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Friend of someone with an ostomy; odor-related question

Posted by friendofanosto, on Sat Nov 16, 2019 7:15 pm

I am in a bit of a conundrum, and I signed up on this site to come ask this question, wondering if maybe all of you on the site could have a suggestion.

 

I have a friend who has an ostomy and bag. I visit her often, as I am really only one of the friends she has. She got an infection from a bug bit and ended up losing a large part of her intestines as a result, and of course was given the ostomy. The ostomy, she only recently learned through a Dr that DIDN'T do her ostomy surgery, is irreversible; the Dr that did the surgery doesn't want to reverse it due to all her many health conditions causing complications after such a surgery. So she's stuck with it the rest of her life. and by default, since I'm one of her friends. *I* am stuck having to smell it every time she empties it.

 

Here's my problem and my question: she only seems  to empty her bag whenever *I* am there. It smells absolutely ungodly, and there are really no smells that get me gaggy (even really bad ones) other than poop smells. There's been several times I've almost gagged after she's come out of the bathroom; the smell emerges after her and smells up her entire apartment very quickly. Her bathroom has a fan, AND she has can of air freshener; the problem is she uses NEITHER of them. I can't bring it up or say anything because she's very "proper" and does NOT talk about #2's or passing gas. She doesn't even like the word "toot", much less "fart". If I brought it up, she would get extremely offended and angry, and probably hurt.  So I pretty much have to sit there and try not to gag, and just pretend the smell is not there, even while it's assaulting my nose. Sometimes I luck out, and she empties it right before I have to go, so I just leave as I had planned, and that gets me away from the smell.

The question is: Do any of you have ANY ideas on what I might be able to do, to indirectly get her to start doing this that cut down on the odor, or at the very least get her to empty the damn bag when I am NOT there? It's just so frustrating that she seems to make NO attempt whatsoever to reduce or hide the stink.

 

Thanks for your responses!

 

 

Reply by xnine, on Sat Nov 16, 2019 7:57 pm

Just do what she does'nt. go spray and turn the fan on. Best of luck.

Reply by Puppyluv56, on Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:03 pm

Hi FOAO. 
THAT is a very good question and you certainly have come to the right place. There are many products out to "help" or "eliminate" the odor but there are none that are proven by me! There are things like lubricant/odor eliminators, smelleze, people have put Tic Ttacs in their pouch, mouth wash, I even made my own Poopouri spray to use both in the toilet and spray a little in the lower end of the pouch. Never use anything that you would not consume or is not approved specifically for Ostomy care.  
There is no sure fire fix but any of these can help some but I see the bigger problem here is for your friend to use them or for you to find a way to bring it up. She cannot be immune   to the odor. We are all aware of it. Nothing pleasant there, not even with your own much less someone else's. Maybe you can tell her you found this wonderful website that are all people with an Ostomy or with someone with an Ostomy. Tell her you read lots of the posts and they talk about everything. She can join and just read to get lots of Information to help her. She can, but would never have to , participate In any conversation if she chose not to. 

i hope this helps, You are truly A great friend to help her. 
Puppyluv 

Reply by friendofanosto, on Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:12 pm
xnine wrote:

Just do what she does'nt. go spray and turn the fan on. Best of luck.


She wont' like that. That would, in essence, be addressing and admitting that she stunk up the bathroom. I can almost guarantee she would get offended over it. So I can't do that.

Reply by friendofanosto, on Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:17 pm
Puppyluv56 wrote:

Hi FOAO. 
THAT is a very good question and you certainly have come to the right place. There are many products out to "help" or "eliminate" the odor but there are none that are proven by me! There are things like lubricant/odor eliminators, smelleze, people have put Tic Ttacs in their pouch, mouth wash, I even made my own Poopouri spray to use both in the toilet and spray a little in the lower end of the pouch. Never use anything that you would not consume or is not approved specifically for Ostomy care.  
There is no sure fire fix but any of these can help some but I see the bigger problem here is for your friend to use them or for you to find a way to bring it up. She cannot be immune   to the odor. We are all aware of it. Nothing pleasant there, not even with your own much less someone else's. Maybe you can tell her you found this wonderful website that are all people with an Ostomy or with someone with an Ostomy. Tell her you read lots of the posts and they talk about everything. She can join and just read to get lots of Information to help her. She can, but would never have to , participate In any conversation if she chose not to. 

i hope this helps, You are truly A great friend to help her. 
Puppyluv 


Well I'm not sure it will work, but I'll try it. She will probably give me a weird look when I tell her, and most likely won't ever look at the site (I know her well enough to know this). But on the off chance that she does, I will let her know, like you suggested.

