What is a stoma?
A stoma is a part of the intestine that protrudes from your abdominal wall, placed in between the belly button and your hipbone where waste is emitted into a disposable bag. The difference between an ileostomy and a colostomy depends on what part of the intestine has been removed. When the colon needs to be removed, you are left with an ileostomy (like me) where the ileum (the end of the small intestine) makes up your stoma. A colostomy is created when you need your small intestine removed.
Why I have one?
You might need one because of an inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s or even bowel cancer. I had Ulcerative Colitis.
To start with the flares could be controlled by steroids intravenously but during my last one, even a pretty high does of this didn’t make a difference. I always knew there was a chance I might need surgery but I wasn’t expecting it to be so soon.
What is Ulcerative Colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is inflammation of the colon and rectum, I was diagnosed at nine and since then have tried all of the medication under the sun to try and control the flare ups, a lot worked for a few months at a time and then I would eventually develop antibodies towards them and would have to stop. Flare-ups consist of vomiting, bleeding from the colon and diarrhea that all result in other stuff like weight loss and for me, anemia.
Anyway yesterday was a week since the operation, I got out of hospital really soon, only five days after having it but according to my surgeon and my stoma nurse I had youth and determination on my side. I’m not going to sugar coat the situation and say I like it because I don’t, I do after all have a bag of crap on my side the whole time but at least I no longer have Ulcerative Colitis and have to take a lot of medication, always at risk of long term side effects. I no longer get tummy ache and I am now waiting to heal good and proper so that I can go for a following operation to make a pouch so that all being well in a years time after a third operation I can pooooo again!
Yesterday I tried on a pair of Primark suck me in knickers and you literally could not even see the bag at all. I cried with joy, I thought I wouldn’t be able to wear any tight clothes but I honestly think I could wear my skintight bodycon dress with these babies on!
Also yesterday I officially named my stoma Bob, I’m stuck with him for a while so I thought a name would help us to bond. Bob the blob. Me and Bob. I’ll let you know how we go and what exciting things we find to wear…