Christmas is fast approaching and whilst there are plenty of articles out there preparing for summer, there’s less out there for the festive season. When it comes to Christmas with a stoma, a little bit of planning can help you enjoy the festive period with ease.
Christmas is my absolute favourite time of the year (although I’m not a big fan of the cold!) however I do have memories of feeling ill around this time of year with my ulcerative colitis.
I remember my first christmas with a stoma and I definitely over indulged because I could actually eat all the food. Cut to 4pm on Christmas day with really bad tummy ache because I ate waaaay too much in one go!
Like everything with a stoma, a little bit of planning can help you get through the festive season with ease so you can enjoy time with your friends and family.
The ostomates guide to surviving Christmas with a stoma
Order enough bags to get you through christmas and new year
Making sure that you have enough stoma supplies is really important through the festive period. Mainly because most suppliers will close over Christmas and new year. I’ve just put my order in with SecuriCare and they’ve said that to guarantee delivery before Christmas, order by the 7th December. If you’re reading this after this date, I recommend giving them a ring because they are really good at getting emergency orders out!
When you are making your Christmas order, it might be worth ordering an extra box, or evening two months in one, just so you’re sure you have enough!
I often talk about how important staying hydrated is and winter time is no different! It’s safe to say I need to take my own advice because I’ve been feeling awful recently, partly due to not drinking enough.
With the festive season here, there’s lots of events, parties and dinners which you might be going to. There’s also a real pressure to drink alcohol. With stomas, some people can drink, other’s can’t. You might be on medication which means you can’t drink as well.
If hydration is something you are struggling with, maybe opt for a non alcoholic drink instead. If you are drinking, remember to drink water between drinks and keep some hydration sachets on you too!
Listen to your body
Listening to your body is something which most people with chronic illnesses become really good at.
Christmas time is super busy and sometimes it can be quite overwhelming, especially if you’re still recovering from surgery. Don’t be scared to tell people you can’t come to something.
Remember to take rests (and if you are super busy, schedule in your rest breaks!) – it’s a great excuse to binge watch some festive films!
Eat small meals regularly
Eating regularly is so important when you have a stoma. I always find that if I don’t eat regularly, I get really bad stomach ache and my bag goes a bit crazy. I also find it hard to get back into the routine of eating if I’ve not eaten properly.
If you’re having your big christmas meal in the afternoon, make sure you have breakfast and maybe even a little snack in between.
Also, don’t eat too much in one go! It can be equally as painful an hour or so after you’ve eaten and your stoma is working hard to digest everything. If, like me, you can’t resist eating all the food (it is christmas after all) drink lots of water just to help your stoma!
There’s no reason you can’t enjoy the festive season with your stoma! Share how you prepare for Christmas in the comments!