Reply by Puppyluv56, on Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:35 pm

Sounds like a plan. I am not sure how close you are to her and if you are a "Caregiver" , but at times family members and/or caregivers have contacted the patient's Doctor, Patient Advocate,Social Worker, Ostomy Care Nurse, etc  You May be able to explain your problems and ask that they address it with the patient. That is a touchy subject because they cannot speak to you Unless your friend has added you to her Hippa list. You may be able to still broach the subject, as a comment, to any of these folks she may have as her Network of providers without seeking any patient information. This all depends on your relationship. I was a Patient Advocate / Case Manager In an Oncology Practice until I retired 3 years ago. Caregivers would speak to me about many issues that I would assist with or fet the appropriate person involved. You have gone the extra mile already and I am sure it would be a big help if her Medical Professionals were involved. This may be completely out of the question but there are many ways they can help. I think In her case, the Ostomy Care Nurse May be the person the contact. 

Good luck,

oh, if the first suggestion works, you may want to delete your post. Lol

Puppyluv

Reply by tessa, on Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:41 pm

First thing that I should have started to write here is to sincerely tell her that you value the relationship and friendship..... Tell her that you completely understand how difficult life must feel like for her, but from everything you mentiond she does not even try to mask any of the odour.  She won't turn the fan on, she leaves the bathroom door open, and she can't even make attempt to use air fresheners which would indicate to you at least this lady is making a little effort...... even if it does not help mask the odour...At least you would see her making a positive attempt..... If you are her only friend, is she also your only friend??....  What is not proper is making you sit there and to not even be able to politely mention anything about it.  You should put your foot down and tell her how you feel.  You have feelings too.  If she does not care about your feelings, then why should you care about her feelings.......Bag or no bag....You have been very respectful and a very supportive friend.  She is really Blessed to have you in her life.  True friendship also includes the freedom to communicate and express feelings, thoughts, and opinions in a honest caring way....You also mentioned that she has a "proper" attitude about certain things.....You must know her well enough to sense that she needs more psychological help with her situation....Yes, you have empathy but you cannot even talk in a peaceful calm manner with her, and I know you don't want to hurt her sensitive feelings....I can understand why she has no friends if she behaves this way infront of her guests....I wonder if what she does in front of you is intentional?....This is where you must intervene...If you think that she really needs help from a Mental Health Professional.... tell her that you will support her every step of the way....She needs you and you are aware of that.......Tell her to do her thing before your visit and if she won't ....tell that you cannot make the visit....Leave her alone for a while and when she calls....Tell her, "You know what you have to do."  If she cannot comprehend what you are conveying to her.....this is your clue that she clearly needs to see a Mental Health Practitioner....A true friend would try to help her to get better....I respect your kindness towards her and you are a good hearted man.....Personally, I have a urostomy and it is very easy to take care of.  I don't have an odour and I am a very clean person.......Respect is a two way street no matter what, and I hope for her sake that she will understand how fortunate she is to have a friend like you..........Good Luck 



Last edited by tessa on Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:24 am; edited 1 time in total
Reply by vdahl, on Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:20 pm

Hello! You really are a good friend and I'm sure, a blessing to her! I used to live in Spokane (not sure where in Eastern WA you are). I had my 1st ileostomy in 2017 at Sacred Heart. There is an ostomy support group that is held at the hospital for ostomates AND their caregivers or friends. You might offer to go with her? I know I was relieved to find a group of people that truly understood what I was dealing with. Unfortunately, my husband wouldn't go with me which made me feel even more like a freak. He would embarrass me by telling me to close the door and turn the fan on. I really wasn't aware that the smell traveled that far. Believe me, I got terribly paranoid about being around people. To this day there's no way he would be able to help my with my appliance if needed.

