I think it's clear to all who read my blogs that I love dressing up and going out. That said sometimes I just want to wear slobbing out clothes, but I'd be highly unlikely to venture out in them. I could of course go out in public in tracksuit bottoms and comfy T's, of course I can, I'm a grown woman and I can do exactly as I please. But it's safe to say I'd be unlikely to.
The least dressed up I'd be out and about is smart casual, mainly due to my own insecurities. I'm happy to admit I have them, who doesn't in fact? I don't beat myself up about it, I thinks it's entirely natural to have some insecurities, I had plenty before I was diagnosed, so it was unlikely there'd be less now. I have to say, they're different to what they were for the most part. Some of the things that used to blight my confidence have evaporated. I'm more body confident and more proud of my body than ever before, which may seem oxymoronic but I'm impressed by its ability to heal for instance.
When I found out I had cancer and needed a permanent colostomy my mind was racing with negativity and despair, and for the most part my worst imaginings have not come to fruition.
The main question I had for my oncologist and colorectal surgeon was will I survive (which pretty much puts everything else into perspective) but that said the first question I asked my colorectal nurse was "will I smell?", she kindly answered that yes it was possible if the bag were to malfunction but no, not on a day to day basis. But that fear of smelling hasn't ever left me. Even though in the last 7 years it's happened very rarely, I know it's a possibility. And this is where my mind came up with the idea that dressing as smartly as possible will buy me time off of the "suspects list". I know it sounds daft, but I see it as self preservation of my dignity should the need arise.
Let me explain, imagine you're standing in the queue at the supermarket or post office (the location of said queue is largely irrelevant but I like to set a scene hahahahaha). You're standing in the queue and you notice a fairly awful smell. Human nature being what it is you're bound to start looking around to see where it's coming from, to my mind you're not going to assume its the lady all dolled up in her finery and fancy clothes - I'd then exit stage left and go off to change my bag.
It sounds silly I know, and really what other people think shouldn't matter, and for the most part I totally agree, one of my many favourite wise sayings is "other people's opinion of me is none of my business" and I do really subscribe to that. But at the same time I have this little niggly insecurity hanging over me and the antidote to that is dressing nicely.
It doesn't however stop me going out doing anything that I want to do. Hell no. I'm happy to take the risk, just on my terms.
S*** happens, you can't let that stop you living life to the full. I know quite a few bagless people who have had accidents, so it's an issue for all people not only ostomites.
I find simple shirts a very easy way of looking smart but not over the top. They're loose enough to cover and hide a bag. They can be a great asset for eating out. I generally will discreetly untuck my bag from my trousers and keep covered with the shirt while I eat, tucking it back away one I've finished my meal. My stoma is most active during meal times, which can be rather frustrating at times. But I just have to find ways to make life easier and the bag flow freely.