Living with a Stoma: Do You Hide It or Wear It with Pride?

Feb 20, 2024 2:16 pm

Just wondering what people's thoughts are with stripping off in front of others with their stoma. Do you hide it away or wear it with pride, and has it stopped anyone from doing anything for the fear of others seeing it?
Although I'm very aware of mine, I have never thought twice about getting changed or being naked in front of someone else because it's something I cannot hide and has helped me become more accepting of it quickly.

Rose Bud 🌹
Feb 20, 2024 2:27 pm

Hmmm, read your messages lately? 🤭

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Feb 20, 2024 4:45 pm

Never give it a second thought. Even at the gym today, I noticed after a while my T-shirt had come up and was on the top of my bag. Couldn't care less who or how many saw it.

Feb 20, 2024 4:46 pm
Reply to Ben38

That's pretty much the way I feel, Ben.

Feb 20, 2024 5:57 pm

Kind of depends on who you're stripping in front of. Your partner, definitely okay. Random people at Walmart, someone will probably make a phone call. 😁

Stories of Living Life to the Fullest from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Mysterious Mose
Feb 20, 2024 7:21 pm
Reply to AlexT

Or take a video and post it on YouTube! 😂

Feb 20, 2024 7:25 pm

LOL, that's true. You don't want to end up on YouTube.

Feb 20, 2024 7:34 pm

I was reading something about mothers/daughters the other week (I have teenagers), and it was saying something about, as a mom, making sure you're not standing in front of a mirror making any complaints about your body because you might have a mini-me soaking in everything you're saying. My daughter made a comment about how she looks like me the other day, and I looked at her and smiled and literally bit my tongue because I almost answered, "Oh, but you're so much prettier. You don't have the scars I do." What if she has her own set of scars someday and remembers what I said about mine? I've been braver for her sake, especially in athletic/swimwear choices... just can't let the scars catch those UV rays.

Earth Angel
Feb 20, 2024 7:46 pm
Reply to AlexT

Yeah, you'll look like you're packing some serious shit—literally lol!

Feb 20, 2024 9:34 pm
Reply to Mysterious Mose

🤔 I could have followers… Heading to Walmart. 😁

Feb 20, 2024 9:49 pm

Since my ostomy, the only person I've gotten naked in front of is my husband. Pre-ostomy, when I went to the gym or pool, I would change and shower in front of others in the changing/shower rooms and didn't think twice about it. Since my ostomy, I use one of the private change rooms. I guess I just don't want people staring at me, and in the case of the shower, the appliance I wear is a Hollister with fabric that becomes completely translucent when wet and looks pretty gross, even to me. I guess it's just a personal thing, and I give kudos to those who are braver than me and not afraid to risk other people's judgment or negative reactions.


Feb 20, 2024 9:53 pm
Reply to TerryLT

I'm sure nobody would stare at you any more than any other person. I usually have a funny bag cover on that actually starts more conversations than getting strange looks.

Feb 20, 2024 10:08 pm
Reply to CrappyColon

Hi Crappy, (sorry but it sort of comes naturally!) I admire you for wanting to reinforce body positivity with our daughter and it brings up an interesting phenomenon I've noticed. Before our recent move, I was a member at our local rec centre for about ten years and regularly went swimming. I noticed that most of the young girls, in the maybe eight to fourteen year age group, who were there with their mothers, would shower with their swimsuits on. The mothers who were swimming would also wear their suits when showering. Us old farts, for the most part, would let it all hang out. I wonder what kind of a message is being sent to the younger generation in terms of body image. Why are they afraid to be naked in front of their peers? When I was much younger, everyone showered naked. I'm not sure when this changed, but I find it kind of disturbing. I know that body image is such a serious problem with young people now, and it strikes me that letting your kid know that there is nothing about their body they need to be ashamed of is really important. One small step towards improving things might just be to tell your kids it's OK to change and shower in front of their friends without their clothes on! But, who starts the ball rolling?


Feb 20, 2024 11:25 pm
Reply to TerryLT

Hey Terry, it's all good... when you pick a username like I did... it's expected 😀. So speaking as a mom and for other mom friends I know and have discussed this topic with... (gonna use the collective term 'we/us' here) we have taught our daughters to keep swimsuits on in public showers in places like swim clubs, public pools, recreation/community centers, etc. Why? Personally, I have a friend who is a counselor and worked with pedophiles… the stories changed how I parented my kids even when both were little. Honestly, I have a hard time thinking of a female friend/relative that made it to their mid-20s without their physical body being disrespected in some way. With peers, it's usually what that group is comfortable with... it's definitely a delicate balance teaching an awareness but not shame, personal boundaries over politeness... that's a big one in girl world right now.

Feb 21, 2024 2:20 am
Reply to AlexT

Gee... I could have followers too... if I could just stop burping the bag. 😉

Feb 21, 2024 2:30 am

I've shown my bag (in living color) to many curious co-workers. They are astounded, especially looking at the intestine poking out. Then they bombard me with questions: Does it hurt? Does it get infected being close to poop all day? It's kinda funny. My wife finally looked at it for the first time last week, then got brave and wanted to see me with a support belt on.

