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What's the best way of telling someone you have an ostomy?

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Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:02 pm
Hi there, I need some advice please...I've been going to my local nightclub for 5 years, I guy who's also gone there all that time (and longer apparently) is suddenly showing an interest in me. He's very shy, quiet and hardly talks to anyone but his close mate, they're both bachelors, it was my new 'hairdo' (my wig since hair loss due to low dose chemo for my crohn's) that did it, they were lightheartedly arguing whether it was me or not! I started chatting to the quiet guy, I've only ever said hello and a few pleasantries before. We shocked his mate as we chatted for ages, I saw him again last week and as he never dances I went off to do my usual dancing on my own, as I always go alone, and a short while later I was shocked when he joined me, he knows I've been seriously ill with my bowel, but does not know I have to wear a wig or that I have an ostomy, and while we danced closely I positioned myself so he wouldn't feel anything either, I had my arm in the way of my side with the bag! we danced for quite a while, then suddenly without warning he leaned forward and snogged me so gently and passionately I was stunned! I have to say my insides turned to jelly and I responded. But now I'm scared, as next time he may want to dance again, and I know at some stage if things progress I'll have to tell him the truth, but I'm scared of rejection, I always was even before the bag. I accept it as much as I ever will, but I don't know how to broach the subject, and certainly couldn't on a noisy dancefloor! What to say though? any advice would be useful please x
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Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:49 pm
He already knows you have been very ill and had bowel problems, he might already think you could have an ostomy? It's surprising how many people without ostomys know about them.  Just say you had bowel surgery and your worried about telling people about the surgery you have had,  then if he's a true gentleman he will put your mind at rest and ask about your surgery.  Shy men are always nice just like me!

Go for it girl, don't let love slip through your fingers. I hope to see another post on hear after you see him again with some good news.   Good luck!!!
Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:03 pm
Panther said it best.  Just stay close.  He already knows about you.  When you are ready find a quiet table and set down and lead him from your illness to what ever level you are comfortable telling him the first time.  Remind him that your illness and/or ostomy hasn't kept you off the dance floor.  Most every thing is normal.

My experience is about half of my dates back away with that knowledge and the other half don't seem to think it is a big deal at all.  And it feels so good finding those friends who can see past our ostomies. Good luck.  Loren
Posted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:23 am
Hi Rhian,

You have already put down some ground work telling him about your sickness with your bowel.

He obviously already really likes you and is attracted to you as a person....

Maybe when you get some one on one time out of the club would be a perfect chance to tell him.

I wish you all the very best

Very Happy Nicole
Posted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:51 am
Don't push the bag or deny it.  Just enjoy the dancing.   Let the man get to know who you are on the inside.  If he should feel the bag don't worry about it.

I danced literally thousands of times with my bag.  One thing I did do was never eat before I went out.  I would empty the bag often while I was out.

I was never asked about the little lump on my side.  I naturally dance very close dancing slow.
I dance close because my partner, who ever she may be can follow better.

I didn't advertise or deny the bag.  The only time it came up is when I was asked where I had been for a month or so, why wasn't I at the dances.  I would simply say. I had intestinal surgery and I am wearing an ostomy applicance.   The ladies I danced with, which were many, seemed not to be bothered by it one way or the other.

So you have the bag, don't make it a big deal.

Just keep in mind and remember, you are the big deal.  You make sure your young fellow knows that and he is the big deal to you!!!

One thing you may know, that will help you.  Always be one of, or the best dressed lady at these dances. It will put you a cut above.  I still am the best dressed fellow at the dances.  I always wear  slacks and a tie.

Sounds to me like romance is in the air, I love it.  Go for it!!!

Keep on dancing.

Rick.....
  Past Member
Posted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:12 am
I'm not sure which way i would go.  As far as the rejection thing goes though.  If you are afraid of rejection at this stage, just dancing, think of the rejection when and if you progress to the later obvious stage that is ahead.  Now that would be rejection!  I think that I would start by asking him if he was familiar with "the bag".  If he is then began feeling him out on the subject.  You will know by his reaction, if you should pursue this relation or not.

Good luck, which ever way you decide.
Posted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:00 am
It's takes a lot for a shy man to get up and dance and kiss you, he must already be in love with you, if someone loves you a bag won't change a thing. Go for it and have some fun!
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:34 pm
I don't know many people who like rejection.  I know the fear of it holds me back sometimes.  In your case, it sounds like you already have a connection with this guy so it's not like you are meeting someone brand new.  When I have been in your situation, I took the chance of being rejected and told the other person.  I have been rejected a couple of times and a couple of times it worked out.  Personally, I would error on the side of being rejected because if you don't, you will end up not going anywhere with this guy anyhow.  
I have always relied on my gut as to when/if to tell the other person.
Good luck, I hope it works out for you!
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:29 pm
Well....having had an Ileostomy for the past 33 years....and several partners, I guess you could say I do have a bit of knowledge on this issue.

I have found that you need to KNOW someone before you tell them about your "little secret".  It's no good telling a guy as soon as you meet, as "fear of the unknown" may put him off immediately, even if he did have an initial liking for you.

