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What to expect on a boating holiday

Lorraine Patrick shares her experience of a boating holiday with her stoma.

Small toilet on the cruiser

Hi guys, I recently went on a boating holiday. We hired a small 6 berth cruiser on the Shannon River in Ireland. So I thought I’d tell you a little bit about it so that as an ostomate you know what to expect if you want to give it a go.

The loos on the cruiser were tiny, basically the size of your average public loo cubicle. They had a sink, a loo and a shower…………well realistically they had a small sink, a loo akin to what you’d find in the infant end of a school and a shower head that was a bit like a fish spitting at you hanging on the wall. Showering there was too much of an ordeal so I choose to use a proper shower at various stops on our journey. To do this you needed a little card that unlocked the door of the shower and gave you a ten minute limit. As you can see from the picture you can use the units on your card for other things too. Stops that have shower facilities are marked on the map and although we were in Ireland I’m sure various other waterways have a similar set up.

Emptying an ileostomy bag on a boat is a sight to behold! Firstly, the loos are very low to the ground so emptying standing up isn’t an option unless you want to change your clothes every time you go to the loo! There isn’t enough room to scooch backwards while sitting either so the only option is to kneel. As you can see from the photo our loo was set on a plastic step type thing so kneeling meant bruised and battered knees, now add to that the fact you may need to empty while moving and let your imagination go………

Having said all that, our cruiser was a budget one as we opted for this to allow us to take my parents dog Toby (my bruva from anuva muva.) You can of course opt for a more expensive, roomy cruiser which I would imagine would have a little more wiggle room than ours did.

So my advice if you’re going to try this type of holiday would be, take a kneeling pad like the type you get for gardening; check in advance which stops have the facilities you need; take plenty of clothes to change with, oh and given the close quarters I would advise bringing along a deodoriser that you can put in your bag otherwise you risk losing your dignity and possibly friends and family too. Till next time, take care :)

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