Happy 6 Month Anniversary to Bertha

Happy 6 Month Anniversary to Bertha. So this is a landmark to me. I never thought I would celebrate the fact I have a permanent ileostomy. Life prior to Bertha was slightly difficult, to say the least. Due to the amount of bowel removed I had permanent diarrhoea and it caused me a few issues. Nothing beats having accidentally shite yourself on the school run.

That one time on the school run

That one time on the school run

Happy 6 Month Anniversary to Bertha

So I had Bertha created on the 25/11/2016.  Bertha was created due to problems caused by my original surgeries in 2009-2012. There was always the chance due to the severity of my Crohn’s that a permanent stoma was going to happen. I just didn’t think it would be until my late 40’s.

I’m happy with Bertha. The first month involved fun and games with leaks and allergies to the adhesive on the Hollister and Dansac bags. My SNC took that into account and issued me with the Pelican bags and I haven’t looked back. The freedom the stoma has given me back is like a breath of fresh air. I’m no longer in constant pain every time I go to the toilet. I’m no longer shitting my pants on the school run or at family functions. They also removed most of my built up scar tissue and my periods are now so much less painful.

The date Bertha was formed

The date Bertha was formed

Ive had the occasional leak but that’s more due to what I’ve eaten than the stoma causing those problems (Thai green curry has a lot to answer for).  Ive had a pretty easy run apart from nighttime visits to the bathroom to empty. To solve my high output and 3 x a night emptying the thing Ive been put on fluid restrictions and got a bigger bag.

Why I named the stoma

Seems random but I have named certain parts of my body. My SNC advised me that naming the stoma would help me become more accepting of having the stoma. So I plucked the name Bertha out of thin air. According to my boyfriend, the name Bertha is slightly alarming as there’s a cartoon with a character called Bertha. Well, Bertha has stuck as it gives me a name to something that ultimately improved my quality of life. It also gives me something to swear at when she misbehaves. It’s also more discreet in public if I have a problem I just say I need to sort Bertha out. We’ve also broached this subject on The IBD & Ostomy support show and the response has been fantastic over to name or not to name your stoma


As the saying goes “what goes in must come out”. Having the stoma means I’ve regained my love of spicy food again because it just doesn’t effect me anymore other than the hiccups if it’s too spicy. The only thing I miss is my fruit and vegetables. I have strictures in the intestine leading to my ostomy. So I have to be careful what I decide to play Russian roulette with. I eat a relatively healthy diet, I’m practically gluten free. I do eat carrots, green beans they’ve been my constant staple since November. I can’t eat minced lamb or high quantities of red meat unless I want to pay for it.

Thai green curry

Itsu Thai Green curry. The reason I have the odd leak on my stoma

I have started to introduce other foods with some coaxing from fellow ostomates who I call the food rebels. Without having the support and constant advice from these, I wouldn’t be eating a lot of food groups right now. I thank them wholeheartedly as they’ve made me more of a risk taker with foods instead of limiting my diet to what I deem as safe.

I list pretty much everything I eat on Instagram and put up a post when Ive tried something new. So please take a look.


My aim for the next six months

My aim for the next 6 months is to continue enjoying my new lease on life with Bertha. I will also be adding new foods to what I call my Russian roulette game of let’s see what this does. My exercise routine is now picking back up now I’m using larger bags. I also want to make sure I still support other ostomates new and well versed in the life with an ostomy. My last aim is to make sure I continue to cultivate the friends I have made on my journey of discovering ostomy life and documenting my day to day life.

Please feel free to leave any questions

Thanks for reading


1 Comment
  1. Happy half birthday Bertha! You are doing great Louise and should be proud! And I love the GIF!

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