When you are an ostomate or suffer from a bowel disease, poop isn't a taboo topic. This is why I decided to talk to you about passing wind, or farts. I believe you already know that an ostomy doesn't have a sphincter to help contain your intestinal contents. Ostomy farts can either be really discreet or seem extremely noisy. I experienced a lot of embarassing situations where Toma the stoma decided to sing the national anthem loudly. Sometimes the timing between you farts and exams or professional, personal or intimate meetings is scary! I also noticed that lying down on your back like when at the dentist or the acupuncturist is the worst position to be in when at an appointment. What annoys me the most about farting with an ostomy is that it feels like you have a balloon on your stomach that could fly away at any time.

You must be wondering why I am talking a lot about farts, but you will see where I'm heading with this.

some ways to deal with farts. One I discovered is to cover your stomach with your hands or with a jacket rolled up in a ball. Applying pressure on the ostomy reduces the sound of your farts. Some types of food ferment in your bowels, and they create gas that must be expelled from your body. These include cabbage, peas, onions, alcohol, and coffee. Just chewing gum and drinking water makes you swallow air and creates gas. If passing gas causes you a lot of trouble, I'd recommend eating less of these types of food. For example, when I'm asked if I want creamy or traditional salad at St-Hubert, I kinda want to tell them I am going to produce a lot of greenhouse gas. But don't sweat it. You don't have to stop chewing gum or drinking in a water bottle.

I want you to understand that farting is totally normal. It doesn't matter what you try, you will continue to fart for the rest of your life. This is true for both ostomates and non-ostomates. The sound your farts make is usually not as loud as you think. I apologised a lot for farts that only I heard. You need to accept that you will fart everywhere you go. Maybe I'm farting while writing this article too.

What I'm getting at is that It's better to laugh than cry about it. It's better to view the glass as half full. You don't have to hold it in, especially during inappropriate moments. Plus, our farts don't smell... at least, not immediately!

Next time, try singing the national anthem with your partner instead of trying to shut him up! (Figuratively, of course.)


Brought to you by our partner: Centre de stomie de la Mauricie