So today is World Ostomy Day. This is my first one since the birth of my stoma Winnie, and she is really celebrating it!
I’ve always been open about having my ostomy bag and about what life is really like with my stoma. There is no point pretending that life without part or all of your large bowel is hard and that having a bag of poo hanging on the outside of your body doesn’t make you feel like shit. I really don’t think there is any point me sugar-coating it…I would just be lying to myself and to you guys.
Life with an ostomy bag can be, well, crap to be honest. There can be days where my bag just leaks and leaks, or my stoma stops working together. There can be nights where I am woken up 10 times as endless amounts of weird-looking food (that I seriously don’t remember eating) make their way out of the hole, filling the bag to the point of explosion. And don’t get me started on gas…no, seriously don’t get me started on it!
So, during my six months living with my ostomy I have been humiliated in hospitals and at airport security, had a few very painful experiences with sweetcorn and some
unfortunate leaks in the centre of town. I’ve also had the added problem of my mucus fistula – or second stoma. I’ve yet to find a pair of jeans that don’t cut off Winnie’s circulation, and I have moments where I look in the mirror and truly miss my old body…But would I change having an ostomy? NO…not for anything in the world!!!
Yes, I am being serious. I am proud of my ostomy, I am proud of my stoma, and I am proud to call myself an ostomate. Would I tell someone about it on a first date if I was single, I can’t honestly say that I would, but many people don’t tell potential partners about their kids for god’s sake!
The first time I showed my ostomy to the world Dr Christian Jesson retweeted it to all of his hundreds of thousands of followers and my blog went global. The support I got was unbelievable. No one said URGH or EWH – there was no hate, no disgust, just a heck of a lot of support. It was overwhelming.
So to celebrate World Ostomy Day here she is – six months on, my problematic stoma, who can be both stubborn, rebellious and down right cruel. But she also saved my life and stopped me living in constant pain. So cheers to you Winnie, and cheers to all the ostomates out there. You are brave to just comprehend the idea of having a stoma let alone putting up with the day in day out challenge of living with one. I raise my glass to you all…we made it through the surgery and we shouldn’t hide in shame…why should we, we survived and we are all stronger people for doing it. I hope you will join me by wearing your ostomy with pride today to show the world that we have nothing to be scared or ashamed of!
Ok, so I wish I’d known before today, when I saw it on twitter, that it was world ostomy day, I would have done something really special to spread awareness. But, I guess this will have to do, oh and having our house party to celebrate my surgery and Andy moving in – which wouldn’t have been possible without Winnie because of my
So, if you don’t have an ostomy that’s all it is! It’s just a little pink lump on the outside of my body – it’s not minging, it’s not gross and it’s definitely nothing to be ashamed of. It is a lifesaving and life changing operation. Yes I poo in a bag, but it’s just poo and you do it to…so what’s the problem. In fact mine is more controlled than yours!
I’m proud to be an ostomate, and although you can’t tell I have a stoma with my clothes on, I will never deny or hide that I have an ostomy. Why should I???