Reasons I Love My Stoma

Reasons I Love My Stoma. This blog post was originally going to be titled reasons to love my stoma in the winter but due to me possibly getting rather crass I decided to change the title.

Now for the majority of us ending up with a temporary or permanent stoma is inevitable. The reasons for possibly having stoma surgery are quite frankly endless. They are through bladder problems, cancer, IBD and even freak accidents.

With colostomy day fast approaching I have decided to do this post in celebrating the stoma that saved my life in 2009 and gave me back my quality of life in 2016.

Reasons I Love My Stoma

If I had asked myself to write this back in 2009 when I got my first stoma I would have laughed my head off and then curled myself up in a corner somewhere and had a good old cry to myself. I can honestly say I hated my first stoma with an absolute passion. I was forever having leaks, bags wouldn’t stick and a massive open wound to boot. To be perfectly frank at that moment in time I would have prefered death than having to be stuck with a shit bag for 3 years and a disfigured stomach. I can in hindsight blame my age, vanity and the sheer shock of it all happening and not being given any choice in the matter.

My bowel resection in 2012 left me with permanent bile salt malabsorption and diarrhoea. 30-40 bowel movements a day between 2012 & 2016 tends to drain a girl and I was so thankful for the ileostomy surgery in November of last year just so I would lose my worst enemy which was at the time the toilet and the 9 pack of andrex toilet roll with aloe vera to help my sore bottom.

Reasons why I now love my stoma

  • It saved my life. Yes I said above I would have prefered death at the time but time is a great healer and I have been able to watch my daughter grow up and those moments I cherish above all else
  • It has improved my quality of life. I am no longer glued to the toilet, yes I have high output but have found ways to improve this. I can also eat spicy food again which I missed dearly
  • Body image. Sounds completely mental but my body image has greatly improved, I’m still not too sure of the reasons behind this but I am sure the light will switch on one day as to why
  • A purpose. It has given me a reason to share my extended IBD history and hopefully help others in the process
  • Better Informed. It has made me actively glean advice and tips from other ostomates. I have learned so much in the last 10 months. The information is so extensive and I find myself learning on a daily basis.

For fun

Winter is fast approaching and I find myself and Bertha (my stoma) have a love relationship for the winter. Yes, I’m mental but the summer is not my friend for food choices and the irritating itching and daily bag changes I go through in this period.

In the winter I love Bertha and here are the reasons as to why

  • Less frequent changes. Due to less sweating and thicker output my baseplate doesn’t break down so quickly and I can normally last 3 days between bag changes
  • Hot water bottle on tap. I have my very own hot water bottle on me. Ok this may be slightly disgusting but it warms my tummy whilst out in the freezing cold and I have been known to warm my hands through my coat pocket on the school runs
  • Food. My slow cooker is my best friend in the winter and means I can eat more vegetables due to them being soft cooked this way. It also means I don’t purely live a diet of noodles. It also improves my stoma output greatly and toilet trips are less frequent
  • Hydration. I find the constant thirst I get between April and August is more sated and my body seems to hold fluid content better so I don’t get dehydrated
  • Support wear. I find the hernia support wear in the winter easier to wear and it gives me an extra layer of clothing and my midsection is always cosy
  • I sleep better. I sleep better due to thicker output and not up & down so much for bag emptys

Summary

So the above are reasons for me to love and embrace my stoma. Having a stoma is not always an easy thing for a percentage of ostomates. Anything from leaks to nightmare bag changes spring to mind. But overall I am very thankful that my stoma has become a part of me and I can actually pin point reasons as to why it is a good thing and not all doom and gloom. Don’t get me wrong I occasionally get the odd weepy moment but for the best part the last 10 months since Bertha’s formation have improved 400% and I wouldn’t change having a permanent fixture for what I had prior.

Please feel free to leave any comments.

 

2 Comments
  1. Awesome. Thank you. I’m approaching ileostomy surgery due to severe UC. Articles like this give me a truthful picture of what is to come. Amazingly helpful. Thank you and God bless.

    • You are more than welcome. Thank you ever so much for taking the time to read the post. Hoping this has given a realistic expectation towards having a stoma

      Many thanks
      Louise x

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