Whilst having a stoma might have its challenges and take a bit of getting used to, for me, it's truly a blessing and has given me back so much. Here are just a few reasons why my life is great with an ostomy.
No longer are bathrooms the first thing I scope out when going places. I can do all the things I love without fear of having an accident as I did living with Crohn's disease. My sense of freedom returned after getting an ileostomy and I began doing all my favorite things: travel, concerts, road trips, long walks, shopping, eating out... it all became so much easier.
2. I can literally poo anywhere.
I love the fact that I can "go" anywhere with my ostomy bag; on the train, sitting at my desk at work, sleeping, hiking — even midway through a conversation, ha-ha. And unless my stoma decides to get a little noisy, usually no one is the wiser!
3. Having a stoma means LESS of so many things that I want less of.
Not many doctors or hospital visits. Hardly any medication, side effects or pain. Seldom worry, anxiety, or stress. Less of these things means MORE of the good stuff. More independence, energy, money in the bank, confidence, and more time to spend doing the things I love.
4. A new companion.
My stoma is there for me through thick and thin — with me always and everywhere. I care for it, talk to it, and protect it. I refer to my stoma as my "little buddy."
5. A healthier and happier life.
Ostomy surgery was lifesaving for me. Having a stoma can be a difficult adjustment at first, but it's led to a significant improvement in my quality of life. Being healthy definitely contributes to my happiness (and vice versa).
More post by Laura:
My final thoughts on the morning of life-changing ostomy surgery
6. A greater understanding of personal values.
Most of us with a stoma have been through some extremely life-changing experiences. I’ve personally done a lot of soul searching since becoming an ostomate. I'm grateful to be alive and value the little things that bring me joy.
7. An excuse to eat jelly beans.
Attention all ostomates — we have the perfect excuse to eat lots of jelly beans! Though there might be healthier foods I eat to help slow down output – like peanut butter, bananas, rice pudding, pretzels, yogurt, and mashed potatoes – jelly beans are my favorite.
8. More appreciation for my relationships.
Living with an ostomy since 2015 has helped me reassess my priorities and figure out what's truly important in my life. I now have stronger relationships and closer connections with the people in my life.
9. Connecting with like-minded people.
I had the absolute pleasure of attending my very first Purple Wings Charity event since moving from Australia to London. For those who don’t know about Purple Wings, their vision is to help those with inflammatory bowel disease and ostomies regain confidence and self-esteem. Sharing mutual goals with others creates a bond that lasts a lifetime.
10. STOMA-LICIOUS was born!
Article credit: Stoma-licious