I found a product called M9 by Hollister that I put in the pouch... works like a dream. There's also a spray option for the room but I was told not to spray in into the bag... I already had AND didn't die :) but figured there must be an additive that could harm the stoma. J

Just by taking enough of an interest to ask the question and your willingness to help makes you aces in my book.

If you want any more information, let me know.

Vicki

Reply by w30bob, on Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:12 am

Hi friendof,

  I can go two ways with this response.  I can go the "what the heck kind of friendship do you have if you can't tell her she stinks" way........or I could go the "here's what I would do if I were you" way.  I think for the sake of brevity I'll go the latter way.  There's an old tale by a guy named Hans Christian Andersen called "The Emperor's New Clothes". It's about two weavers who promise an emperor a new suit of clothes that they say is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent – while in reality, they make no clothes at all, making everyone believe the clothes are invisible to them. When the emperor parades before his subjects in his new "clothes", no one dares to say that they do not see any suit of clothes on the naked king until finally a child cries out, "But he isn't wearing anything at all!"  This story relates to you because you're the town's people who go along with not telling the king the truth for fear of repercussion, your friend is the king......and your way out of this mess is to find a cute young child to tell your friend what you can't.  You'll have some explaining to do to explain why you never said anything, but she'll know the child is innocent and just exhibiting the naivete of a child......and she'll have to believe the tyke.  Problem solved.....or started, depending on how she deals with the truth.  So do a little baby sitting of a 5 year old and bring him over your friends place before the three of you head out to babysit the tyke.

  If that's too difficult then just write her a letter and explain that you're doing so because you are such a good friend.....and you care. Then put your flak helmet on.

And let us know how this turns out!!

Regards,

Bob

 

 

 

 

 

Reply by lovely, on Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:28 am

 I have an eletric litte thing that looks like a candle. It has a small light bulb in it and you put little scented wax in it and it melts the wax . You can get all different scented wax for it . It fills the house with a great smell. I have some that smells like cookies and cream.  I got it at wal- mart. Maybe you could get her one as a gift.  There is also a deodorizer that works off of batteries and sprays ever little bit. You could say someone told you about it and you thought she might like one. Good luck



Last edited by lovely on Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:29 am; edited 1 time in total
Reply by Donleo, on Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:18 am

Maybe you can hint. If you shop with her buy some air fresheners for yourself ask smell she likes. I am always self-conscious about how my apartment smells. I. Have a small place and bathroom smells fill apartment easily. I call it my stinky ostomy. It is better coming from a friend than a stranger. Maybe start by telling her you glad to be friends in private and tell her easily. It difficult for her to adjust in the beginning. You can always meet at your place and avoid as much as possible.   The emperor story is a good way to start and sometimes people have to tell each other difficult thing and don't want to offend. Good luck. 

 

 

Reply by Bill, on Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:20 am

Hello friendofanosto.
I am very sorry to inform you that my lengthy (Waffly) post was just snatched away by the gremlins of the internet, so you are now getting a much shortened version:
I thank all your previous responders for saying much of what I might have said if they had not so eloquently said it before me.
I have a few practical techniques for overcoming obnoxious smells, which I will simply list:
1) The obvious odour sprays
2) Vicks vapour rub
3) Smelling salts
4) Face mask – impregnated with olbas oil
5) Adapted CPAP machine with hypoallergenic filter

I also have developed a way of communicating about these sorts of difficult situations without causing too much hurt or distress to any of the parties involved. This is done by way of rhyming verse, which has the effect of distancing the problem from those involved, yet it can still raise the issues and hopefully inject some humour into an otherwise untenable situation.
Below is a verse written for those who were complaining about the smell of farts on the welfare bus:

WHEN SOMEONE FARTS UPON THE BUS.

Let me tell you from the start.
I don’t think people mean to fart.
And, as far as I can tell.
They’ve no control on sound or smell.

When someone farts upon the bus.
This is a subject to discuss.
When people will their wind uncork.
Most folks might find it hard to talk.

Many reactions I have found.
Are simply to that trumpet sound.
Such sudden surge of sentiment.
I think it’s called embarrassment!

Once a fart’s within earshot.
People do not say a lot.
The fart will tend to mesmerise.
As if one’s thoughts are galvanised.

