Are you feeling nervous at the thought of date night after ostomy surgery? You’re not alone. With a little planning ahead, you can be sure to have a great night out.
My first question would be, what are your plans for the evening? Plans might be different for a first date versus dining with a long-term partner or spouse. You might be considering an event to follow dinner, such as a show, opera, sporting event or maybe a concert. Or you may need to keep in mind if there is a potential for intimacy at the end of the night.
Keep in mind where you will be throughout the evening. Will you be in a place where you won’t have access to a bathroom, or do have access, but have concerns about odor? There are certain foods or drinks that will cause an increase in output, gas and a potential embarrassing smell. Check out tips and tricks for diet here, but keep in mind that everyone will react differently; so you will need to try things out. I don’t entirely follow all the “food rules”, but I do limit carbonated drinks and monitor how much I eat. I’m lucky, my stomach can handle most foods. I do not get blockages and am not too concerned about potential odors.
If you fear odor that may accompany emptying your pouch, I recommend carrying a small bottle of odor eliminating toilet spray. You spray it in your toilet before you empty, and it helps hide the odor. Now that doesn’t solve the problem entirely, but in combination with a lubricating deodorant you can empty with more confidence.
If you do end up having a little more output than expected without access to a bathroom, I find using one of the Ostomysecrets® wraps to both hide the potential bulge from your shirt or leverage extra support in case you fear an accident. The wrap can also prevent self-consciousness if your shirt “accidentally” comes off during the date or evening.
If you are hoping to avoid the bathroom altogether, keep in mind, how much you eat will also drive output. If you eat a lot, then you could potentially be in and out of the bathroom all night.
Bottom line: plan ahead thinking about where you’re going, what you’re plans are and you’ll be able to face the evening with even more confidence!