Stomas hit the news this month, when BBC journalist George Alagiah revealed his experience of a temporary ileostomy on a Bowel Cancer UK podcast. As host, Alagiah is very much the newsman, leading his guests through a brisk but wide-ranging overview of life with a stoma, with just a splash of personal colour. They hit on some favourite refrains, with smart tips on dressing and intimacy, as well as calls to reach out to some ‘incredible’ support networks and ‘always call your stoma nurse’. The episode is ideal for sharing with friends, family and acquaintances as an introduction to your stoma.
Podcasts are the perfect medium for a world of multitasking and information overload. You can hear about what you want, when you want, as you catch moments to engage the brain throughout the day, perhaps while travelling, exercising or tidying up. The tiny set-up costs make it easy to get started and give podcasting culture a homemade DIY appeal. Listening can be more like hanging out with a group of friends than following a scripted TV or radio show.
Beyond Alagiah’s stately overview, there are a few interviews with ostomates that make use of podcasting’s free-wheeling, conversational style and elastic play time, which allow for plenty of amusing anecdotes, alongside serious, in-depth discussion. Hear our cover star Jessica Grossman talk chronic illness on the Sick Boy Podcast. Listen to new-media Renaissance woman Hannah Witton chat about sex, farts and stomas on BBC Radio 1’s Life Hacks. Ostomates who are serious about nutrition and fitness may want to check out fighter and coach Simon Herbet’s conversation with vlogger Ben Coomber.
Podcasts, vlogs and livestreams provide fantastic opportunities for ostomates to reach out to each other, share advice and create a community. Online advice from peers can be very useful, but always be aware of sponsorship and people trying to sell you something. Before following anyone’s advice to change how you eat, exercise or care for your stoma, be especially sure to run it by your stoma nurse first.
If you’d like to work with Stoma Tips to reach out to other ostomates, please do get in touch with us.