An instant instinct like an itch.
Make noses like a rabbit’s twitch.
Expressions on their faces tell.
That they await an awful smell.

Instinct tends to make us think.
That every fart will always stink.
When someone farts we cannot tell.
If it will come with its own smell.

If our own farts don’t smell one bit.
We’re glad we’ve got away with it.
We can sigh with great relief.
That we’ve not given others grief.

Some may giggle, some may smile.
Some might show that they’re hostile.
But when it comes right down to it.
All our farts can smell like shit.

So if the fart’s not one of yours.
I hope that you will try to pause.
Try not to scold or to indict.
Just consider the farter’s plight.

B. Withers 2011 (on the bus)


I have a number of other similar verses, which can be useful to open up discussion about difficult circumstances – try this one:

A SMELL FROM HELL.

The worst aroma I have smelt
was from the stoma ‘neath my belt.
What we knew about that smell
‘twas like a poo right out of hell.

It started like a stinking fart
but blew the blinking bag apart.
Of all the stinks I’ve burst before
Methinks this was the worst for sure.

Just everyone from miles around
must have heard the resounding sound.
But when comparing sound to smell
then smell we found we could not quell.

When people try to keep away
this smell is sly and means to stay.
It’s quick to stick to everything
and also clings to anything.

It seemed to creep around the place
then deemed to leap up in your face.
And no one knows just why it chose
to make its way straight to the nose.

I s’ppose the nose one must conclude
was predisposed to just protrude.
We sniff the odour from below
so up the nose the whiff will flow.

So this much I can guarantee
there’s no such smell to this degree.
It’s reputation as a stench
is said to make whole nations wrench.

I think those with an ostomy
will know this stink because to me
they may have started out this way
and lived to fart another day.

B. Withers 2013


I hope these verses give you some ideas on how you can approach the subject to talk it through with your friend.
Best wishes
Bill

Reply by w30bob, on Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:18 am

Hi guys,

  This post is interesting because I'm surprised how many of you recommend scents or air fresheners as a solution. Back before I got my ostomy and had to deal with Crohn's disease, bathroom odors were a serious problem for me, especially when visiting friends in their homes. So I tried every claimed solution I could find. And I found that nothing actually can change a bad odor to a good one......the best I could do was attempt to mask the offensive odor with a more pleasant one. And a few times I remember thinking I had succeeded, but I was always fooling myself. Our noses are pretty sensitive when it comes to identifying odors and determining combinations of odors. You can fool your eyes by combining colors to form other colors, but it's very hard to fool a nose with a new odor made by combining other odors. Long story short......I never found it possible to completely mask the offensive odors we're talking about, just create a new odor that my nose would determine was a combination of the offensive odor and some other familiar odor. So be honest with yourself here, and if you truly have found something that can be added to the offensive odor that can mix with it to create a pleasant smell then my hat's off to you and I'll say job well done!

Regards,

Bob

Reply by Bill, on Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:16 am

Hello friendofanosto.

Having considered your post again, I felt that I should respond in a little more depth by penning a rhyme to suit the time. I'll blog it as well as posting here, so that I have easy access to it at sometime in the future when these other posts have been superceded.

Also, some of the thougths that had been unaceptably deleted from the system earlier came back to me, so I'll share:

One of the many problems with telling people that they have a problem, is that they probably already know and are acutely aware of their own emotional reactions to it. If. for instance, someone with a stoma (and bag) is sensitive to the negativity of the situation and the natural emotional responses to it, such as; frustration, anger, resentment, etc. Then anyone reminding them of the negative aspects are likely to be the focus or a reactionary outburst of those same emotions. This isn't usually a personal attack, but a regurgitation of previous emotions they felt about their own situation. Unfortunately, such a response  can very easily be interpreted as an attack on the person who was only trying to be helpful. 

Quite a number of people with disabilities which may be offfensive to some people, choose to withraw from the social world so that they don't have to face  any hostile responses or criticisms. This seems to me to be a pity, because there are many so-called 'normal' people who can be equally offensive in their own behaviour or personality, but are quite happy to spread their obnoxiousness around as if they have every right to do so.

