I really can’t believe another year has gone already. It only seems like yesterday we were preparing for Christmas 2022 and writing about how I enjoy Christmas fare as an ostomate. Christmas continues to be a hugely important time when we can meet up with family and friends, we might celebrate the season at parties or events,  and then enjoy ourselves at home or maybe go away to spend the holiday somewhere different. Whatever you may be doing this year, as an ostomate, it’s always worth taking a minute or two to plan ahead so that there are no proverbial spanners thrown in the works by being caught out.


With both Christmas and New Year being so close together, checking that you have enough supplies is so important. I wouldn’t be without Respond’s fantastic prescription dispensing service; my supplies are delivered straight to my door every month. Their customer care is excellent and this service makes my life so much easier so if you haven’t already signed up for this, why not give it a try and I know you won’t be disappointed. Check for details via  www.respond.co.uk.


So, for this blog, I’m not going to make much reference to travelling overseas as there are several blogs on the Respond website (including one from me) on this subject. However the message is the same. If you plan ahead and make sure you have plentiful supplies your  holiday break should be trouble free. Even if you’re staying with family or friends, you don’t want to be caught out so why not try having a designated toiletries bag (the type that open out and hang up are great) constantly stocked and topped up with the essentials? Bear in mind that travel sized products are available and I can thoroughly recommend the Refresh 3in1 spray from the Respond care range as a travel staple.


We all know that Christmas is famous for the “office party” but, joking aside, there aren’t many of us who won’t be invited out to some kind of celebration over the festive period, maybe a concert, a party or a family dinner. Whatever the occasion it’s an opportunity to dress up in your glad rags and look amazing. Obviously you’ll want to feel amazing too so opt for comfort as well as glamour. If you have an ostomy, remember that a support belt will help to keep your stoma bag subtly hidden underneath your clothing and give you added confidence. Have a look online to find a product that might suit you.

M is for MINDSET

At the best of times, Christmas can bring on various challenges and stress. If you’re still coming to terms with ostomy surgery and learning to manage your new routines I would urge you to remain positive and allow yourself to enjoy quality time with family and friends whenever you can. It isn’t always easy, but I have found that a positive attitude really helps me when I get dragged down. Go for a walk, phone a friend for a chat, do something you really enjoy and remind yourself that life is precious. If you have a bad day, that’s ok,  then try to put it behind you and start the next day anew with hope and determination.


Christmas food can be a nightmare for ostomates. I know I can’t tolerate anything with dried fruit in it so Christmas pud and mince pies are a definite no-no. Nuts, another Christmas treat, are also something I can’t enjoy. Anything fibrous like nuts can cause a blockage, and I tend to avoid them for that reason, so a traditional Christmas cake with dried fruit and nuts in is something else I can’t eat. However, there is always an alternative; a lovely syrup sponge pudding goes really well with my traditional “bucket” of custard and a chocolate Yule log goes down a treat too. Mrs T has made a white Christmas cake on several occasions (including this Christmas) and that is a fruit cake I can eat, apart for the nuts of course.

So all that remains is for me to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Thomas Towers. Please, if I can help you in any way, don’t hesitate to contact me via the contact details below; if you want to chat or you have an issue that’s bothering you, I’d be only too happy to help.

Email: [email protected]
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