31 October, 2022
Finding out that you’ve got to have stoma surgery can be pretty scary.
We asked ostomates on our Facebook page what they’d say to someone who’s afraid of what life will be like after surgery.
This is what they said..
“It will be a challenge at times but it will be ok. Just a different way of performing a normal bodily function.”
“Come on in, the water’s lovely. Still can’t believe the contrast between my life now and life before surgery. Fit, healthy, strong, happy, no longer ruled by illness — no longer ill!”
“I had anal cancer and went with chemo radiotherapy as I was sure I didn’t want a stoma. After the cancer came back and my fertility was now shot I have the stoma any way. ‘Beryl’ and I get on great. We do the normal things anyone else can do and I feel safe with her. She SAVED MY LIFE and am very grateful. The recovery is such a small part of the overall picture and the docs and nurses are amazing! Start living your best life.”
“It is normal to feel that having a stoma bag is the most abnormal thing at first. Allow yourself to grieve for the “old you”. With time whether it saved your life or improved your life, it really will become the new norm and something you can be grateful for.”
“Best thing that happened to me. Tired of so much pain and just existing. I feel happy again! It’s an adjustment, be positive and have faith.”
“Recovery is just as much mental as it is physical. Give yourself time to get your head in the right place. It’s OK to scream and shout now and then and get upset. Be kind to yourself. And be safe in the knowledge that one day you will wake up and realise that life can still be good. If not better than it was before. Your bag won’t hold you back but your mind will. Bags give us life. Don’t waste it. Live it.”
“One day at a time, in the very beginning you will feel very overwhelmed, seek all the support you can and don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help from your stoma team and stoma groups that are available online.”
“Go for it! I had an emergency illeostomy in March and later diagnosed with Crohns. My bag saved my life and I haven’t looked back. It hasn’t stopped me doing anything I have even went on a foreign holiday to Turkey in August. If you had asked me in March I wouldn’t have believed it would have been possible as I was so ill. Recovery from major surgery is a challenge at the time but it’s amazing how you recover and get your life back. Take all advice you are given this surgery isn’t done unless it is needed so go forward don’t look back and no one will know unless you decide to tell them! Life is for living give it a go!”
“It changed the quality of my life for the better, I’ve been to places that I wouldn’t of gone before, I can have the occasional bad day but every day was bad before I had my little designer bag called Gucci!”
If you’re struggling to come to terms with living with a stoma, We have a 24 freephone stoma helpline. Call us on 0800 328 4257 for practical and emotional experience based advice from a fellow ostomate.