Personally, I feel that, those of us who have the ability and capacity to stand up and voice our support for those in unwanted, disabling and disenfranching circumstances, should speak out in whatever way we can.

In my case, it is usually through the medium of rhyming verse,but I have been known to branch out into prose and verbal exorcisim, when the situation calls for it. 

I do hope you manage to find a resolution to your situation with your friend.

Best wishes

Bill 

ESCAPING SMELLS.

If there’s a stink that makes me gag
I think it’s from my stoma bag,
and every time I empty it
my home will fill with smells of shit.

It seems there’s little I can do
to mask the smell of putrid poo,
for even special odour spray
will not make these smells go away.

As I relax in my armchair
I’ll steadily become aware
of that dreaded odour from
the bag, that is now a stink-bomb.

It seems to seep up through my clothes
and then it creeps right up my nose.
I know that there’s no time to slouch
for I must then empty my pouch.

So, up I get, and off I trot
to empty out this bag I’ve got.
But when the seals on bags are burst,
this is when the smells are worst.

I think the fall from bag to pan
will tend to be much greater than
it might be from bum to ‘plop’,
which might make the stinking stop.

This means these smells, make no mistake,
will move like hell, and make a break
for their freedom-flight through air
assaulting whoever’s nose is there.

And, I don’t like to take the blame,
as there’s no malice and no aim
for these smells to spread around
and linger-long in the background.

Oh! how I wish that this was not so
and smells from me would simply go.

B. Withers 2019

Reply by Puppyluv56, on Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:20 pm

Friend,

A little trick I learned on a cruise ship. My Husband and I spend some time on the casino on a cruise. The casino is one place on the ship that you can smoke so all the smokers flock to there to smoke whether they play games or not. For those of us that are non smokers, the smell of smoke and cigarettes take your breath away and there is no getting away from it. I found that I spray my Perfume on the back of my hand and fingers so that as I am Playing slot machines, I just keep my left hand near my nose while using my right hand to spin the wheels. Lots of temporary fixes to get you through to the real fix, her admitting and addressing  the issue. You have had a lot of great ideas passed on to you so maybe you can try them one by one to see what works! 

Again Good luck,

Puppyluv

Reply by warrior, on Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:19 pm

greetings. i would like to add my two cents worth since we got a good roll going on here..  stinking up the bathroom is one of the problems we osties face and we do try to mask it as well as possible for own sake.  this guy is talking about an attack on his senses.. but has anyone, even he, considered the woman may not have a sense of smell? i know it is rare.  but i dated a woman pre ostmy a long time ago.. and i am not using the issue of a small bath roon here but i once smelled gas  coming from her kitchen..fuel gas.. not fart gas.. she had no idea.  and emabarrsed told me she was born without sense of smell. holy cow!  she also said she didnt  know how to apply perfume.. too much or not.. and believe me,  this was something i never heard of.. and helpd out as much as possible.

is there a chance this woman has no sense of smell? if u know her well enough, i guess you would know for sure.. on the surface i had to explain this one scenerio. 

now if this is not the case, well u got to explain to her about the assult. on your nose, as well as other people's .. and the neighbors, i am sure if  living in apartment neighbors must be aware of this smell. it is ungoldy.  and i think they only way to fix cure is fast spraying..like befbreeze or lysol.  having one of those constant melts from airwick in the room would help alot too..  you seem positive she will be angry if you present the problem. well.. thats tough..ignorance isnt an excuse nor accepted to smell like shit. its on you, on your clothes. in the air.  nope..

if you're afraid telling her will endanger and damage the relationship, then maybe it's not as tight or a relationship as you thought...but  if she isnt aware how awful she smells. im sorry. you have ot tell her.  life is too short for nont being candid with your partner, roommate, spouse.. live in friend. or even a visiting relative/friend.  put the sprays out, the soild air fresheners out. light a candle.  people will use the sprays.  walking into a scented bathroom is their clue.  good luck.

JMC
Reply by JMC, on Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:49 pm
w30bob wrote:

 Long story short......I never found it possible to completely mask the offensive odors we're talking about, just create a new odor that my nose would determine was a combination of the offensive odor and some other familiar odor. 


Totally agree Bob, when trying to mask a stench it just ends up like some mutant funk that smells a sh*t-load worse (literally) than the original odour in my opinion, "like a skunk in a whorehouse" is how one friend expresses it, LOL!

