Are Concerts Out Of The Question With A Stoma?

by Nathan Wheeler

Nathan And Rita Ora

Hey everyone!

This month, I want to talk about another BIG area of my life that I expected my stoma to have a negative impact on …concerts!

I absolutely love live music, going to concerts and seeing my favourite artists perform. 

I have been lucky enough to see some real icons, from Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, to Ariana Grande and Celine Dion. I’m actually going to see Cher in October - I love seeing all the big names perform! 

I remember when I first had my stoma, and everything was crumbling around me, I thought I would never get to see a live performance again… 

I thought my stoma would get knocked and damaged with all the people around me, or that I’d have to keep going to the toilet and it would be really inconvenient, but fast forward to a few years later and I was back to regularly attending concerts. 

I’ve been to over 50 gigs since having a stoma, but I still get nervous because my ileostomy is so unpredictable and being around big crowds makes me anxious. 

Those who know me would think a concert is one of the worst places for me because of all the people, but I actually get such a nice feeling from seeing so many people enjoying life and just being happy together, and seeing my favourite artists makes it all worth it. I just get more and more confident with each gig! So, I thought I would share with you some of my experiences and tips that will help you attend your favourite gigs without fear!

A few tips if you’re going to a concert and are nervous about your stoma… 

Sitting versus standing:

Seated tickets might not be closest to the action but they have tons of perks - you have your own space, no one will be pushing you about and if you need to visit the toilet, you can get up and go knowing your seat will still be there when you get back! 

Another perk of seated tickets is that you shouldn’t have to join a massive queue because there’s no rush – your seat is waiting for you, and no one will be pushing ahead of you to beat you to the best spot on the floor. This also means you can spend more time in the toilets beforehand if you want to triple check your pouch. 

I love being down at the front but occasionally I buy seated tickets now because I like my own space! 

Be mindful of what you eat and drink:

If you want to go standing I would recommend you eat foods that bind your output up. For me, that means high carb foods like pasta. Avoid fizzy drinks so you won’t produce too much air and don’t eat too much otherwise your bag will keep filling! I’ve found that taking loperamide a couple of hours before a concert and then again just before I get to the venue usually keeps me from having to go to the toilet throughout the performance. 

Choose your location wisely:

If you do choose to go standing but are still a little nervous, opt to stand towards the left or right of the stage rather than in the centre. This way if you need to use the toilets it should be easier to get out and then find your position when you return. If you’re more in the middle of it all, you’ll struggle to push past people and then get back in to the crowd (but it’s totally doable when you’ve had the practice). 

Once you are over the initial fear, everything gets easier! 

It helps if you go with people who know about your stoma and can help you relax. I’m lucky to have amazing friends that support me if I feel a little nervous about going. The most important thing about attending a concert is to enjoy it. So consider what you might need in order to make that happen. Part of life is to experience these things and if concerts are what you’re into and you’re worried, I hope my tips have helped. If I can do it, you can too!

Go book your next gig and ENJOY it to the max!

Nathan x 

Want to attend a concert but still feeling a tad nervous? Stephie also has some hints and tips to share for gigging with an ostomy.

Nathan Wheeler

About the author

Hello - I'm Nathan Wheeler! I'm a YouTuber and I've had an ileostomy since 2007 when I was just 17, so I have a pretty good idea about how to deal with the struggles of a stoma!  I want to share my experiences with you and bring a light-hearted approach to all the questions that no one wants to ask! You can follow me an Instagram and YouTube.

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