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.