Having been in close contact with people with both colostomies and ileostomies am happy to be in the latter category, I wouldn't say my sh*t don't stink but it definitely doesn't fall into the "ungodly"category, just a stinkier version of whatever I've eaten (add a cherry coke or lemonade and it can smell quite sweet!) 

Reply by Puppyluv56, on Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:55 pm

Friend,

There is a lot of food for thought In this discussion! 

It does seem the general consensus is to find an odor control and use it and to lay it on the line for your friend! 

The truth alway hurts but we all get over it! I am sure your relationship will outlast the anger Or humiliation she may at first feel! 
Pup

JMC
Reply by JMC, on Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:03 pm
warrior wrote:

... but has anyone, even he, considered the woman may not have a sense of smell? i know it is rare.  


Anosmia is the medical term for no sense of smell, some people have it from birth, some people have it temporarily, sometimes after illness.  It also includes no sense of taste as the two senses are connected.

So this may be the reason this person can't smell, but honestly the "friend" sounds rude and ignorant, like who waits until you have a visitor to go to the toilet?! 

She also sounds a bit precious to me, "would never say the word fart", seriously?!, what - is she from the Victorian era, the word fart is in the title of many children's books these days after all, "The Day my Bum went Psycho" by Andy Griffiths - an Australian children's author would probably give this "friend" an attack of the vapours!

I reckon just have at it and tell her she reeks, she might actually make more friends in the future if she is aware of that fact. 

Reply by Puppyluv56, on Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:09 pm
Bill wrote:

Hello friendofanosto.
I am very sorry to inform you that my lengthy (Waffly) post was just snatched away by the gremlins of the internet, so you are now getting a much shortened version:
I thank all your previous responders for saying much of what I might have said if they had not so eloquently said it before me.
I have a few practical techniques for overcoming obnoxious smells, which I will simply list:
1) The obvious odour sprays
2) Vicks vapour rub
3) Smelling salts
4) Face mask – impregnated with olbas oil
5) Adapted CPAP machine with hypoallergenic filter

I also have developed a way of communicating about these sorts of difficult situations without causing too much hurt or distress to any of the parties involved. This is done by way of rhyming verse, which has the effect of distancing the problem from those involved, yet it can still raise the issues and hopefully inject some humour into an otherwise untenable situation.
Below is a verse written for those who were complaining about the smell of farts on the welfare bus:

WHEN SOMEONE FARTS UPON THE BUS.

Let me tell you from the start.
I don’t think people mean to fart.
And, as far as I can tell.
They’ve no control on sound or smell.

When someone farts upon the bus.
This is a subject to discuss.
When people will their wind uncork.
Most folks might find it hard to talk.

Many reactions I have found.
Are simply to that trumpet sound.
Such sudden surge of sentiment.
I think it’s called embarrassment!

Once a fart’s within earshot.
People do not say a lot.
The fart will tend to mesmerise.
As if one’s thoughts are galvanised.

An instant instinct like an itch.
Make noses like a rabbit’s twitch.
Expressions on their faces tell.
That they await an awful smell.

Instinct tends to make us think.
That every fart will always stink.
When someone farts we cannot tell.
If it will come with its own smell.

If our own farts don’t smell one bit.
We’re glad we’ve got away with it.
We can sigh with great relief.
That we’ve not given others grief.

Some may giggle, some may smile.
Some might show that they’re hostile.
But when it comes right down to it.
All our farts can smell like shit.

So if the fart’s not one of yours.
I hope that you will try to pause.
Try not to scold or to indict.
Just consider the farter’s plight.

B. Withers 2011 (on the bus)


I have a number of other similar verses, which can be useful to open up discussion about difficult circumstances – try this one:

A SMELL FROM HELL.

The worst aroma I have smelt
was from the stoma ‘neath my belt.
What we knew about that smell
‘twas like a poo right out of hell.

It started like a stinking fart
but blew the blinking bag apart.
Of all the stinks I’ve burst before
Methinks this was the worst for sure.

Just everyone from miles around
must have heard the resounding sound.
But when comparing sound to smell
then smell we found we could not quell.

