Sleepovers With An Ostomy

Nathan Sleepover

Hey, Ostomates!

Now that the UK has relaxed its lockdown quite a bit, life is starting to move forward again. I thought I would take this opportunity to talk about sleepovers and staying over at people’s houses when you have a stoma.

I’ve never really been one for sleeping out at other people’s houses, even when I was younger - I’d always worry about snoring or being in the way! But as I am a grown up now who likes to travel, I find it’s becoming quite an essential part of my life. For example, when I go to London I stay at a friend’s house, or when I go to a friend’s house for drinks, I might stay as I can’t drive home and don’t want to pay for a taxi!

I remember the first time I stayed over at a friend’s house after my stoma surgery… I was FREAKING out!

All these thoughts came rushing to my head about having to empty my bag at someone else’s house or my stoma making a noise in the night and not being able to control the sound! So, I wanted to share with you some of the tips I have discovered over the years to try and minimise the anxiety…

Night-time noises

First up, I want to talk about muffling the noises at night. We, as ostomates, can’t control the sounds that come out of our stoma from time to time and it can be SUPER embarrassing. I have learnt to put a pillow or more of the duvet over the stoma area when I’m going to sleep. This way, if your stoma does make noises, it’ll be muffled! This has been a life saver, especially when I’m sharing a room with others on trips!

Bag emptying

When it comes to emptying your bag, of course smell is always an issue, but that goes for any of us! Going to the toilet is a natural thing and I know many people don’t like talking about it, but the truth is we all have to do it, regardless of the way we get rid of our waste – WE ALL DO IT! Ostomy deodorising sprays are a great help for overnight stays, but if your local NHS has been hit with the formularies (like me), you may struggle to get these. Luckily there are so many on the market now with brands like Poo-Pourri and Limone that you should be able to purchase one yourself.

Bag changing

Next up, changing your bag at someone else’s house. You should always carry spares regardless of where you’re going, just in case a leak happens. I tend to have a shower and change my bag all in one hit. That way you’re not drawing attention to the bag change. I use the deodorising spray while I’m changing so that no smell is left behind. This is another check off the list for staying at someone else’s house.

Once you’ve done all this once, you shouldn’t worry anymore. You realise it isn’t so scary and it’s another thing that we can still do with a stoma.

In the beginning when I first got my ileostomy, I honestly thought life was over, that I wasn’t going to be able to do anything that ‘normal’ people do, but to be honest, there is VERY little that we ostomates can’t do! We are stronger because of what we have been through and I think we eventually reach the mindset of being unstoppable because we’ve had so much taken from us. This is what I try to channel now that I have accepted my ostomy and who I am.

I really hope this blog posts helps if you’re having the worry of staying over at a friend’s house, or even someone that is more than a friend. It should be fun!

Enjoy yourself, be strong and never give up!

Nathan x

Interested in trying an ostomy deodorant spray? Try a FREE sample of Limone from our sister company, CliniMed.

by Nathan Wheeler

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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