Today is World Ostomy Day so it seems only fitting that I write a little blog post. Many people live with an Ostomy, young and old and for all sorts of reasons, bowel diseases, bowel cancer, bladder conditions are just a few. But I thought it would be appropriate to write about living with an Ostomy and 10 things you should know!
1) You won’t be dragging a bag around on a set of wheels ( which is what I thought, you know a bit like the drips you get set up on in hospital!), it will be discreet and some are quite small.
2)You won’t smell, despite your fears of aroma de poo hanging around with you, you honestly won’t smell any different to normal ( which hopefully is shower fresh!) and people won’t back away from you as though you’re Pepe le pew (ha ha remember him!)
3) Only you have to know about your ostomy unless you choose otherwise, nobody has to know ( apart from the surgeon who performed it of course and the stoma nurse that helped you!).
4) Yes it’s bloody agony, especially if you had open not keyhole surgery ( although keyhole still hurts!) and whilst after a few weeks you will feel better it can take a good 6 months to feel completely better, don’t rush it, don’t compare yourself to others, it’s your recovery, but don’t be afraid to push yourself a teeny bit each day.
5) Athough it’s agony, it will pass and if your surgery was due to something like UC or Crohns then I promise you, you will feel so much better instantly.
6) You will be able to exercise, travel, dance, sing, work, go clothes shopping, swim and have sex and anything else you did pre-surgery, in fact you may find you are able to do more (more shopping – yes please!)
7) You will still be found attractive, and if you are single you will meet someone exactly the same as before surgery, if it’s taking a long time it’s not because you are the proud owner of an ostomy it’s because dating is hard and can suck sometimes, but it can also be fun. (Believe me, I’ve tried to put men off by confessing about my bag, it didn’t work!). The bag is really insignificant to most people.
8) You won’t always have to cut out nuts, seeds, mushrooms, corn, drinking through straws and fizzy drinks. Sensible advice you are given at first but you learn what you can and can’t have. And I’m sorry, but there was no way I would give up bubbly! Be careful though, I ended up in A&E due to a parsnip but can now eat them no problem! 🙂
9) You will not be able to blow off in the conventional sense, that satisfying fart (I hate that word!) when you have a tummy ache – thing of the past, but you also always know, it definitely wasn’t you!
10) Your life will not be over, it will not end or be worse, it may even be better. You will be amazed at what you have coped with and if you can deal with a bag attached to your tummy that you have to poo in then surely everything else is a doddle!
So happy World Ostomy Day!