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How has being an Ostomate affected your social life?

Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:56 am
"This is the best website for people with an Ostomy, hands down. So much understanding. Everyone should join."

I'm not an Ostmomate but my boyfriend is.  I met him 3 years post-op and we've been together almost a year.  He and I have been to several social events together and although we both enjoy ourselves, I can see that he is never as relaxed as I am.  I was hoping you might shed some light on how your Ostomy has affected your social life.  And if you have any suggestions about what I can do to help him, I'd appreciate that advice too.

Do you feel uncomfortable or worried at social gatherings?  Do you abstain from eating at events to avoid having to deal with emptying?  Do you avoid social gatherings altogether or limit the amount of time you spend there?  Or do you even worry at all? 

Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:17 am

Does your boyfriend have a colostomy or an ileostomy?  If he has a colostomy, does he irrigate?

I have a colostomy and I irrigate, so there is never any problem at social gatherings...nothing to worry about and no special preparation necessary.  If he has an ileostomy, they can be more difficult to handle.  There are a lot of people on here with that kind of ostomy and I'm sure some of them will tell you how they deal with things.  He's already overcome what I consider to be one of the biggest obstacles of having an ostomy....dating.  He has you!  He's a lucky man. 

MeetAnOstoMate - 27,382 members
Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:29 am

Yes, uncomfortable and worried a little. I eat. I have a colostomy so eating drinking not a problem. Stay till I am tired which is earlier then before. I still check my bag often. I am better at ostomy society events. I was always less social than others. I know this is not a lot of help but this is the way it is for me.

What would bother me is being pushed into something. Your Encouragement and your support    would go a long way to make the situation more comfortable.

Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:42 am

Weirdnewlife, he has an ileostomy.  And thank you for your kind words.  He is such an amazing person and is so loving and giving that I truly feel like I am the lucky one to have found HIM.  

Xnine, thank you for your input as well.  I have noticed that he gets tired sooner than I do, but sometimes I don't realize that he really needs to go home unless he tells me.  I know I can never truly understand how he feels but I'll keep up the encouragement and support as you suggested. 

Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:48 am

Never has or will affect my social life I won't allow it too. I have an ileostomy I eat anything I don't drink alcohol that's just my personal choice nothing to do with having an ostomy but drink coke and as much of any other drinks I want, and was last night.

It's all just down to confidence hopefully your boyfriend will gain more confindence in time. Has your boyfriend got any hobbies/intrests that would take him away from home and get him out more meeting people could be just what he needs to get his mind of ostomy enjoying himself and gaining more confidence to see he can lead just as normal a life as he did before having an ostomy 

Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:51 am

Hello Osto-Fill.  I have never let my ostomy interfere with anything I 'want' to do and I like to think that being sociable is one of those things. However, I try to avoid being in places where there is a lot of background noise or lots of people talking at the same time. Many years ago I took part in a project concerning dichotic listening and found out that I have very limited ability in listening to more than one thing at a time. This makes life in these noisy environments much harder than when there is a chance to have conversations with an individual or a small group. Also, as I get older, my range of hearing has changed and I am less likely to be able to hear well in the range of the human voice.  That said, there are so many occasions when what I do hear in the chit-chat of general social interaction, seems like it is a waste of my time to listen to, which makes me less inclined to join in. I feel much more comfortable  in situations where there are fewer people whom I can get to know on a deeper level.  We are all different in our social preferences and this is what makes for a diverse and interesting society. Interestingly, it is my wife is the one who feels more uncomfortable in larger groups and this is probably because I am quick to find individuals to talk to, whereas she relies on me much more for social interaction and feels left out of these conversations. The solution is then for me to include her in the conversation which tends to restrict it to things she is interested in. Because we have always had divergent views on most things, these conversations make it look as if we are arguing and this is not conducive to others joining in. We are best suited to situations where my wife can find people to talk to who want to chat about things like TV programmes and shopping and I can converse with folks who want to discuss a range of issues in more depth. Unfortunately, these opportunities do not often arise at large social gatherings.

Enough said!

