I choose to use disabled toilets whenever possible, as they provide more room to empty my bag, but I have had no problem on occasions having to empty it in a train toilet or even on an aeroplane. Being an ostomate just means having a different toilet routine and it is up to the individual how they approach these challenges.
Personally, I tackle it head on, and it works for me. For example, it can be a challenge using a disabled toilet; people’s attitudes can be very abusive when they see you are seen using the facility when there is no visible disability. My approach is always positive; if I need to, I offer to show them my ostomy bag.
It is safe to say that 6 years after the operation, I have an amazing life. I know I am one of the lucky ones, having such a positive ostomy experience so far, having experienced no problems or leaks worth mentioning.
It can be something that preys on your mind, however. A while ago, I was driving my bus between Llanelli and Swansea, a journey that takes about an hour, when I noticed a strong smell of poo in my driver’s cab. My first thought was: ‘damn, I have a leak in my bag’. I looked down at my shirt and saw nothing, but the further I drove, the stronger the smell became.
This was very confusing and a little worrying. When I reached my destination, the mystery was solved. A lady got off with her baby in a pushchair and said: ‘Sorry for the smell, he has filled his nappy’. What a relief that was!