When people try to keep away
this smell is sly and means to stay.
It’s quick to stick to everything
and also clings to anything.

It seemed to creep around the place
then deemed to leap up in your face.
And no one knows just why it chose
to make its way straight to the nose.

I s’ppose the nose one must conclude
was predisposed to just protrude.
We sniff the odour from below
so up the nose the whiff will flow.

So this much I can guarantee
there’s no such smell to this degree.
It’s reputation as a stench
is said to make whole nations wrench.

I think those with an ostomy
will know this stink because to me
they may have started out this way
and lived to fart another day.

B. Withers 2013


I hope these verses give you some ideas on how you can approach the subject to talk it through with your friend.
Best wishes
Bill

Love both of the poems Bill! You are amazing! 

Reply by iMacG5, on Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:44 pm

Sorry, Friendo, but I just don’t get it. There’s no good reason for you to be subjected to that discomfort. If your “friend’s” olfactory senses are functional she smells the same thing you do. So maybe she’s less sensitive but her stuff still stinks and subjecting you to it stinks more. Her behavior violates that of a true friend. I think you’re a real friend to her and might be an even better friend if you told her how you feel. I feel for you.
Respectfully,
Mike

Reply by NJ Bain, on Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:34 pm

  I've been sitting here biting my tongue, trying to figure out how to respond.  All the responses are good.

  But I have to side with everyone that says she's not being a very courteous friend.  I mean, most of the time, my brain to mouth filter works fine.  And most of the time, I can diffuse most situations with humor.  But when it comes to smells, I draw the line.

  To be honest, I can't even stand the smell of my own shxt, much less, someone elses.  And the smell of urine, just angers me for some reason.  I still visit my ex wife who is in a nursing home, and unfortunately, she is incontinent.  It doesn't matter if she has an adult diaper on or not, she reeks of urine because she will let it fill up beyond capacity and eventually leak everywhere.  Happened recently on a visit and I was pushing her wheelchair.  Right when we got to her room, I noticed something wet on the floor and realized she had leaked like someone had poured lemonade all over the floor.  I think I was more mad that I had stepped in it.  She'll do this with her winter coat on and when she moves from the chair to her bed, she saturates her coat.  But I've very clearly explained to her that her room and clothes reek of urine and she really needs to make a better effort on changing her adult diaper when it's full.  Call me insensitive, but this woman knows she can make a better effort changing her diaper.  She chooses not to because she's lazy.  And no matter what I or the staff says, she chooses to sit in her own filth.

  Sorry, went off topic there.  Had to vent I guess.  Regardless if your friend is nose blind, if she expects visitors, to empty her pouch before or after the visit, and at the very least, turn on the fan, light a match or hose it down with air freshener ( the fruity ones makes it smell like shxtrus ) wash her hands and close the fk'n door.  If she continues to expose you to her green fog, speak up.  You could always ask her if her cat just took a shxt.  And when she says she doesn't have a cat, ask her why it smells like catfood and a$s in her apartment.  Or you could be brass like me and just say, It smells like shxt in here or like a slaughterhouse or whatever phrase works best for you.

  I mean, if I have bad breath, I would expect someone to tell me I have bad breath.  No harm, no foul.  If people are talking to me, and they have bad breath, I offer them gum or mints as a hint.  If they say no thank you, I say, nah man, you need it.  Stank breath.  She has to be made aware that letting her apartment reek of freshly dumped pouch is not acceptable.  Better coming from a friend than a stranger.  Sure, you might offend her, but I'll bet you she will make a better effort breaking the habit of leaving the door open, not using spray, etc, etc.  Embarrassment can be a very powerful tool.  Just my 2 cents.

Bain

Reply by Sportster9, on Mon Nov 18, 2019 3:40 pm

I understand what a difficult position you are in. From the offenders point of view I would be a bit devastated-- at first. Then I would be greatly appreciative of the risk. It is a big fear for me. One that kept me from staying with friends, using public bathrooms and avoiding any situation where I might be exposed. 
I now irrigate, so my bathroom needs are handled once a day. That works great for me. But irrigating when you are a houseguest can be embarrassing. But I would rather know if I was not achieving my goal. Everyone poops, everyone stinks up the bathroom sometimes. But our can be really bad.  I've found an odor eliminator that works for me. I guess it works like Febreze un-scented. (Which also works okay.) I found it at my local grocery. Simple Truth Odir Eliminator. It's a Kroger brand I think. 

from my osteomy-bag-of-tricks. 

