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Finding Confidence & Motivation Following Stoma Surgery

Regaining your confidence and motivation after surgery can take time. Remember slow and steady wins the race. Rushing your recovery can hinder your progress. Everything takes time. 

We have all been there!

Waking up in hospital with a stoma for the first time can be pretty daunting. You are in pain from the surgery, not feeling up to much and your brain is trying to register the fact that you have this rather red swollen thing on your stomach that likes to wiggle about. 

It takes 12 weeks for your stoma to settle down and in that time it will become a cute little pink thing that still likes to wiggle about. 

The first bag change is always the most daunting. Your stoma nurse will take you through it step by step. Knowing how to change your bag and look after your stoma is the key to you being discharged from hospital. My top tip for this would be to research ostomy bag changes on Youtube. 

Finding the motivation

Once you are home from hospital you still need to recover, slow and steady. Implementing small things into your recovery help. 

So things like having a shower will make you tired to start off with but having that clean feeling and being back home in your own bed, well there is nothing like that feeling. 

Having a routine even if it’s changing into a clean pyjamas and sitting out in the living room for the day. 

By the time you get to week 3-4 of post-op recovery implementing things like taking a little walk out for 15- 20 minutes will help you to feel better and fresh air improves your mood no end. 

Finding the confidence

Finding the confidence to go out and interact with normal life after such a drastic change can fill us with dread. Some of us are clawing the walls and getting cabin fever whereas others may be reluctant to go out as they are scared.

Top tips for going out would be to pack a spare stoma kit and take a change of clothes. Your stoma teething problems are usually confined to the first 12 weeks postoperative as this is when the swelling and stoma goes down in shape and size and settles. 

My perspective

I woke up in September of 2009 after 3 weeks on life support. I had no idea what a stoma was and to wake up with one is scary, daunting and where do we go from here. I had that ileostomy for 3 years and for the most part it helped with my symptoms and I just buried my head in the sand and got on with life until my reversal in 2012. 

November 2016 I had Bertha placed and life changed for the better. My stoma was better placed, planned and I knew what steps I had to get through to get back to enjoying life. For me in that time frame discovering the Pelican Platinum contour range changed my life and made stoma life liveable, as previously, most bags trialled and errored and living with sore parastomal skin is not what we expect when this is meant to change our life for the better. 

October 2018 I had my final surgery, Bertha was changed from a loop ileostomy to an end and my rectum removed and Barbie Butt put into place. I was up and out 3 weeks after surgery implementing small walks and at 6 weeks post-op, I was back driving and taking my daughter and niece to see Father Christmas at a Barn in the middle of nowhere. 

Ostomy life has not held me back and I do more now than I did pre stoma.

As always

Many thanks for reading 

Louise 

Louise uses our Platinum with Vitamin E range to keep her stoma site healthy. Try a sample here.

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