Eating Out With An Ileostomy
We each have our unique eating habits following ileostomy surgery. Some can eat anything and everything with no repercussions to ileostomy life. Others like myself have to be careful with what to eat as I know what will cause a potential blockage or pancaking and a lifted baseplate in the wee hours.
Last weekend we attempted to help our friend Fee who had moved her business to a unit but the timings on Saturday meant all the plumbing shops were closed and we all decided to head to the local steakhouse for some much-needed food.
Eating out for an ileostomy isn’t overly difficult but I do get rather frustrated having to explain my dietary limitations and watching the straw bale and crickets sounding off as the person taking your order doesn’t have a clue what an ileostomy is.
Myself and Fee both have an ileostomy. Fee can eat most things but I do have to laugh when she messages me and says she is feeling rather ropey and then tells me she consumed nearly a whole packet of coconut macaroons or several hot cross buns. This woman leaves me shaking my head when she pulls out bags of popcorn. I am not brave enough to attempt popcorn and several full and partial blockages have made me more mindful of careful eating and making sure I chew my food.
Just realised I digressed to our eating habits.
The Hooden was a lovely restaurant but it served everything with skin-on fries and coleslaw, these are both things that neither of us were stupid enough to attempt due to previous experience. The menu wasn’t one where you could swap out a side dish, you had to pay for the extras. I was getting rather frustrated as I don’t eat potato but couldn’t just sit there with half a chicken and side salad wasn’t on the list. I think I was cranky that day and just piped up “I have something wrong with me – can I just swap the chips for rice please?” The poor waitress must have thought we were laughing at her as the whole table erupted into laughter and Louise being her usual special self.
I do occasionally get frustrated and tailoring a food order can often leave us feeling bad at causing an inconvenience to the kitchen staff at changing a set meal.
What can you do?
I have my safe list of places to eat, which are Wagamama’s and Nando’s. You can research menus prior to booking and look at what they have and a phone call prior to check dietary needs will give you a bit more confidence. The other option is to weed out the food you can’t eat and leave that on the side of the plate.
Eating out shouldn’t be daunting. We are all unique and what one ostomate can’t eat, another can. My only disclaimer to this would be to chew chew chew. You each know what your potential limitations may be, so just be sure to avoid that food. For me I can’t eat potato; it makes my bag pancake and have a 3 am leak – due to this it doesn’t appeal so I just avoid this.
The meal was as always with great company; the food was fantastic, even if the 4 bits of Halloumi fries for £7 was extortion on chilli jam…
Having a stoma shouldn’t stop you from eating out.
Many thanks for reading
Louise uses our Platinum Vitamin E range to keep her stoma site healthy. To try a sample, click here.