I guess I’ve covered a lot of stuff on this blog, what I’ve found easy, awkward, uncomfortable etc. It hit me as I was at a friends this weekend that I’ve never written about spending the night a friends house when you have an ileostomy bag. I thought perhaps this may be something somebody may put off, worried that there may be an issue during their stay.
As a whole, I personally don’t find it too awkward. But I also think that may be because I have never had to deal with a leak or anything like that whilst there. If I’d had an issue then I think I would be a little put off staying elsewhere, just in case.
Getting changed for a night out whilst with others can be a little awkward, especially when they’re slipping their outfits on while I’m struggling to get into my support pants, with an extra pair on top if I can still see my bag through my dress.
It can also be a little off putting staying elsewhere when you’re in need of changing your bag. I’d definitely advise that if you are nervous about staying somewhere, change your bag beforehand, heating it a little with a hair dryer to get an extra stick, after a hand has been left on top for around five minutes. If you don’t have time to do so, it is best to change your bag before eating, or a time when it is not as active, to ensure no mess is made in somebody elses bathroom. (Though I’m sure if they’re you’re friend, they’ll completely understand).
Having a sleepover should be an enjoyable experience, and you shouldn’t let your ostomy get in the way of some much needed girly time. Or guy time? There is not much that can get in the way, apart from the odd leak or needing a bag change. So always prepare yourself with items you could possibly need when leaving.
When I first stayed at a friends, funnily enough the only two things I was worried about were sleeping in a bed with somebody other than my boyfriend (who had learnt how to sleep with me again!) and whether her toilet would flush the babywipes I needed to use or whether I’d be embarassingly unblocking her toilet. (It’s happened too many times in my own flat). Luckily, her toilets accepted my heap of babywipes. And I don’t think my belly got knocked in my sleep either. Unless I was just too knocked out myself to realise.
It took me a while to build up the courage of staying elsewhere, but after doing it a few times my nerves eased. I guess it’s also easier for me because all my friends and more are aware of my ostomy. It may be a little more nerve racking for those whos friends aren’t aware. In this case, my honest advice would be to tell this person about your situation. You’ll have a much more enjoyable time if you’re not worrying!
So, in preparation of packing for a friends, or just to ease your worries and help you be a little more comfortable:
- Pack babywipes, bag, spray, whatever you need to cut a bag, dry wipes and nappy sacks, in case of a leak
- Take some support pants if you have them, these also help silence any noises your ostomy may want to make should you be eating dinner with others!
- Pack some pjs, something to ensure your bag is safe whilst sleeping next to somebody else for the first time
- Be honest about your situation should anything go wrong, there’s nothing more awkward than making awkward excuses. That’s just… awkward.
- HAVE A GREAT TIME AND DON’T FEEL AWKWARD
Did I say awkward enough yet