Your ostomy is your ticket to a prolonged life, so live it!

Pooping while talkingHaving an ostomy doesn’t stop you from doing social activities unless you let it. People with an ostomy have been known to climb mountains, play sports, enjoy meals, go to the movies, sew and craft, swim, zip line…need I say more? You name it, someone with an ostomy has done it.

To build confidence in being with friends away from the comfort of your home,take short excursions that aren’t too far away. Go to the grocery store, take a walk around the park, etc. The more outings you go on successfully, the more confident you’ll be that your ostomy pouch will stay in place.

If you’re eating out, you’ll probably find that you have to empty at some point during or immediately after the meal. Eating triggers your digestive system to make room for the new food you’re consuming, which in turn fills up your pouch. Don’t feel bad about getting up to go to the bathroom, many people without ostomies also use the bathroom at some point when eating out. If you have an ostomy because of IBD, you’ll probably find yourself in the bathroom far less than you would have if you’d gone out to eat during a flare.

If you’re out with friends, try not to let your ostomy pouch get too full. You have the freedom to use the bathroom on your own terms, but it’s better not to push your luck and have your pouch get overly full. Emptying it when it’s about ⅓-½ full is ideal, plus then it’s not too heavy or super obvious.

Remember to bring your emergency kit with you just in case. Better safe than sorry, right?