What I’ve Achieved in Twelve Months with my Ostomy
Well, me and Priscilla have been belly buddies for a whole year today. It feels like such a long time but it also feels like nothing, like I’ve clicked my fingers and here we are. But what have I done in these twelve months since that fateful day of ostomy surgery?
- I survived another surgery! That would make two in three months.
- My hospital stay would come in at a total of 22 days. Most of my days were good but these were all post op.
- I changed my bag for the first time on Bank Holiday weekend, without a stoma nurse to help. They wonderful HCP held my hand through it and hugged me fiercely afterwards. I was shaking.
- Post op; my pain was barely anything. I was up and out bed, walking around within 48 hours. I was so damn proud and motivated.
- From September through to Christmas I would deal with appliance issues. Leaks, sore skin, changing my diet to suit my stoma, needing extra products and support. Finally after a few months, I started my current bag routine and ordered my first lot of supplies from Charter. Not looked back since.
- October I would suffer from a full Blockage which left me in hospital for three days back on the surgical ward. Many lessons learnt that weekend.
- I went on holiday, had spa days, went swimming and got more active with my stoma.
- I started blogging more about what life was like with my ostomy as well as when my IBD went into remission, for the first time since my diagnosis in 2011.
- I started becoming proud of what I was and who I was. I embraced the ostomy life and saw my stoma as what made me special instead of what make me different and not normal.
- I loved the fact that my butt no longer gets used. One less thang to worry about, am I right?
- My IBD went into proper remission in February and I felt so well, I decided to apply for jobs.
- In April I moved away from home and relocated to Peterborough for my current job. Lots of change and if it wasn’t for feeling so well, I would not have taken this chance. Most of that wellness was down to my stoma functioning well and giving me much needed self confidence.
- My training for my job was amazingly interesting and once I got into the office and started doing my role, I was beyond words to how supportive, understanding and fascinated my colleagues were about me and my stoma.
- These last couple of months I’ve had issues with my IBD recurring in my small bowel but despite this, my Stoma’s had continued to give me all the life I need. I dread to think how my digestive system would be coping with this flare up if I still had my colon.
- Today, my stomaversary, has been tough. I appreciate my highs but also reflect on my lows. I push myself forward by thinking about how much life has changed compared to twelve months ago.
I look towards the future more than ever. I don’t even think about my stoma stopping me, unless the days of having active IBD; I was overwhelmed by my disease and saw it as something to hold me back and it made me terribly sad. These days, my sadness passes easier. Most of this is because I poop into a bag and I don’t have the butt pain, fear of urgency and incotinence that I once had. My stoma has freed me in ways I never thought it would.
My stoma changed my life and I hope anyone who is might need one in the future, knows how life saving it can be.
Teeny tiny vials of energy It was when I was in the throes of being assessed for surgery, we discovered that removal of my terminal ileum – my first surgery; right hemicolectomy – would mean I would need Vitamin B12 injection following my recovery. What is Vitamin B12? It is an important vitamin needed in the body to help keep your nervous system healthy. It is what helps create new cells within your body, for not only growth and repair but for general maintenance. Whilst it is produced in the liver, it is absorbed in the small intestine. B12 is […]
I am a firm believer in self confidence. Feeling sure of yourself and who you are is a big part of feeling good about life. But do you know what makes self confidence difficult? An incurable chronic illness. And all the things that come with it. What I struggled with was, after almost five years of living with Crohn’s Disease, I needed to have my colon removed and an ileostomy formed. The whole process of how it was going to change my body played on my mind a lot in those days leading up to surgery in August 2016. How […]
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If you’re a Stoma Owner, you’ve probably – at some point in time – had some sort of skin issue since your ostomy surgery. Below are potential issues, from most to least common. Identifying what has caused the problem is the best way to find a solution. 1. Change of stoma size This is important to note in the weeks after your surgery. As the intestine calms down, the size of your stoma goes down too. This means the template you use to cut your ostomy bag will change too. Recommended gap between stoma and your bag should be 1/8” […]
I am constantly reminded that my life is different. I look back in time, to years gone by and remember just what I’ve been through. Things are different. So much has changed. Not only is my own life different but I am different too. I’m learning to not let the small things bother me as much as they used to. I have had to accept this since I was diagnosed – a chronic illness forces you to take care of yourself, in ways you wouldn’t have before. You become more careful and calculated, abit cautious from keeping onto of your […]
Jeez. I suck at this. It’s been a rollercoaster of a couple of weeks so I’ve just been eating when I can. I have been prepping but not being writing it down or up here. That’s gotta change. These next two weeks I am home alone so making most of my meals just for myself. I did a little shopping this weekend to get some fresh yummy things in but most things are already in the freezer or in the cupboard; ready to make some great meals! Here is this weeks plan; again just the dinner time meals: Monday: Dominos! Tuesday: Bubble […]
Know what inspires me the most? Other patients. Other ostomy patients, other IBD patients. Those people who have a connection to me once I share my own journey. I met these people last week at a Coloplast Care day. I spoke about how I came to have my ostomy, my IBD history in brief and how life has been since surgery. I tried to follow my written document – you can read it here – but I ended up going with a flow of just my own words, right from the heart. Speaking in this way did make me unexpectedly tearful because even though I’ve been speaking […]
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