But the rest of the time I eat whatever I want and when I am with my friends and family we just laugh and carry on, which reduces my anxiety levels and I completely forget about it all.
My advice to reduce noise.
**Because this works for me doesn’t mean that it works for everyone, if you have any tips for me I would love to hear**