Learn some helpful tips to make sure your next social activity is a success and get some practical advice from fellow Peristeen users.
Consider sharing your concerns with others
Having a trusted friend or relative who is aware of your situation can help. If you would like someone to accompany you on your first few trips, be sure they are aware of your medical needs. Before deciding to share your situation with others, consider reflecting on the following questions:
- Why do I want to share my situation?
- Who do I want to tell?
- When do I want to tell them?
- Do I want anyone with me when I tell them?
It can also help to prepare in advance by writing down what you want to say, and trying to anticipate some of the questions you might be asked.
Build your confidence by setting small goals initially
Start relatively close to home and only stay out for a short period of time, no more than a few hours. Then ease into things like using a public toilet for the first time or visiting a relative for several hours. It can be helpful to start with a relative or friend who already knows about your condition.
Prepare before going out
Consider irrigating before you go out and wear dark colours if you’re worried about leakage. Bring extra clothing and find out where the nearest bathroom is located at your destination.
Pack accordingly for longer trips
Going away for longer than a day or two is possible with Peristeen, but preparation is key. We have developed a travel fact sheet with tips and advice that can help. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy.
Remember, you're not alone
Meeting others in your situation can help. As well as learning from their experience, you can also gain reassurance from knowing others have succeeded. Consider searching for patient organisations in your area through social media or by getting in touch with others through your Coloplast Charter adviser on 0800 783 1434.
Bob, spinal cord injury: “I always plan my irrigations around my social schedule. It helps because then I know I have a 48-hour window where I don't have to worry about my bowel.”
Becky, spinal cord injury: “There’s a lot more than the four walls of your home. You’ve got to push yourself, don’t give up. Baby steps are OK. Going to the mall is one thing, going to Mexico to scuba dive is another thing.”
Sarah, spina bifida: “You don't need to tell everyone about your bowel issues but it's a good idea to have a small support network of people who can be there for you.”