Overcoming Ostomy Bag Stigma
Adapting to life with an ostomy, ileostomy or colostomy bag can be hard enough without having to fear judgement from others. Many people worry about getting judged in certain scenarios, or sadly, may have faced questions from people who don’t understand what it is like living with a colostomy bag. These are some of those common situations.
Swimming With An Ostomy Bag
Once you have recovered from your stoma surgery it is a great feeling knowing you can begin doing all the things you love again. Unfortunately many people feel sensitive about using public swimming facilities with a colostomy bag. For women, there are many swimsuits and high waisted bikinis that can hide your pouch and keep it fitted to your body. If you prefer to wear a bikini, there is no reason you can’t try wearing one. More and more colostomates are sharing photos of themselves in a bikini to help overcome ostomy stigma. For men, a t-shirt or fitted swimsuit or wetsuit can hide a pouch but again, if you prefer to just wear swimming shorts, there is no medical reason why you shouldn’t! To find out more about about exercising and playing sport with a colostomy bag, read our recent article.
It is not uncommon for new colostomates to be fearful of introducing their colostomy pouch to new partners. Most people are unaware of how colostomy bags work, what they look like or how they affect your normal routine – so simply tell them. It is extremely unlikely they will be put off of you simply because of your colostomy pouch.
Most public restrooms do not provide enough space in the cubicle to empty an ostomy bag and this is why disabled facilities are more appropriate for ostomates. There have been reports of people getting judged or even told off for “wrongly” using a disabled toilet. Many members of the public don’t realize that people without an obvious disability, still need to use disabled facilities. One reason we thought to invent Colo-Majic® ostomy bag liners was to make emptying the bag much quicker, cleaner and easier which can help people avoid feeling embarrassed or judged. Why not, share this article with the people you know to raise awareness of this matter?
If you would like to share any stories of times you have felt victim of stigma surrounding colostomy bags, let us know on Facebook. If your day-to-day life has been improved thanks to Colo-Majic colostomy bag liners, share your experience with others by leaving us a review on Google.