Feb 21, 2024 3:12 am
Reply to TerryLT

Personally, I find it very odd, disturbing, weird, whatever word you want to use, that people would intentionally be naked in front of strangers, or even their kids. 🤷‍♂️ Nothing to do with body shaming or being proud of your body, I just think some things are meant to be private.

Feb 21, 2024 4:12 am

I went to a nude beach before. I do not know if I can do it now.

Feb 21, 2024 4:15 am
Reply to AlexT

Not at my Walmart... there's WAY stranger things to see there, and I don't think the cops even know where it's located.


Feb 21, 2024 1:54 pm
Reply to Beachboy

They are runners, dude... not followers... especially if you burp the bag.

Feb 21, 2024 1:56 pm
Reply to w30bob

Like grown men wearing cowboy hats and high heels?


Feb 21, 2024 7:55 pm
Reply to Rose Bud 🌹

Rose, he's a "cheeky monkey." Would you expect less? 🤪

Feb 21, 2024 8:07 pm
Reply to CrappyColon

I recall in grade school we shammed a boy. The nickname "Dot" was started by someone who saw another classmate's private area. We were changing after gym class, a bunch of 12-year-old boys.


All he saw was a dot between his legs.

That nickname carried over into his teens from us.

Another guy in high school was nicknamed Fat Al.

I caught up with him... Alfred. Recently, it's hard not to use Fat Al, so I think before opening my mouth.

Al or Alfred is what I call him now.

...Yes, he was fat in high school and still heavy today. A great guy.

It depends on how well you were raised, what your parents instill in you growing up.


Feb 21, 2024 8:10 pm
Reply to xnine

Sure, you can. Nothing is stopping you, my friend.

Just note the nude beach would likely become a vacant one. 🙈🙈

Feb 21, 2024 9:03 pm
Reply to AlexT

First of all, Alex, I find your wording strange, as far as 'intentionally being naked in front of strangers.' When I go to the pool and shower afterwards, my only 'intention' is to get clean. If I were going to the pool just to 'intentionally get naked in front of strangers,' that would be weird and disturbing indeed! It's normal to shower naked, and communal showers are intended for groups of people to use at the same time. There is nothing weird or disturbing about it. If you are not comfortable with your own nudity, fine, but I don't think it's OK to label others as weird or disturbing because they are! I want to shower all the chlorine and assorted other unknown human bodily fluids off of myself, and doing that with a swimsuit on doesn't work! Warrior is right; comfort with nudity depends on how you were brought up. It's a fact that different cultures have different comfort levels with nudity. Europeans are known to be more comfortable with nudity, but even in North America, where we've traditionally been more 'uptight' about nudity, comfort levels vary. If you were brought up in a very conservative community or home environment, your feelings towards nudity may be quite different from someone who was brought up with more liberal influences. No one way is right or wrong, but we shouldn't be shaming or judging each other for our differences. I was brought up with nudity being totally normal and acceptable within my sex, i.e., I saw my mum naked lots, and with fellow female friends, schoolmates, etc. It was not normal or acceptable for nudity outside my sex, i.e., my dad or brother. So, those are my influences. I know people who are totally comfortable being naked with males and females. I'm not one of them, but it doesn't mean there is something wrong with them.


Feb 21, 2024 9:34 pm
Reply to AlexT

This brings back a disturbing memory of renting a trailer... sharing the R.V. trailer as a home with its landlord. He was in his late 40s... me... 20 or so...

I worked for Goodyear in the 1980s. The trailer site was across the street. Close... cheap. No brainer for the times...

I applied for the room in this trailer. Everything was good until he said he walks around in the nude...

Gulp... umm... no underwear nude? Correct.

💩... tried living there a week.

Until I found another place. Rather quickly, I might add.

Judge me if you want, but a new meaning is given to trailer trash.

Feb 21, 2024 11:50 pm
Reply to TerryLT

Like I said, use whatever word you want. If you go swim, start showering off, and another person comes in, that's one thing. If there are 5 people showering and a person then comes in, I think that's weird (or whatever word you want to use). I never shamed or judged anyone, I just said I find it weird that people would go shower if others are already using the shower.

Feb 22, 2024 12:45 am
Reply to TerryLT

Terry, with gender fluidity, who is doing what in where with whom and who and they are… interesting with school-age kids right now. I understand the context your viewpoint is coming from. ☺️

Feb 22, 2024 12:52 am
Reply to warrior

What did I miss, Tony? 😳

Feb 22, 2024 4:14 am
Reply to CrappyColon

You make a good point I had not even considered, the whole gender fluidity thing. I guess things are a lot more complicated than when I was young. Not that people are any different, just that there is an awareness and acceptance that didn't used to exist. An interesting time, and let me just say, I'm glad I'm not a parent having to navigate it!