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Holiday season and your ostomy - Caitlin McGinnis

The holiday season can be challenging for those with IBD, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Ostomies, and other gastrointestinal diseases.

Christmas 2015

I remember how difficult eating at the holidays was when I had Ulcerative Colitis. Eating the foods I enjoyed became impossible. With my ostomy, I am able to eat pretty much what I want, however, I still watch what I eat and how much. Since my illness and surgeries, I get full very quickly and then hungry again not long after. If I don’t eat right when I feel hungry, I can get very sick so I’ve learned to bring snacks everywhere with me. I still haven’t figured out the reasoning for this. Three big meals a day no longer applies to me. I eat three meals and then constantly eat smaller meals in between.

The Thanksgiving holiday in the United States just passed and as much as I was looking forward to it, I was dreading it also. I know how my body is and how difficult it is to handle all the food consumption at one time. Since I moved away from my family and was unable to be with them, my friend invited me to her family’s festivities. There was so much food considering there were eleven of us. There was turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, casseroles, green beans, salad, rolls, apple pie, pumpkin pie, and other desserts. I took a small plate knowing that there was no way I would finish a larger one. I took small enough portions and still had some on my plate. I tried leaving room for dessert and had two small pieces of pie. I was so full afterwards that my stomach was distended, like most on this day. The part that I hate (when I eat a lot at once) is that I end up going to the bathroom more times than I normally do in a day. My ostomy output was pretty much watery consistency and it kept filling up. I would go to the bathroom and then go back about 30 minutes later. And I definitely know that I wasn’t drinking enough. I was drinking soda on top of it, which dehydrates you more. It’s hard enough to keep up with my fluid intake on a regular day, let alone a holiday. I have to mentally prepare myself for expecting to spend a lot of time in the bathroom after a big meal like that. When I got home, I definitely felt dehydrated so I drank water and some pickles.

Enjoy your holiday! Be careful with what you eat and how much. Try not to make yourself sicker. It sucks that we have to pay attention to these things but it could hurt us more in the long term. We can still enjoy the holiday food but perhaps in moderation! 

Visit Caitlin over at her blog site myjourneywithstan.wordpress.com 

If you feel that sharing your story could help others, then we would love to hear from you.  Please send your story to mail@eakin.co.uk