If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat (follow me “KTMYblog”) you’ll have seen that I was in Lanzarote last week and I had the most amazing time! This was my first time flying since getting my ileostomy and it’s fair to say I was pretty nervous about it; I’m a nervous flyer at the best of times so add in a stoma which I have no clue how will react, it’s safe to say that my anxiety levels were at an all time high! Thank god for the emergency anxiety meditation on my calm app! Anyways, flying with an ostomy was no where near as bad as I thought it was going to be so I thought I would share with you my tips and tricks!
- Your bag won’t explode a volcano of poo all over the plane! This was a huge fear of mine. I was really worried that the change in air pressure would cause my bag to explode or at least blow up majorly. Even two days before when I had a check up with my stoma nurses I was being reassured that this wouldn’t happen, but they did say that it might blow up a little bit. In the end, I had to empty my bag once on a four hour flight which isn’t too bad really and even then it wasn’t a major blow up, just a “you should probably empty the bag soon just so you’re comfortable” kind of blow up, if you know what I mean.
- Empty the bag before you get on the plane. I forgot to do this on the the way out and found I had to empty my bag of air about an hour into the flight. However, on the way back I emptied my bag about 20 minutes before we boarded and I emptied it near the end of the flight and that was more because you never know how long the queue is at border control and I didn’t want to be uncomfortable.
- Girls, wear leggings on the plane! I love wearing comfy clothes on the plane, I don’t really see the point of getting all dressed up to sit on a plane for hours. I opted for wearing leggings, a long baggy t-shirt and an oversized jumper which made me feel more confident and comfortable if by bag blew up and, when it did, no one could see it as I went and queued for the toilet.
- Get an aisle seat. This just makes it so much easier for you when you get up to go to the toilet. Also, I hate flying and found I wasn’t as scared and anxious when I was in the aisle seat compared to the window seat
- Get a travel certificate. You can download one from SecuriCare here or give them a ring on 0800 585 125 (New customers) or 0800 318 965 (existing customers). It explains your ostomy in lots of different languages so if you set the scanner off in security, you can be taken to a different room to be searched and they’ll know what your ostomy is. Luckily, I didn’t have to use it this time but it’s handy to have!
- Ring up your airline and get a medical waiver letter. This means that you can carry on your stoma supplies on board with you as well as your normal hand luggage. I took a weeks worth on board then a week in my luggage as I was recommended to take double what I needed. Again, I actually didn’t have to show this to anyone but I felt a lot better having it with me in case I was questioned as to why I had three hand luggage bags rather than two.
- Get yourself a SecuriCare travel bag. This was one of the best things I got and I’m actually going to do a little review on it next week. It fit in everything I needed for a weeks holiday in a nice compact bag which was really easy to carry around. If you ring SecuriCare up, a really helpful person will help you out.
- Eat like you normally would and don’t skip out meals. This way, your bag output should stay similar. I find that if I miss meals, my bag can fill up with air so it’s really important to eat like normal; but maybe stay away from more gassy foods like onions.
So there are some of my tips and tricks for flying with an ostomy. Let me know in the comments below your tips for flying with an ostomy because I would love to know them for next time!