Christmas time can feel overwhelming for a lot of people at the best of times, then there's adding an ostomy into the mix! It's fair to say that you are not alone if you are worried about navigating Christmas, but thankfully, there are some top tips in this post from fellow ostomates about how they make the most of Christmas. Also, for a lot of ostomates, it is thanks to their ostomy surgery that they can celebrate Christmas.
Meet the ostomates
Thank you to our lovely ostomates in this blog post who sent us their top tips over on our social channels - we really appreciate you!
"Hi, I'm Molly. I'm 29 years old and I've had my stoma for almost 13 years.
My Christmas tip would be to hydrate as much as you can in the run up to Christmas with lots of water and rehydration drinks. It's common to indulge in more alcohol and richer foods during the festive season which can contribute to dehydration. (Rich foods can speed up my output)"
🎄🎄🎄 - Molly (@mollyaislinn on Instagram)
"Hi, my name is Jessica & I'm 8 years old. I was born with a chronic bowel condition. I won't let it defeat me.
This is my 4th Christmas as an ostomate & my advice is to decorate your bag & make sure you have supplies at hand so you can eat all the chocolate Santa brings you and change your ostomy bag when needed. Enjoy Christmas & live your best life!"
- Jessica (@jessicasstomajourney on Instagram)
"I’m Edward (Ed for short). I got my stoma due to Crohn’s disease of the large bowel. I previously had a colostomy (for 8 years) but now have an ileostomy called Homer 2.0! He’s now just over a year old.
My festive tip for my fellow ostomates is don’t let pressure get to you, if you feel you can’t do something due to fatigue or a flare up don’t let other pressure you! This time of year is about with family and just having fun!"
- Ed (@justadudewithcrohns on Instagram)
"Hi 👋🏼 my name is Stephanie and I’m a bit of a newbie - 100 days post colostomy op today!
My Christmas tip would be to make your stoma nurse your new bestie ✨ they are so informative and resourceful if you can be comfortable enough to open up to them with how you are getting on and any challenges you may have in those early days or anytime thereafter - don’t be afraid to reach out to them and ask the daft questions (don’t worry on your own!) 👍🏼"
- Stephanie (@stephielally_86 on Instagram)
"Hi! I’m Ru, and I have a permanent ileostomy, due to a combination of Ulcerative Colitis and Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
For many, the festive period is full of yummy food and sparkly drinks. It is traditionally a period where people overindulge, and eat and drink more, or more frequently, than they normally would.
And whilst you can do this with an ostomy, it’s important to be mindful as to how that might impact your routine.
Eating too much in one go, for example, or eating big meals late at night, can have quite an effect on how your ostomy behaves.
Take it steady, and have a wonderful Christmas 😊"
- Ru (@rutalksibd on Instagram)
"Hey! It's Amy here at Comfizz. I had my permanent ileostomy formed due to severe Crohn's Disease & a large benign tumour in 2011. It saved my life.
My top tips for Christmas would be to try new foods one at a time in small quantities (if you're going to) so if you become unsettled, you're more likely to know what caused the problem. I usually stay away from nuts, raisins & things that are more rich & harder to digest. Also, staying hydrated with non-alcoholic fluids is key for me & having an "on-the-go" kit to hand for visiting family with a few ostomy bag change kits in, spare underwear and a spare pair of clothes, just in case.
Have a lovely Christmas!"
- Amy (@ibdwarriorprincess on Instagram)
"I got my ileostomy in 2015 due to my crohns and colitis being unresponsive to medications and as a result, my large bowel went septic and I had sepsis.
My number one festive tip is to enjoy this season to your own abilities and adapt it to your needs for example, making sure you only eat what you are able to on your plate! Don't force yourself to eat things you know cause you pain or blockage just to make the chef happy!"
- Alannah (@glitterygutsx on Instagram)
Disclaimer: As always, this post is from our Social Media & Marketing Specialist, Amy's, experience of living with a permanent ileostomy, Crohn's Disease and from what she has researched. It is also from the ostomate's experiences in this post and an ostomy is definitely not a "one size fits all" experience. Nothing in our blog posts should be taken as medical advice. It's always best to consult a medical professional if you have queries or concerns.
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