Ileostomy in a corporate world - managing "noises"

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 1/18/2010 9:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone
I just had ileostomy surgery a few weeks ago and will be heading back to work in a few weeks. I work in a managerail role and am in meetings every day. How do you handle when the ileostomy decides to start bubbling and passing gas and making lots of noise while you are sitting in a meeting? Or even worse, when you are standing in front of a group presenting and it decides to start up. I am going to be mortified if that happens. 

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 1/18/2010 12:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, since your ileostomy is still new, it will be noisy, but that does settle down...believe me! I have found that if I keep a quick snack with me, I can make sure that I always have food in my system and, for me, that keeps the noise down.

As for the noise, I know we always think it is loud, but in reality it's not that bad. If it does act up, you can always just 'excuse your noisy stomach' and claim you are one will question that!

vette guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 650
   Posted 1/19/2010 4:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Ohio is 100% on the money.  I've been in upper management roles for the majority of my career.  In  fact,most of the successes in my career happened  AFTER my ostomy! 
Eventually, you'll learn when those gurgles happen; you'll notice a pattern, and you'll learn how to manage that pattern.  Believe will! 

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 1/19/2010 5:01 PM (GMT -6)   
*sigh* I hope so. So far all the advice I have gotten here has been right on. Hopefully you guys are right cuz this thing is NOISY

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 985
   Posted 1/19/2010 6:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Mine is pretty noisy at times right now, too, and I am doing an internship at court (well, will be again when I go back) and also meet with clients there and am worried that it will be embarrassing, but I figure it sounds mostly like stomach rumbling and who hasn't had that happen before anyway? When you hear other people's stomachs, you probably don't really care or think about it later, right? It happens and then it's over. If it really bothers you and you are afraid people are hearing, maybe just make a joke about it. I guarantee no one actually cares though. We worry more about what other people think of us, but most of the time they don't even care.
Good luck!
26 year old female
Diagnosed with unspecified UC 11/08
Asacol, Prednisone, 3 infusions of Remicade with no success
8/09 colonoscopy shows that the whole colon is affected
12/18/09 First part of J-Pouch surgery; recessed stoma impossible to keep a bag on
12/30/09 Second part of J-Pouch surgery too soon; fistula
1/9/10 Second Ileostomy Surgery with sparing of the J-Pouch
Now just trying to make it 6 months with keeping a bag on until we can try the next surgery again

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2003
Total Posts : 273
   Posted 1/19/2010 7:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Roasted Red Peppers, hope you are feeling better from the surgery. I am a teacher of 6th graders who aren't shy to point out anything strange you might do, say, wear, etc...and when my ostomy gets noisy I just laugh it off as 'I'm hungry' or 'wow my stomach is noisy today'...and that always does the trick. Thing is, you are the only one who knows why it is making the noise, they will follow your lead, so if you act embarrasses about it they will think it might be something embarrassing, if you brush it off as a normal stomach grumbling, they'll have no reason to doubt it. I hope work goes well, good luck!
Crohn's Disease since 1991, 2 rounds of ng tube feeding, Ileostomy since 1993, Proctectomy in 1997, several resectionings & stoma revisions, many blockages and a few abscesses and surgery to remove them. Medications used at one point...prednisone, 6MP, Flagyl, Asacol, Pentasa, Imuran, Cipro, Rowasa, Cortifoam, Methotrexate

Happiness is a journey not a destination - Souza

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 1/21/2010 12:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I find just placing my hand over my stoma even without a cloth will muffle it nicely. Just putting some pressure on it and pressing the pouch up against it seems to keep it from sounding like typical gas passing.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 1/21/2010 1:07 PM (GMT -6)   
take some gas-x before you leave your house, dont let yourself get hungry.
And i do what Ron said, only i take two small pieces of towels that i have cut up and put them right over the stoma area of my bag.
If im out and dont have those and it starts getting noisy, i fold up some toiletpaper and put it in there. Also those geltabs help with the noise too.
UC for 8 years, before finally kicking its butt and having a permanent ileostomy April 17 2007! 
-I have gone to find myself, if i get back before i return, keep me here-

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 1/21/2010 7:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Such great ideas. Thank you everyone!
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