The Positives of Stoma Life
Being told you need stoma life can be daunting. You may have only ever heard brief snippets regarding stoma life and usually you will always hear the negatives rather than the positives.
Don’t get me wrong there may well be some initial teething issues postoperative but that should typically only be the first 12-16 weeks whilst the stoma settles down. After this with the right bag combination for you then stoma life should be relatively settled and easier to manage.
Your stoma nurse during these times will be on hand for you to try and trial different products to find what works for you.
I have been navigating stoma life on and off for the last 11 years. The first stoma was not my friend. This was more due to the fact that my stoma was placed in an emergency on a newly post-pregnancy abdomen, alongside a rather especially large open wound and the development of an incisional hernia. My stoma was placed pretty close to my appendectomy scar and this was an area of weakness for me.
Myself and that stoma bumped along, the occasional leaks and sore skin, this was later resolved 8 years down the line with allergy tests, turns out I am allergic to a fair few adhesives. Thankfully I had after the process of elimination alongside bag roulette found the correct bag for me.
Second time around I had nearly a year to wrap my head around the stoma surgery and what it meant for me. My main concern is that I didn’t want to end up with those god awful clear bags we have on after surgery. I find that the clear ones hinder my outfit choices as nothing quite says hi like a low rise pair of jeans and my ileostomy being seen in all its glory.
I will admit that the first 6 weeks were tedious. I was having leaks and incredibly sore skin, at one point I couldn’t get a bag to stick longer than an hour before another leak started.
I was at my wit’s end and my stoma nurse introduced me to Pelican bags, It was both a game-changer and life-improving. Since using their products I have not looked back.
The life-changing positives for me have been immense. I lead a stoma life that is full of life-changing, life-improving moments…
- – My quality of life has greatly improved. I am no longer housebound due to BAM and being fecally incontinent.
- – No longer hunting for toilets. I strategically plan my long journeys for toilet breaks but no longer getting hit with nausea and the alarm telling me I need to go now.
- – My health has improved. Living with Crohn’s disease is debilitating and having the worst of it removed has meant I am not spending as much time in hospital.
- – Saved me money on toilet roll…
- – Has improved my relationships with both my daughter and soon to be husband. I am now able to enjoy days out and holidays without suffering as much after the event.
- – Has improved my sex life; madness you may think but having this little rosebud has made me less conscious.
- – I no longer have anal fissuring; the two years following my stoma placement I still have active Crohn’s and diversion colitis which was causing me to lose a fair amount of blood and discharge from my rectum. This still caused fissuring and pain, now that’s removed I have a relatively pain free life.
- – Has pushed me to advocate to lessen the taboos and stigmas attached to stoma life, proving that living with one is not as doom and gloom as stated by various media outlets.
Overall stoma life suits me well and has improved so many things. Don’t get me wrong I still have the occasional mishap, this is normally due to inebriated me thinking potato snacks and a drunken McDonalds is a great idea. I occasionally have the odd day where I question why I had my stoma placed but that is par the course.
That’s it from me and my positives. What are yours?
Many thanks for reading