Navigating events with an ostomy

Navigating events with an ostomy

Going to events, (such as concerts, weddings, family gatherings or house parties) with an ostomy can be a bit scary at first. But with a little bit of preparing anything can be done.

Last weekend I went to a family party (COVID-19 was taken into consideration). Before the event my relative asked about any possible food restrictions, and I said that I would need lactose free food. I am not lactose intolerant, but milk products can make my stoma a bit gassy, so I would rather stay away from it.

When I checked out the food I noticed that the salad had red onions in it, but I just picked them to the side and did not eat them. Same thing as lactose, could make my stoma a bit loud: better safe than sorry.

I had never been to the venue, so I actually emailed the resort beforehand to figure out the bathroom situation. Their regular bathroom was the size of a disabled bathroom with a lot of counter space: even a bag change would have been possible without any issues.

I would also suggest that you wear something that you are comfortable with: I wore ”a two piece outfit” = shirt and a skirt. Managing my bag is easier this way: lift the shirt up, fold the skirt down, instead of struggling in a tight dress and trying to wiggle it up after a meal haha. If tight dresses are your thing, go for it, but my irritable bowel syndrome makes me bloated, so I stay away from them in events like this.

Also, take your supplies with you! I had a whole backpack with me, but I have also been to a bar with a tiny bag and folded an extra ostomy pouch in there. I sometimes make emergency kits like this: take a small trash bag, and throw an adhesive remover wipe and some tissue in there with the extra pouch. Then I put the plastic bag into the side pocket of my handbag.

Happy gatherings! …once lockdown is over, I guess.