A day in the life with a stoma — Scope | Disability forum
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A day in the life with a stoma

Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,798 Disability Gamechanger
Tomorrow marks World Ostomy Day, and so we're sharing a guest blog from public figure Hannah Witton, Sex & Relationships Vlogger & Author. 

"My alarm goes off at 3:30am, I turn it off and stumble into the bathroom just to be blinded by the lights in my half asleep state. My stoma bag is quite full from last night’s dinner and I pee and empty it into the toilet. Wipe it down, go back to bed, drink some water and then set my alarm for the more humane hour of 7:30am. When I actually wake up in the morning I have to empty it again.

If it’s a bag changing day (every 2 or 3 days), I shower and do all that business before I eat breakfast. Eating tends to wake up my stoma. It’s like it kicks her into gear, “okay there’s food, let’s go!” It’d be potentially dangerously messy if I tried to change the bag after I’d eaten. This is all fine, it’s only on weekends when I want to have a lazy morning and eat breakfast in my pyjamas that I get a little annoyed I have to have a shower and put normal clothes on first.

headshot of hannah with blonde hair wearing black and grey t-shirt smiling at camera
I exclusively wear high waisted underwear to keep the stoma bag snug against me and I either wear dresses or high waisted jeans and leggings. Luckily, I look amazing in high waisted clothes and dresses that come in at the waist! In the summer I even dared to wear a few crop tops to show off my scar.
I had to have another surgery due to adhesions so I’m still working on regaining my physical core strength. So as often as I remember (should be twice a day, I really need to get more disciplined with myself), I do my very light core exercises. They are seriously so basic right now but I’m hoping to build up and soon I’ll be running 5ks again!
I’m what I like to call a “stay at home creator” so most of the time I work from home which means I can stink up my own bathroom throughout the day all I like! But I do often have to head into central London for meetings, events, filming etc. Whenever I’m out I always have an emergency stash of products in my bag in case I have a leak and need to change the bag. I also take a bottle of water with me everywhere because without a colon you’re more prone to dehydration and it can affect the consistency of your stoma output. So I drink lots of water throughout the day. My main procrastination activity these days is sitting at my desk, lifting up my clothes and watching my stoma do its thing. I don’t even find it gross anymore, it’s fascinating and mesmerising! If I’m in private I’m more likely to get lost in a trance watching myself poo than scrolling on social media.

Several times a day, normally when I’m going to wee (because I’m drinking so much water) I also empty my bag. Or sometimes I can feel it filling up with air because I’ve had a fizzy drink.
Recently, I was speaking on a panel in the evening and I’d just eaten before so could feel the bag filling up during the panel. I probably looked very strange because I was rubbing my side throughout the whole thing. I always wonder if other people can see the bag, especially when it’s blown up a bit with air but usually they can never tell.
I try to go to sleep before midnight to get at least 8 hours. Ideally I get 10 hours sleep because my body is very much still in recovery. And I set my alarm for 3:30am."

Can you relate to Hannah's experiences? Let us know in the comments below! You can find more from Hannah on her website and on social media



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