Continuing your Social Life with an Ostomy
Your social life can be as active as it was before surgery. You can enjoy all activities: meeting people, attending concerts, sporting events, civic and social club meetings, parties, religious occasions or whatever you enjoyed before. The first time you go out of the house after surgery, you may feel as if everyone is staring at your appliance, even though it is not visible under your clothing. You can feel your appliance on your body, but no one can see it. Keep these questions in mind: Did you know what an ostomy was or where a stoma was located, or what it looked like before you had surgery?
You may also worry about your pouch filling with gas and sticking out under your clothing. A quick trip to the restroom can take care of this problem. If you are worried about your pouch filling up immediately after eating at a social event, remember, people without ostomies often need to go to the restroom after eating and nobody will think it is unusual if you do the same! You will probably find that you need to empty your pouch less often than you need to urinate.
Friendship and Love: You may be wondering about your relationships with others. Now that you have an ostomy, you may feel that it will change your present relationships and decrease new opportunities for friendship and love. True friendships and deep relationships on any level are built on trust and mutual understanding. These qualities depend on you and other persons. You have the same qualities you had before surgery and your ability to develop friendships is unchanged. If you care about yourself, others will feel your strength and will not be deterred. If your ostomy does cause a break in friendship, a sexual alliance or even marriage, this relationship was not built upon trust and mutual respect and probably would have crumbled some time in the future anyway.
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Content last revised 2003-04-20