At university, you’re either drunk or hungover (there is no in-between). For some it’s the first time living away from mum and dad. It’s your first time attempting to do a food shop; the main staple being a kilo bag of pasta of course! Oh, and you’ll be horrified at the fact you have to give your left arm to afford a block of cheese it’s so expensive. Everyone will say you’ve got an accent and you’ll repeat ‘’what year are you in?’’ and ‘’what do you study?’’ a million times in the first 24 hours. You decide to suffer through any form of illness because you can’t ask mum to call the doctors for you when she’s 100 miles away.
You’ll have one flatmate who is OCD, one that doesn’t know how to cook and survives off pot-noodle. Another thats allergic to washing up and thinks the shower ‘’cleans itself’’ and the one you met on the first day but he/she is never seen again.
It’s also common knowledge that NO ONE (sometimes not even the lecturers), will make 9am lectures and everyone will constantly say ‘’how did I do a full day at school.’’
Im now in my final year of uni – a veteran to the hangovers and freshers-flu – but this is my first time with a stoma bag. One big part of uni life is going clubbing and safe to say, I was a bit apprehensive about this! I was worried about the bathroom situation and if I would be able to use the accessible toilet or not.
But, I threw myself into it and here are a few tips on going out with an ostomy bag:
- Take loo roll with you – The queue for the ladies in a club is a mile long and when you get in there it smells like something died… But the major problem is the fact that they only stock enough loo roll for the first 20 people in the queue, so always take a packet of tissues with you. You’ll end up being every drunk girls best friend when they’re screaming from each stall for more toilet roll.
- Wear something you’re comfortable in – Everyone wants to look their best for a night on the town, but if you’re worried about those skinny jeans or high waisted shorts being too tight, opt for a pair of leggings (Primark do a cracking pair of control leggings ladies that look perfect – Im wearing them in the pic below). Plus it’s dark, everyone is drunk and no one will notice!
- Take your RADAR key – All ostomates should be equipped with a RADAR key that will get you into all the disabled toilets in the country (U.K). Going back to point no.1 – the disabled toilets are always much cleaner.
- Asking to use the disabled or staff toilets – NEVER be ashamed to ask to use the disabled or staff loos in a club. I was almost turned down by staff for asking to use their toilets, but when I explained that I wasn’t just a drunk girl trying to use toilets that aren’t disgusting, they understood and were more than happy to help – the girl that showed me to the staff loo even said her mum had an ostomy bag and she totally understood. You never know who you might meet!
- Always take spare stuff with you – I always take a little bag full of extra bag stuff in case I get a leak when Im out-and-about. This goes for everyday use and not just clubbing!
- Be careful with what and how much you drink – Everyone loves getting a bit drunk but as an ostomate we have to be careful of dehydration. That feeling in the morning when it feels like you’ve been gargling sand? Thats your body begging for water… So make sure you have a ton of water or squash when you get home. You’ll be peeing all night but its better than a trip to A&E!
- Perfume – Its pretty obvious that when you empty the bag its going to smell of the dinner you just ate and when it’s guaranteed that someone will be going in after you, it can be embarrassing. I always take a little bottle of perfume to spray just before I leave to make myself feel better.
- Always say YES to going to the bathroom – Everyone knows that girls go to the bathroom in groups, so always be that one who goes with! Its better to be safe than sorry!
- Output – When drinking a lot of liquid, your bag fill up quicker and will more watery… So just be aware of this! You can get accessories that absorb the water in the bag and stop smells – this is always a good tip to invest in! I use Trio Pearls!
- Eating – I always eat a little earlier than usual when Im going out. We normally leave for a club around 11pm and I find that if I eat at around 6pm then its mostly empty when Im in the club! This is all about planning and working out when your body processes food. Just remember those chips or that kebab at 3am is going to give you a messy bag change in the morning (and doing that hungover is never easy).
But most importantly, JUST HAVE FUN and dance the night away!