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Eating in a restaurant


My daughter is getting married in November and I have only had my ostomy bag for a couple of weeks. It was an emergency surgery and I have only had minimal training. How do you deal with eating, sounds, and smells in a restaurant? How can I try to avoid changing it in a public restroom and if I can't avoid it, how do I best prepare to deal with it? I know the answers to these questions are probably simple, but I need guidance, please. Any advice will be welcome. Please be nice :) I feel clueless and more vulnerable than I have admitted to anyone.

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Hi catonya 

There are a range of items you can try to help with the smell. There is topics for just about anything you need to know if you go on the forum posts. For example some have used mints, cough sweets, odour sprays the list is endless. Colorplast do little stickers that you put over that will stop the noise you could ask them to send samples. As for eating just remember chew chew and chew some more and lot's of fluid. I hope this helps good luck and let us know how it goes. Xx


Handle it the same way as at home. Take supplies in a zip lock or any kind of pouch. If you got a good seal there should be no smell. I use M9. As for noise use gas x or similar. Empty or change before you go out.


Many I've asked agree Hollister M9 Odor Drops work the best, and I tend to agree.  If you use a drainable pouch, you'll simply need to go to the bathroom at some point after eating to empty. The odor drops should pretty much eliminate all odor.  Sounds are a differnt thing but a good OTC anti-gas med should help.  If it's a loud restaurant, it'll be less of a problem. Then again, if sounds are heard, a sincere, "Excuse me" usually works.  This is easy to say but it's really not worthy of anxiety.  You'll probably want to do a few trial runs out in public before November to gain confidence so that you can enjoy your daughter's event. 



I use lubricant/deodorant in my bag when I first put it on . I've never had anyone tell me ( and I ask those close to me ) that my poop smells . In fact ,most of the time it's in our heads . Put in a fresh change prior to your festivities and don't stress about it . Take your time in the restrooms before and after you eat and drink dinner . I'm sure the chatter,music and laughter will hide any noises you may have . Just have a great great time and dance the night away without worrying about your s***. And Yes .... pack extra changes in a bigger purse and hide it under your table . 
have fun ...Ritz

AND ..,congratulations to your daughter and your future son in law 


Welcome . Education is key on this new journey of yours. I suggest you check out UOAA, United Ostomy Association of America. It's our National organization. There you will learn about foods, blockages skin care, clothing , products, travel, activities , and a whole host of other tricks of the trade. You might also want to check out a local support group near you . Just remember you are not alone on this new journey of yours.  Do not let having a pouch define whom you are.  Best of luck


Hello Catonya.

Do take note of what everyone has said so far - especially the bits about not worrying and enjoying yourself. This stoma thing is a bit daunting at first, but you will soon get the hang of it. It does help to stay positive, even when negative things happen. The old boy-scout's motto is particularly pertinent to stoma management: 'BE PREPARED'. 

Best wishes


Reply to Riva

Thank you for the recommendations and the kind words. God bless you.

Reply to Ritz

Thank you! You words made me laugh and brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for your kindness!!!


You have been given a lot of good advice. Also if you click on the on the premuim blue button at the top of the page there is a lot more information.


Hi CaTonya, 

Welcome to the site fellow South Carolinian. Three weeks is pretty new but when I need my stoma to behave itself, I will take Imodium that should help with your problem. Eat drink and enjoy your occasion with no worries. I would probably come consult your Ostomy nurse to see if it is too soon to try them. 
Good luck,



I, too, occasionally have noises. I have found that reaching my hand under the table to gently hold against my stoma muffles the noise.


Congratulations Catonya702!

I understand your concerns, especially this soon after your surgery...

I would:

- Completely avoid any carbonated drinks and any food items that you know give you gas.

- Take along enough toilet paper from home to be used for a couple of empties, just in case they are out or use the really cheap thin stuff.

- Eat a small meal and small desert to minimize your overall risks, just in case.

- I frequently use a muffler system when I go out. Basically, I use two neopreme oval shaped "mufflers" (sold by over my bag. They have a lot of interesting products for ostomates. I twist the bag sideways, and pull a soft stretch wrap over the area to hold things in place. It makes it more difficult to judge how full the bag is, but I have gotten used to it over time. It also reduces how much the bag will hold, since it's twisted sideways. But it really reduces the sound noise, albeit with a little more attention required.

Have a great time!

Reply to TXSteve

Thank you! You answered a lot of the questions I had about the stealth belts. 


Since both my kids got married in the last 2 months and I've only had my ostomy since March, I have a little knowledge on this topic. 1) have a fresh bag on the day of or the night before the big day and make sure it's empty before the ceremony. 2) I take flushable wet wipes(Walmart brand are about $1.50/48 wipes) with me  to use to wipe the opening of my bag if I have to empty my bag. I've found most public bathrooms have horrible toilet paper and it's on big rolls that are difficult to operate 1 handed as you hold the bag with the other hand. 3) for noise, I don't have much of an issue but if I do, I just tell people I have no control over it. 4) eat a little something that will slow your output just before you leave for the ceremony, for me it's applesauce. 5) enjoy the day, your body will respond accordingly and anything that comes up isn't worth the stress. 

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