If you are considering stoma surgery or have recently undergone surgery to form a stoma - whether temporary or permanent - then it’s perfectly normal to be scared and have lots of questions.
It may take you a little while to get used to how your body now looks, and adapt to a new routine to incorporate caring for your stoma. But having a stoma shouldn’t stop you from living your life to the full.
From my own experience, I have now had (Percy) my permanent stoma for over 4 years. I suffered badly from Ulcerated Colitis (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) which was affecting my daily life. I had my full colon removed and a J-Pouch formed (“J” shaped reservoir) which temporarily left me with a stoma.
I couldn’t accept it, I couldn’t touch it, clean it, or even change the bag, I suffered from panic attacks, severe anxiety and felt like my life was over.
After 3 months my consultant agreed to remove the temporary bag and connect the J-Pouch, life started to feel normal. Unfortunately, after a few months I took ill and ended up back in hospital to be told the J-Pouch had failed, I sobbed!
After a long battle from side effects from different medications and infusions, my consultant informed me nothing was working, and I needed a permanent bag. I thought I would never be able to live with a bag after my experience with my temporary one.
I realised I needed professional support from a counsellor because this was not just about myself, I had a daughter and amazing family and friends who I cared so much about, I needed to overcome the fear and traumatic experiences to live a fantastic, fulfilled life with these people.
After a few months of seeing a private counsellor and having their support in helping me with the realisation I was not alone, I had nothing to be ashamed about and that I could go on and live my life in a normal way.
After I had the surgery and recovered, I am now extremely fit and healthy, I run ultra-marathons with my husband, walk around the poolside on holiday with my bikini on, with my head held high!
I am now a qualified counsellor who offers support to people who suffer from IBD or living with a stoma, either face to face, via telephone, WhatsApp or zoom.
Make a free site - See it