Please note – I am not medically trained and am sharing tips and things I have learnt through personal experience. If you have a concern please consult your stoma nurse or doctor
Tuesday was my birthday and tomorrow night I am heading out with some family and friends for drinks and dancing – I can’t wait!
Since having my stoma I have had to change how I deal with a night out and I thought that today I would share my top tips with you in case you are worried about going on a night out with your ostomy.
Hydration is a huge issue when you have an ileostomy and when you throw alcohol into the mix, this can make it even harder to manage.
I have previously share my tips on staying hydrated which you can check out –
Ostomy 101 – 5 Signs Of Dehydration You Should Know
Coping With A Stomach Bug When You Have An Ileostomy
and if you have read those or followed me on social media you will know I have a glass of Diarolyte daily to help with hydration and keeping my electrolytes up. When I am going on a night out I will also drink an extra one before I leave the house, as well as one when I get home. If I feel rough in the morning I will also have one when I wake up too, but generally find this isn’t the case with the extra the day before.
As with anything, if it is the first time you are going out post-surgery, just take it easy and see how your body and ileostomy react. While many of us experience similar issues with drinking alcohol – high, watery output, dehydration etc – we all have different tolerances and can react slightly differently. Be sensible – you want to enjoy your night out and not end up poorly or back ibn hospital!
Leaks when out and about can be a concern for us all but on a night out this can be exasperated by the high volume, liquid output you can experience when drinking alcohol.
My going out handbag has gradually got bigger over the years – not only due to the fact my mobile phone would never fit in the tiny clutches I used to take out with me! I now always take a mini emergency kit with me just in case – but in 6 years of having a stoma I have fortunately never needed to use it on a night out!
I take as little as possible and prepare things so I don’t need as much kit with me. For example I will pre-cut my bag so I don’t need to take scissors with me (which to be honest I would probably get in trouble for when trying to get in a nightclub, even though they are blunt-ended). I tend to take adhesive remover/barrier protection wipes rather than sprays and a small pack of pocket tissues to help with cleaning as the toilet roll in the disabled toilets isn’t always the best!
I have found that leaks are most people’s concerns when they are out and about but if you have your stoma routine sorted, you shouldn’t struggle any more than usual. Take lots of toilet breaks to keep your bag as empty as possible and remember to take your radar key so you can access the disabled bathroom if needed!
What to wear following your stoma surgery is another common concern and as I try and show on my Instagram with the hashtag #whatostomateswear – you really can wear what you want for the most part!
Jeans can be a tricky one but you can check out my post – Ostomy 101 – Can I Still Wear Jeans – for some of my top tips. When I first had my surgery I was convinced I would be left wearing leggings for the rest of my life, but that really is not the case and most days I still wear jeans!
A dress (with tights or leggings if needed) is always a great option too as there is no pressure on your bag which can make you feel more comfortable.
Some medications you are on may react with alcohol so make sure you are always careful and check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are concerned about interactions. If you are on steroids or biological medications always ensure you take your treatment alert cards out with you – just in case!
I hope these tips have given you some confidence in preparation for your next night out! Once you get used to these little modifications they really do become the new normal and you won’t have to think twice about them in future. I am sure there will be plenty of out-out photos plastered over my social media in the coming days, so you can check those out and I will apologise in advance for any drunken ramblings!
Take care and have fun,