22 May, 2017
My story starts in January 2015 with me feeling unwell and visiting the toilet a lot. I worked up to 14th February and then after 2 GP visits and 2 A&E visits I was eventually admitted to hospital on 1st March, by this time I was weak, my abdominal pain had worsened and I had already lost 2 stone.
After numerous tests I was treated for fulminant colitis and after nearly two weeks in hospital I was looking forward to going home. I then woke one morning in unbearable pain. I tried to ignore it, being my true stubborn self, and continued with my morning routine but I knew something was wrong. I had to admit defeat and call for the doctors, I was rushed for scans and less than 2 hours later I was greeted by my medical doctor and surgeon where I was told I was to undergo stoma surgery, they were already preparing the theatre for me as they couldn’t wait much longer. It was like something off TV, I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t think it could happen to me it’s something I thought happens to old people, I switched off completely.
It took me months after surgery to try going back to the gym, I’ve always stuck to cardio machines over the years but I quickly got disheartened when I struggled to do 10 minutes I could notice and feel the difference to where I was fitness wise
It soon got to the point where things started to get on top of me, living with a stoma, putting on more weight, finding it harder to hide my pouch under my clothes. At one point I started on anti depressants, but only for a short time, I realised I didn’t want to rely on pills to make me feel better, I knew I had to do something.
Eventually I joined a gym close to my work where I had a personal trainer for 2 sessions a week. I also started doing 2 sessions on my own doing light workouts, eventually I started building my strength and started attending Spin classes at K2 Gym, a local gym to where I live.
After 3 months I decided to join K2 Gym where I started doing 2 Spin sessions, a weight-based class and my usual 2 sessions on my own, a month in I approached my class instructor to continue doing personal training sessions with her where we try different techniques of training to challenge myself further.
Recently I’ve bought my own cycling shoes, I’ve completed a 3 hour charity Spinathon and have plans to run my first Cardiff Half Marathon something a year ago I couldn’t see possible.
Big motivation for me was using Instagram (@RyanEatsUK) it’s helped me learn more about nutrition. I have the odd message from other ostomates on the things I eat, it’s great, I didn’t realise how many other awesome ostomates there are that are into fitness, it’s really helped.
Anyone interested in finding out more about fitness and sport after stoma surgery can download a copy of the Colostomy UK Active Ostomates Booklet