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Telling friends....


hey, as you might have gathered if you read my last post i'm going to a festival in a few months...

i'm going with a group if around 8/9 boys, and i have a colostomy since birth btw. I think only of them knows about it.... I was thinking if i should tell the rest or just some of the ones i'm closest to or not, seeing that i'll be camping with them for quite a few days:) 

any adivce would be appreicated, especially regarding HOW to tell them.... Cheers

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Hello Josh189.

I try not to give 'advice' as such because what might be a good way of doing things for one person might not be appropriate for another. However, I do have a tip from my days as a successful salesman. The way to win people over is not to 'tell' them stuff but to 'ask' them for their opinions, advice, or just their point of view.  Asking for 'help' puts you in a psychological position almost opposite to that of a 'bully'.  People like to try to help so if you ask for help they are instinctively duty-bound to try to do just that. I would start with the people you feel closest to and put your problem to them in much the same way that you have put it to us. I think you will find that they will be the ones that will resolve your problem by doing most of the explaining to the others themselves.

Hopefuly you wil be able to go to the festival and just enjoy yourself with your friends -- as it should be!

Best wishes



Thank you Bill for the 'advice' or support haha. I understand what you're saying:) 

any nore advice from someone out there??


I am sure that you will have a good time with your friends.  Things seem to work out, the way that they are supposed to. 


When I first knew I was getting my ileostomy my sister in law suggested telling everyone then it was never an issue and she was right. It's never been an issue with anyone I have told and I am answer questions if people have them. At the time I had it done the majority of my friends were male and they didn't care at all or even want to know but I just thought if they knew I wouldn't be self conscious and trying to hide it. My brother and me often joke about my 'bag for life'. My friend used to try blaming me for the smell of her farts but that didn't last long when I pointed out I am not capable of it :-D 


I save that kind of information for those close enough to me, but if you find yourself sharing a tent with someone not that close you might want to tell them or they can figure it out when you ostomy begins to talk....good luck and above all have fun!


Hi josh198,

I tend to feel better when those close to me know what's going on w/ me. Especially if my ostomy might somehow "show itself" to them, like if it's making lots of noise or I have to change the bag often.

It helps me feel less anxious about things. I just put it out there so I am not so self conscious and not spending so much time worrying about what's happening w/ my ostomy. I can relax.

And I also feel like if people are better educated and understand ostomies, they are less likely to judge. Of course, they may be curious so I usually tell people to ask questions if they want to know something. I feel like people won't sit there wondering what's going on if I'm open about it.

Maybe even talk to the one person who does know and tell him how you feel about it and see what he thinks.

I would encourage you to think about what you might want to say if the subject comes up. Again, it might help decrease any anxiety you are feeling just to have an idea of what you would want to share.

Just my experiences though. Like others said, everyone has different things that work for them.

Have a great time!!


I had my op in February this year. Just a couple of weeks post-op I said I would meet my kayaking buddy to give him a hand off the river  (he is paraplegic so I tow him with the car from river to car park! ) I was shocked to find he had told all the lads on the way down the river. He just said that they needed to know for when I could get back to kayaking. The lads could see I was uncomfortable and immediately started telling tales of "getting caught short'. And that was it.. it's never needed to be mentioned again and I know if I had a problem they will know what it's all about!  (5 hr river trip wearing lots of neoprene could be an issue!) 

Happy festivaling. .. and you could always boast about not needing to sit on the grotty portaloo!!! 😆


Thanks for the replies guys! Any more suggestions?


Just one from me.....  Listen to the advice you have received and know everyone has your best interest at heart. Then go with the flow and make your decision as needed.

Have a wonderful time!

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