Life Lately | Stoma and Ostomy Lifestyle

So, I’ve been doing a lot of specific blog posts on ostomy advice and milestones. What I haven’t been really talking about is what is going on with me, personally.

After my first surgery, we had a game plan on what I was going to achieve and when. This included how well I was going to recover, how I would get on with my chronic illness wway from surgery and when I would return to work. Returning to work was going to mean retraining and I wanted time to mentally prepare myself for that. But nothing went to plan. Nothing. 2016 was utter shite for recovering from everything.

So, after the ostomy surgery, we set no goals. This in itself was freeing but also incredibly daunting. What was going to happen? What if everything from last time happened again? What if my wounds didn’t heal? What if my IBD continued to flare up? What if I didn’t accept my stoma? There were a lot more questions and not a lot of answers. But no answers was good, because we learnt to just roll with the punches.

But, there weren’t many punches.

This is good news, yes, of course! But it’s also overwhelmingly scary. That’s what I still feel, scared.

Scared of feeling so well. Scared of recovering so well. Scared of moving forward. Things tend to go mental again once I’ve gotten into something I enjoy, Crohn’s has tended to suck all the fucking joy out of my life and I am sick of it doing that. Five years is long enough!

I am applying for jobs.

Jobs that are in new sectors and are far away from home. I am taking risks and challenging myself. I am hoping they pay off.

I am trying new things, for the first time in months, years!

I ate my first small, very small, portion of sweetcorn at the weekend and had no issues! Any ostomate will know that this is a huge deal. Sweetcorn is ostomy blockage public enemy #1, for sure.

I’m also meeting new people, away from home, out of my comfort zone. I adore meeting fellow ostomates because they are like me. Common ground is already established. It also means I get to test my own limits, ostomy wise. It reinforces my routine and I have to be prepared. The only little tell of what I have is the emergency supplies I have in my backpack.

I have a new tattoo scheduled. I’m back to being myself; tattooed and geeky.

I want to exercise…!

I’ve never been a gym bunny nor a runner but I find myself wanting to go and get fit. I want to continue to work on my core, trying to get back some strength, be in the best physical shape I can be. I want to go and run. I walk ‘the long way around ‘now and it is shocking how much joy I am getting from it. I am wondering just how much that diseased colon was holding me back.

I have energy, for those ‘normal, healthy’ routines.

I find myself cleaning. And cooking. And craving to be outside. I find myself walking ahead or picking up the pace of my leisurely walks to my blogging spot.

Maybe all of these things come from my most recent appointment with my surgeon, the not needing to see him for six months, knowing I won’t need surgery for at least 10 years; I can finally see the bigger, long term picture. I want a house and dogs and a happy life with my partner; I can finally work towards that. I can get back on track and feel fulfilled like I should feel. I don’t want to bang on about it (but I am going to!) but this little stoma of mine has had the most amazing and bloody brilliant impact on my life. I want to show it off, I want to shout from the rooftops, I want to go and prove those people who use an ostomy as a ‘worse case scenario’ and ‘it’s disgusting and undignified’ just what life with an ostomy is all about.

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