Happy 2nd Stomaversary!

Happy 2nd Stomaversary!

What I’ve Learnt and Achieve in the Last Twelve Months with my Ostomy

 

Year One with a stoma came and went with great highs and terrible lows. I started Year Two by saying this:

But what did the next twelve months have in store for me?

  • I would be admitted to hospital a few days later, in horrific pain which turned out to be my bowel twisting. That’s what I’d been experiencing all summer long; four admissions and countless pleas ignored…
  • I would restart Vedolizumab for the third time, because my disease could not be controlled without medication.
  • I’d have the following two months off work, recovering and getting mentally stronger.
  • I became part of the IBD Patient Panel at the hospital; consulting on the social media side of things.
  • I’d pass my probation at work at the end of the year!
  • Vedolizumab gave me some side effects; which we decided were part of the risk and continued the treatment plan AS WELL as treating the side effects. I would go on to see a Dermatologist, a Heptologist and a Gynaecologist; as if having a GI wasn’t enough!
  • I made a conscious choice to spread more good IBD and ostomy education online – creating several blog post series in the process.
  • Not long into 2018, I would experience crippling anxiety and depression which resulted in antidepressants and CBT.
  • In February I was beginning to exhibit some IBD symptoms, which leading to some procedures; I came away with some nerve damaged and inflammation of my stump. It took a long time to settle down!
  • Friendships became a corner-stone of my recovery from not only my IBD issues but from my mental health issues too.
  • I turned 30 and made a solid commitment to myself – to love me as I was, without judgement – it’s a daily challenge!
  • My partner and I started looking for a place together; only to be stumped by my fatigue.
  • I battled through several periods of bad mental health; resulting in needing to take time off work to heal.
  • I attended a few research sessions, including the PPI Involvement Day with Crohn’s and Colitis UK in May.
  • I learnt how to take care of myself; in a way that motivated me to embrace the glorious mess that I am.
  • My Coloplast Care article on Returning To Work was published in July.
  • I admitted some defeat and reduced my work hours, taking some control back of my health.
  • I am a work in progress.
  • My stoma has been a giving of life not a taker. I’ve been able to focus on me and my life, not my stoma life, this year. And whilst this has been a challenging year, it is nothing compared to life pre-ostomy. I’ve not had a moment this year when I felt like I was without options, without a choice and without a future. My stoma is just part of me, and whilst it becomes a deeper, more ingrained part of my life as the days, weeks and months pass by; I will always choose it. Time and time again.

Here are the “living with an ostomy” post highlights:

YEAR ONE:

To New Beginnings – 19.09.16

What I’ve Learnt after Three Months with an Ileostomy – 28.11.16

What I’ve Learnt after Six Months with an Ileostomy – 21.02.17

One Year On – 28.01.17

My Love for you, Dear Stoma – 14.02.17

Waking up with a Stoma – 23.05.17

he Reminder that I’m not Normal – 13.06.17

When Does Having an Ostomy Feel “Normal’? – 04.07.17

Happy Stomaversary – 23.08.17

YEAR TWO:

Six Years On: Diagnosis – 10.09.17

The Return of.. Everything – 19.09.17

Why I’m Keeping my Stoma Bag | World Ostomy Day – 07.10.17

10 Tips for Feeling Comfortable with an Ostomy – 06.03.18

Open Letter to my Stoma – 17.04.18

What Advice do Patient look for Prior to Ostomy Surgery – 24.04.18

 

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