Living with an Ostomy
Living with an Ostomy is not bad as you think…Your first reaction may well be “How can this be better?” Understandably, you may feel angry and upset about the changes happening to your body and the need to wear an ostomy appliance. In spite of that, there are advantages. First and foremost, the section of diseased bowel that has caused you so much trouble in the past has now been removed. With that comes relief from the pain, abdominal cramping and diarrhea associated with an inflamed gut. Your health will improve, your energy levels will increase and your zest for life will revive.
Even better, those desperate urges to find a bathroom at inconvenient times have also been eliminated. You now have the security of knowing that you can venture out to unknown places without having every bathroom in the vicinity mapped out “just in case.” An ostomy does not tie you down or limit you – it gives you freedom! And because no one will know you have an ostomy unless you want to tell them, you can live a normal, active life – just like everyone else.
Sports and Outdoors
Once your doctor has given you the “All clear,” your colostomy or ileostomy will not limit your participation in anything you want to do, unlike the symptoms of your previously cranky bowel. Get out and re-engage in all the work and activities that you once enjoyed. Swim, play football or hockey, train in karate, go walking or running – whatever you want to do.
You may want to make some adjustments to your ostomy appliance for greater security while you are working or playing (it depends on what you are doing), but that should not be a show-stopper. Speak to your ETN to find out what ostomy pouching systems will work best for whatever you have planned. You will be delighted to find out about the many flexible and variable options that will support your busy lifestyle.
Dress to Impress
The clothes you loved to wear before your surgery are the clothes you can wear again afterwards. Having an ostomy will not force you to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. You can wear anything you want from tight to relaxed fit and you can be confident that you will look great.
Just be kind to your stoma and avoid rubbing it with a belt or waistband. The low-profile, non-rustling pouches available today are not noticeable underneath your clothing – so go on – wear whatever outfit you want and know that you look as good as you feel.