Upon reading an article this week in a tabloid newspaper you could be forgiven for thinking that having a stoma of any kind, be it a ileostomy, colostomy or urostomy would be a living hell.
I understand the article was bringing with it joyous information about incredible new pioneering work being done on benign polyps. Meaning people who previously would have needed a permanent colostomy can now have just the polyp itself removed without any excess damage to the area thus cutting out the need for a stoma.
I would indeed be miffed if I ended up with a colostomy for something that wasn't wholly necessary. But at the same time the article portrayed stoma's in a very negative light. I'm not sensitive about having my colostomy but there are people who, understandably do struggle with theirs or are facing having one imminently that don't need to read about stoma's in a negative way.
Some sensativty and compassion wouldn't have gone a miss. You can report on wonderful new medical breakthroughs without alienating and upsetting whole swathes of people. To negatively portray stoma's is nothing more than body shaming, we just don't need it thanks.
Let me ask this question; does my life look particularly negative or dreadful to you?....
....No, of course it doesn't, I should hope it doesn't anyway.
I have a dream life and I'm very grateful for it. Some of it's luck, some of it's making smart choices, some of it's making the most of what you have and some of it's hard work.
The fact I have a stoma, in my case a colostomy is in some ways irrelevant to the quality of my life, but without it I wouldn't have a life, I don't mean poor quality, I mean I would be dead, no ifs, ands or buts.
That is what my stoma did for me, it saved my life, therefore I feel very affectionate towards it. I have an amazing life with it and because of it. I'm passionate about spreading positivity about having a colostomy, mainly because it isn't the end of the world...it's a whole new beginning!
Is it ideal to have one? Depends where you're coming from, if you're perfectly fit and healthy and everything is in correct working order then no, no I wouldn't advise it, but if you're in a terrible state due to disease or conditions of the bowel I would say hell yeah!! It literally will be a game changer!
I'm very pro stoma's for obvious reasons. They do have many positive features, besides the whole still being alive extravaganza!
On our recent trip to New York I did get frustrated having to wait round for hubby's toilet breaks! Hahahahahah. I did suggest that everyone be fitted with a colostomy just to save faffing around waiting for the right time to nip to the loo! Hahahahahah These toilet dwellers are so parochial with their old fashioned ways. ;)
If you are facing life with a stoma, please be reassured that invariably things are never as bad as you'd imagine them to be.
I, myself was out of my head with disgust and trauma before my AP resection and then instantly "fell in love" with my little pink blob of a stoma once I came round from my op.
Nothing could be further from what I imagined it was going to be, and apart from now not being able to wear slinky silk dresses...and let's face it with this chubby little body I have, wearing silky frocks wasn't in my future anyway - life is pretty darn good!
Maybe it's age or maybe it's life experience but l'm perfectly body confident these days, although my husband may well disagree with this bold statement coming from me, he is for his sins my official photographer for Gladrags and bags, and as such he has to take thousands of photos for me to find two barely acceptable ones. I'm body confident in respect of how I look when I see myself naked in the mirror with my bag, but not so much when it comes to getting the perfect photos to accompany my blogs. I'm a perfectionist and a little bit of a narcissist but not photogenic, oh what a fun time we have when I ask the poor thing to take my photo. ;) Every time he takes a photo I'm ever hopeful that I will look like Elle Macpherson when in reality I look more like El-mer Fudd! Hahahahahah
So my final thought for today is that it's fantastic that medical advances are being made, hallelujah for that, but a bag for life isn't such a bad thing, it isn't a thing at all.
Having a colostomy is something I have rather than something I am. Having a stoma doesn't define me, it enhances me.
T shirt from Hollister, Jeans from Topshop, boots from Le Chameau, Dalmatian puppy borrowed from Debbie.
A beautiful life isn't just about enjoying the big ticket items, it's about loving every minute.
Ps, probably wasn't my best plan to wear white jeans on a dog walk. I was attacked by two very over friendly pugs who covered me in thick wet mud. Much to their owners mortification. But after a very long soak in Napisan (the jeans that is not me) they've come up almost as good as new.
See this blog isn't just informative on stoma's, I've got home hacks too, quite the Martha Stewart aren't I!! Hahahahahah