My grandson, 19, is worried about the entire bathroom situation should he need to change his bag or should he have a bag failure while at work.  This will be his first full time job and he is terrified.  It’s a warehouse job.  Should he talk to HR about his situation?  Thank you, Rose


IMO, no under normal circumstances, everyone uses the bathroom. However, if he has to empty a lot, he may need to inform his boss of his situation. He’s young, more than likely he’ll change jobs multiple times before figuring out a career. I wouldn’t worry about it. 

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I have mixed experiences telling people at work about it. I guess it depends where you work and how close you are with co workers and bosses. 

I brought what I called a bathroom kit. All put in baggies separately. A empty water bottle ( if he rinses) , hollister M 9 deoderant drops for inside the bag, water wipes, my own roll of toilet paper. He could use a back pack as well and better if he can lock it up in a locker. 

Also I would carry in seperate baggies, a pouch precut and in other seperate baggies anything else he uses to change the pouch. Carry a change of clothing and can keep in car if need be for any accidents. Socks, underwear  included lol. I've had it happen. Also an empty baggiecto dispose of the pouch and a bag for garbage so he can get it all out if it happens. 

I have dealt with both ways on different jobs. Telling people and not telling people although i prefer telling them but very few in case an accident does occur. 

I found that telling people , most are sympathetic and caring but there is always that one bully who might try bullying. 

I found by not telling people, they were interested in why i had a bag for the bathroom and going into my bag looking. So, with that said I prefer telling someone but with a safe place to keep your things. 

Tell him do not be afraid, most are understanding especially if he already knows them. Plenty of us are working woth these things. 

Had to come back to say that I just realized you said it's his first job. Maybe do tell HR or the boss so they can accommodate any bathroom needs. 


I have a colostomy.  I show all co-workers my wafer and bag.  Usually wait till it's half full (nice and ripe), so they know exactly what I deal with.

I informed/showed my management.  Also registered as having a disability.  

Only stuff I keep at work is an extra wafer, barrier ring, bag, deodorizer drops, and medical tape.  

I'm careful to clean toliet well after I empty.

I don't care if anyone complains.  Too many complaints, a surreptitious bag burp will occur near their cubical.  Nose hairs will be singed.  


I carry a small backpack with spare clothes (pants, shirt, underwear, socks) and enough supplies such as a couple of bags, adhesive remover wipes, skin prep wipes, and a couple of flanges. All this plus some flushable wipes to clean up with. So far, I have only needed to change a bag at work twice in the last 2+ months (I don’t use drain able bags for various reasons and my insurance pays for enough that I can change a couple bags a day). I have a colostomy so my bathroom needs tend not to be super urgent. 
I did inform my boss and HR mostly since I have been keeping them in the loop since I have been out on medical leave due to surgery to remove rectal cancer and because I have frequent visits with my oncologist for ongoing chemo treatments and occasionally the surgeon who has had to break up some scar tissue around my stoma. I am fortunate to work at a great place and for a great boss who is understanding and allows me flexibility. 
Hope your son’s job goes well and they allow him some flexibility and accommodation to deal with things.

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Reply to Hisbiscus

Thank you so much for your reply.  As it turned out he decided against taking this job which would have involved heavy lifting eight hours a day.  Perspiring affects the adhesive for his pouch.  I will share your very helpful tips with him.

Reply to Beachboy

I’m afraid he is taking this very hard.  Thank you for sharing the lighter side.

Reply to AlexT

Thank you, I know you’re right but I can’t convince him.  He’s really struggling with this.

Reply to Hunter99

I agree because with the heavy lifting he could aquire a hernia behind the stoma. There are plenty of jobs that will understand and will train. I can get the sweatung thng because I've had that issue. I sweat easy. I also have had hernia surgery from lifting with my stoma. Im.struggling finding a job myself right now with all my health issues. I tried commercial cleaning but quickly found the supplies they use literally cause your wafers to melt as well as the stuff getting onto the bag when you empty. I've thought about phone work and currently looking. 

Back to that bathroom bag. When he does find something pack his own roll of toilet paper in a baggie in that back pack because some of these bathrooms, the toilet paper is so  far down to reach and it's a nightmare if you can't grab a peice. If he rinses get his bottle filled with water before going to the stall and take everything out of baggies and set everything up in reachable places. 

This back pack could also travel with him where ever he goes. Stores , friends house ect... it's helpful especially when you first get the stoma till you see how things go. 

Tell him.please don't be discouraged. Most places understand. I don't know if he would be interested in caretaking but they do train for visiting elderly homes and developmentally disabled . He would just have to take clients that can walk and no lifts and they do have them. Most of those jobs they have restroom.issues or need help anyhow and they are not going to care. I did it  before and may go back it. I was on an overnight sleep shift in thier apartments and I was allowed to sleep while they were. Just a thought.

Reply to Hisbiscus

Thank you ag, I’ve forwarded your notes to him.

Reply to Hunter99

I understand.  Being young is hard... and having an Ostomy makes everything tougher.

I do struggle with my self image... my stoma with peristomal hernia sticks out alot, big bulge in my shirt.  I try to ignore it.  But if I was young... it would turn me into a recluse.

Tell him we are all wishing the best for him.


It’s my understanding that you don’t have to disclose any disability to your workplace under the law. However, Having been born disabled, I think that it’s important to put all the cards on the table so if something does happen, nobody can say that they were not aware. Also, under the Americans with disabilities act, I see that you are in the US so I’m assuming that he is too, He should have reasonable accommodations if he needs extra time in the bathroom but that can only be done if he informs them so it’s Up to him in the end.


ever get stranded on the road way with car trouble? alone?

no phone. no water? 

or a situation so grim   u feel like you are going to die ? .

yes. we all have been there . all for various reasons. 

ask yur grandson to view the web site here. try it out.he will forever be  thankful to his nanna and poppa.

parents of two newborns have been helped recently.

both babies have stomas. 

recently, an 18 yr old found the courage to ask questions and seems better with our advice.

get this. she wears two bags, has two stomas.

she, like your grandson, are the first teenagers on here. that are finding answers  they need to carry on.

its not an old person's thing.

there is great relief finding a person who " gets it". 

and being the same age, is icing. 

i hope u give the messages ..we get it.

we got your back and front too..

sit tight . others will chime in.

thank you for sharing.







It is hard having ostomy..ask your grandson what is the worse that could happen while working? Then prepare for folks state take   extra supplies..if you go to the bathroom alot..and your manger asks why tell them you have a heath condition..if they fire you get unemployment and get a better job. Some people men and women..get to the bathroom every hour..I seen this many times in the work place.

Reply to JVM261

the ADA.. was in its infancy when I sued a major shipping company back in the day.

it had cap settlement if i were to go for the big bucks.

Rehab act of 1973 was the way to go.

we went and got a better settlement.

it had nothing to do with being an osty.

the ADA will be there for him if he needs it.

he first needs to understand the new normal. his diet. his hydration needs.. his lifting limitations. how to protect his stoma and that hernia... that will eventually develop.  and haunt him..

his work or job qualification will get him the typical teenage jobs.

what were yur first jobs?? ?  just enough to get by and party weekends. right?? 

if he plans now,  a fresh start with state or ..county would be ideal. 

once his foot is in the door after that first 60 trial  days, he is golden..and the stoma will follow.

he will need solid advice and coping skills.

perhaps, talk to guidance counselor in his school for career incentives.?