Reply by Newbie Dana, on Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:49 pm

I have found that using the sealed pouches that you simply remove and place in a plastic disposal bag, tightly tied, reduces the amount of odor enormously over emptying the resealable pouch. I could NEVER get the silly things clean enough not to have any residual odor, the process of emptying the bag caused splashing from the toilet, and it seemed that the whole mess was open to the air longer and caused more odors. And I empty the bathroom trash with the bags OFTEN to keep smells down.

Reply by vollovr, on Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:13 pm

Hard to believe out of all the responses from ostomates only one vdahl mentioned a product that works 100% from one empty to the next.Hollister's M-9 deodorant drops attack the source of odor instead of masking it like all the rest do.I use 4 to 5 drops in my pouch after emptying each time and it eliminates the odor completely.It really works like magic! I have used it for many years and am so grateful that I never have to even think about odor ever again.

Reply by Rosiesmom, on Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:43 pm

I am sorry for both you sand your friend, sorry but she sounds very selfish and self absorbed. There is no way she is not aware of the smell. It sounds like she is not being very hygienic in the care of her ostomy. I have had mine for 6 years and never had an odor problem as iam very diligent about cleaning and emptying. My pouches. It sounds like your friend is depressed and has given up. This is something that needs to be addressed. You are a good friend for sticking around but sometimes we have to be cruel to be kind. I wish you both all the best.

 

 

 

 

 

Reply by MindAboveMatter, on Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:54 am

Hi, well I can appreciate your problem and the other member is right when she says your friend can smell it as we all can. So you said she empties it once a day, and I'm curious why she only does it when you're there. Are you her caregiver? Do you think she's doing it when you're there just in case she needs help, she can call out to you? Maybe you can step outside the apartment when she goes into the bathroom? It's really not proper at all to do that when you have a guest! I about die if I have company and my bag start going and I have to excuse myself to go clean it!! Lol. Plus my hands don't work that good so it takes me forever and I have to be sooo careful. I'm paranoid about an smell sneaking out !!!

Can you to saying in a light funny way like "aww gurl, we gotta spray a little somethin somethin!" Or maybe tell her "We gotta shut the bathroom door after you come out because if someone else comes over, you don't want to be embarrassed"

If she gets mad at you, you tell her that you care about her and friends are supposed to be able to be open and honest with each other. Maybe she won't call you for a couple days and that's ok. Give her time to miss you, her awesome friend!!!

Reply by dadnabbit, on Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:14 am

TELL HER.  Yes, she is aware of the odor, but her refusal to address and deal with the odor when there is a visitor in her home is simply inconsiderate.  Turn on the fan, open a window and spray the room with air freshner when she comes out of the bathroom---but TELL HER.

PEACE

Dadnabbit

Reply by Teddiee, on Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:56 am

Well......ALL she needs is the large bottle HOLLISTER'S M9 deodorising liquid.  You squirt a few drops into the bag right from the bag being new and after EVERY bag emptying.  This amazing stuff NEUTRALISES the odour completely.

That's the solution....but how to apply it here?  With my good friend...I could turn it into a joke and exclaim...."Good God - has summat just DIED in here? Lol.

I DEFINITELY could visit her and put it to her in such a way as NOT to offend - just TOO LONG to explain here - but I'm in the UK.  Teddy xx

Reply by HenryM, on Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:19 pm

My feeling is that if the two of you are truly good friends, she ought to be able to handle you bringing up the problem and, if she can't handle it or blows you off, then perhaps that tells you something re the strength of the alleged friendship.  Her squeamishness re bodily functions and your disgust about it cause me to wonder about the prospect for sustaining the relationship, frankly.  However you decide to deal with the situation, I can mention what I do to minimize odor.  Being a cheapskate, I disdain expensive odor prevention products and use plain ol' baking soda (the yellow box that people put in their friges to absorb odor).  I just shove a little bit in after emptying the pouch.  As far as I can tell, I don't have an odor problem.

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