Telling People About Your Stoma

You are in control of telling people about your stoma

It's not uncommon to worry about how you will tell people you have a stoma and how they might react. However, it's important to remember that you are in control of who knows about your stoma. Whilst you may feel like everybody can tell you now have a stoma, it's very likely that they can't so there is no pressure at all to let anybody know unless you want to.

It's often easiest to start by only telling people that you trust (e.g. your closest friends and family). Make sure they understand that this is very personal information to you and that they should not tell other people about it without your permission. You might not even want to tell anybody else and that's absolutely fine, too - if you have been ill for a long time, you could tell most people that you have had an operation and are now feeling much better, which is all the information that they need.

Know what you’re going to tell other people

If you do decide to tell others, you may want to plan and rehearse what you’re going to say. This is also useful preparation just in case you're ever caught off-guard. You’ll find it’s extremely unlikely that people's feelings will change towards you once you have told them. Most people tend to be a bit curious, if anything, and ask questions but it's worth remembering that they are doing this to show an interest and to understand your situation, not to embarrass you. If you're not comfortable answering their questions, just tell them that. Children, in particular, are often completely accepting of the news regarding a stoma and will not see it as anything to be upset about. You may like to read this blog by SecuriCare resident blogger, Michelle, about her experience of telling children that she has a stoma.

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