I wear tight clothes, yes, tight fitted dresses, trousers and skinny jeans, and you can never see my "little sec and hiret".  

I suppose some folks may find it awful that I get a guy "hooked" on me BEFORE dropping the bombshell, but it has worked for me every time.  As a previous commenter said, if he likes you enough, that will not put him off - but, reiterating, I'd say that is AFTER he knows you more and is REALLY in to you.  I'd certainly not tell a guy on the first few dates...  Further, if he does get to "fall in love" or REALLY like you so much, he will wait before doing the more intimate things with you anyway, and will probably respect you more into the bargain.

I can't imagine any lady with an Ileostomy "sleeping around".  I hate it when a guy says I am beautiful, because I am thinking in the back of my mind "just wait till you get a load of this"...about my Ileo....lol

All the very best hun....take it SLOWLY with him.....get to know him, and him to know you - THEN tell him, that is....when he truly needs to know.  If he THEN leaves...he's not right for you anyway.

The only risk in the above process is if YOU get to like him too much and when you tell him he runs....
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:29 pm
I would like to add.....after having an Ileostomy for so many years (33 years), I am aware of the opinion of the majority of non-ostomist men out there.  Ive heard jokes and gasps of horror if the subject of "COLOSTOMY BAGS" comes up.  Comments such as "how vile", or "gosh I'd kill myself if I had to have one of THOSE"!!  Yes, have heard this type of comment, while talking in a group and somehow this subject comes up.  Of course all of the group were completely unaware that they were standing right next to "one"!!

I am of the firm opinon, and no-one will move me from this...that most men out there think BAGS are ALL "Colostomy Bags"...that's the only words they know.  The general consensus by them is that "Colostomy Bags are huge, obnoxious, smelly, vile - and to be avoided like the plague.

The best time to tell?  Like I said...when he is REALLY hooked on you...not after a few dances and a kiss on the dance floor hun.  I don't know what appliance you are wearing, but I can dance as close as a guy likes....and he would not feel a thing.  I wear the new DANSAC Novalife, which sits LOW on the tummy.  It is SO flat, with a very slim FLAT Fastener.  As I said in my previous comment, I wear the tightest dresses and jeans...and even low rise jeans now, as these DANSAC beauties do not show on the waist.  Can't feel Ive got it on....and even if you run your hand over my tummy, you may not feel it...and certainly wont feel it through my trousers or jeans.

So....my reiterated advice...WAIT.....don't tell him until he is really into you....and you will surely know when that is.....NOT when he just wants to get you into bed!!

My timing for these events?  On a cosy evening with a few glasses of wine (EACH).  It usually takes me over an hour....with "ums and ahhs", and end by saying "I have to wear a dressing on my tummy".  This sounds SO much better than "hey! I gotta BAG"!!.  Their general response is?.."do you mean a BAG"? and I say..."Similar".  This is generally accepted immediately, and you can almost hear the indescernable sigh of relief from him, when you say "similar".  It is not a lie...it just softens the "blow" for him (and me) and as time goes on, it will just be "accepted" slowly and gently - and as he realised that "BAGS" are nothing like the "horror stories" or expectation or perception of them that he may have had.

OK, I'm a coward....not coming out with the truth straight up front....but this has worked for me every time....and all my relationships have been LONG TERM ones.

What about "Intimacy", you ask?  IF he likes you enough.....he will wait for the "ultimate intimate event" and will probably respect you more for waiting.....

I hate it when a guy comments "you are beautiful" because I am thinking in my mind..."wait till you get a load of this"....thinking tongue in cheek of my little secret.  Oh yes, I have thought...he will come to  know....but not yet, not yet.
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:31 pm
I swing dance meaning lindy hop, charleston, blues (very close) and various other forms of 1920's through 1940's dance styles.

I know how it feels..."do they know I have a bag" and if they do "does it creep them out dancing close to them?" They are all valid concerns.  I'm also very conscious of what I am wearing because I don't want the ostomy to show as well as to secure it in place. Which most people don't even know that its there.

Almost every person that I have danced with knows because I tell them and it doesn't really change their view of me. I think it is more so about how confident you are in yourself and that you are comfortable with yourself.

Now, I met my current S.O. online and are commonality is Swing Dancing. We had talked for months before meeting and after he was really into me, I told him. He was okay with it because he liked me for who I am and an appliance doesn't change who I am on the inside. In fact he figured out that I had an ostomy before me telling him and he still wanted to meet me in person.

We've been dating for almost 21months now. I see him every few months and he is kind and considerate of my health issues.

I strongly believe if its the right person, that they will love you for you and 'extra baggage' isn't going to deter him away.

So...let him fall in love with you. He knows you've been sick which is a good start. Give it some time before telling him unless he asks about your health situation.

Good luck,
  Past Member
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:13 pm
it's evolved to dancing.


Soooooo? did you tell him???
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:20 pm
Hi Ferrona, your story made my day. No doubt "love will conquer all". For some, the 'bag' is a game-changer and a dead-end. For others, it's nothing more than an incidental bump in the road of life. We ostomates should never allow ourselves to feel less than normal. Let's be thankful for all the beautiful people in our lives and get over the minor inconvenience in the cards we were dealt.
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