When I think festive and stoma many things come to mind. Nights out so possibly eating out and alcohol, what to wear, Christmas dinner what can and can’t I eat, having enough supplies when there is down time over the festive season for most companies, and managing dehydration.

Not your average things that others without a stoma would normally think about but for me these are priority to manage my health and self care throughout the festive season.

Nights out can be daunting for some knowing what to wear, what to eat and preparing for a few drinks if you consume alcohol. My first tip would be to be well hydrated. So up your dioralyte prior to the night out and possibly having a few marshmallows or jelly babies to thicken your output. Check the menus in advance so you’re not stuck and put on the spot when you are out when it comes to foods that you can eat. Drink non-alcoholic drinks in between drinks also to stay hydrated.

Wearing something that is comfortable around your stoma is important especially if you will be eating so it’s not too compressed, just in case the bag fills up, and also something you find easy to empty your pouch wearing. Wearing ruffles, patterns and wrap overs can disguise the bag rather than wearing something plain.

For me Christmas dinner has always been pretty normal apart from the peas. With an ileostomy I do not eat peas, this could be different for others and others could have different restrictions so it’s just being aware of these and avoiding what you know effects you.

Finally, it’s Important to ensure you have enough supplies to get you through any closures with your supply company and know closing times and days to avoid any inconvenience.