Best wishes


Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:17 am

I left my abusive husband in June of this year and moved into my own apartment.  I have started to feel quite lonely now and have ventured out on a couple of websites just to find someone to talk with.  I am waiting until next June to make a decision if I will end my marriage or not.  I actually gave God my word that I would give my husband a year to correct the issues.  I had prayed about the marriage for the last five years, waiting for an answer and then my husband had one of his "meltdowns" in April and by June I had left.  The morning after the incident, God finally answered my prayer so here I am.  Sometimes, we just have to wait and listen and do things on His timeline, not ours.  It is amazing how things start to work out when you follow God's will and not your own.  I found that most all of the meeting sites that I visited were packed with scammers.  I put a special app on my computer to post the photo to which can tell me if they are showing up on other sites or have scam warnings.  So far, everyone I have talked to have been scammers.  So now I have stopped for awhile until I do more research.  However, I did not give out alot of information to them but I was very honest and up front about my health issue as I feel it is the way one should be.  Scammers could care less about it.  I have been out on a couple of events with the Geocaching group I am in.  I worry about New Maxine making noises at the worst time but they are cool with It! I will have to see if I do become single or not.  The ball is in his court and so far, all he's done is shoot fowls.  

Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:47 pm

do you actually get noises? i am about to have mine and am worried about stuff like that

Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:37 pm

Yep, just like any other body function.  You get gas noises, noises when the stoma is active, sometimes it just wants you to know it is still your BFF!  LOL!  But you will learn to deal with it and sometimes you can learn different ways of eating and what foods will make little noises less or worse.  It takes time but all in all, you learn to deal with it and what to tell people if they ask.  I say just be matter of fact and ignore it unless someone makes a statement or asks you about it.  Once your friends and family know, they usually are OK with everything.  Good luck and make sure you chime in here on the site and let everyone know how you are doing.  This is a great site and I am so grateful that I found it.  Any questions you have can be answered here!  All you have to do is ask.

Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:51 pm

I have an ostomy and sometimes it's very hard to go to parties etc. because of having to empty and smell up someone's bathroom and feel terrible about it. So I know what he's going through, I woun't go to somewhere if there only one bathroom. It's hard and does change your life, have to have a bathroom close by in case Harriet ( that's what I call her ) desided to empty. Some one asked if I could go to the Statue of Liberty on a field trip and there is no way I could go unless I didn't eat for a day and a half and still keep my fingers crossed. So it's hard but I don't burden any body with it I work and have fun. If Harriet makes noises I just look at my husband and say your horrible and he says sorry, couldn't help it. He has to relax and realize this is it ,work around it, pull up your boot straps and be glad to be alive! Tell him to name it so he can say I have to take care of(name) and only you will know what he means.

Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:49 am

I've had mine for8 years now,  when I go out I know what I can eat and can't eat and I always make sure I have spare clothes in the car so, and I keep an eye on my osti, once I know I have got everything sorted I enjoy myself much more, 

Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:56 am
Hi all I,ve had my ostomy for 33yrs. and at first I was cautious in going places or eating out but no more, I don't bring extra supplies or clothes unless its an overnite trip. I do watch what I eat as raw foods cause me problems.
Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:07 am

I personally go anywhere and I've never had a problem. I do use a filter and limit my eating but it's all fine. I refuse to let it define me. I'm a nurse do perhaps I've adjusted more easily than some folks. Best of luck. Everyone has something to deal with. I also shower every morning and change my Mio 1 piece everyday. My appliance for some off reason shows no activity all day. The bag filled between 2-6 am. That's when I get up and begin my day.BeachRN

Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:05 pm

having an ilio for almost 3 yrs now, i can tell you he is probably well aware, like you, of the noises and smell generated from the bag. often times, i sense a distict odor  coming from the bag. then i think others can smell it too.  i am trying to get back into social circles but i gotta tell ya it is frightening as a wearer.  Trying to hide it , who to tell, who not to tell about it.  i guess im still in the early stages of it defining me. 

he is lucky to have you and you're very brave to find out all you can to help him feel more alive like a man should feel.  but it is a disgusting awareness hard to fight off.  having an undersanding mate, is half the battle.

Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:08 am

I got my ileostomy almost three years ago. At this point, I don't have any worries about social occasions. I do discreetly check on my bag to see if it needs emptying, but over the course of several hours, that is usually not necessary. To address the issue of noises and smells, I don't understand why anyone would mention smells coming out of the bag. I don't use a bag with filters- maybe that's the difference. As for noises, I used to be concerned about that, but I have found that it's not a big deal. If you are in a very quiet room, some slight noises might be heard, but they usually sound similar to a stomach growling. Honestly, no one is going to notice. I realize that your original question was posted last year, so, hopefully he has gotten more confident in these situations. I have found a sense of humor to be the biggest help of all. My husband and I laugh when my Lulu gets a little loud. If your boyfriend feels free to talk and laugh with you about these things, it will relieve some of his anxiety. 


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