Showing You My Stoma – What Sits Beneath My Ileostomy Bag

Looking at your Ileostomy Bag can be a hard thing in itself, but what about what’s underneath?

Today I’m going to be brave and write about my stoma. It’s a hard thing for me, because although I feel confident with my bag, I don’t feel completely the same about my stoma. I’m not totally sure what to make of it.

I remember that it saved my life, and I know that with my stoma, I am in no pain. But at only 19 years old, when I’m still growing up and accepting my body as it is, I find it hard to convince myself that it’s okay all the time. That it doesn’t matter to me that my body is somewhat different to so many girls my age.

In this post, I’m going to take a huge step and reveal what sits under my ileostomy bag, day in day out. I’m fully aware that some people aren’t so accepting. I understand that my stoma is not going to be so pleasing to the eye for some people, and I get it, some people are just down right squeamish.

I was the same at first, I hated it. I looked at it and wanted to cry. In fact, it took me a good 3 weeks to even look at my stoma. I insisted my mum help me change my stoma bag just so that I didn’t have to look at it. I’d place my hands over my eyes and try not to cry whilst she did it, apologising frantically for the fact that she had to look at it herself.

But, this is me. This is my body. You don’t have to accept it, but I do. And it’s important that I do, in some way. It’s so easy posting pictures with my bag, but this? Not so much. This is personal, and this is intimate, and this is a big change to my body.

I’ve envied girls with beautiful, flat stomachs the whole of my life. And my belly is beautiful too, just a little different. I think it’s important to remember that everyone is different in some way. Everyone has something that makes them unique. And I guess for me, this is one of those things.

So, here it is, here’s my little stoma. Here’s the thing that makes me unique. Here’s the thing that has impacted my living. Here’s the thing that thrusts upon me so much emotion. Here’s the thing that has saved my life.

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I cried before I decided to write this, because I still felt like I hadn’t been completely honest to myself about my situation. And I’m shaking as I write this post, and in two minds of whether to publish or not, as I can’t determine the reactions this piece is going to receive.

But, it’s important that I do this, to continue my journey of recovery.

I’m not asking you to tell me I’m beautiful, and I’m not going to argue the fact that everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

But in my opinion? I’m still beautiful. My body is still beautiful. And I hope others with a stoma can feel beautiful too. No matter how long it takes to get there.

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11 thoughts on “Showing You My Stoma – What Sits Beneath My Ileostomy Bag

  1. stacey williams says:

    Hi hattie,
    I went to the same school as you, and lived in perworth…. and when i first came across your blog i felt over whelmed with emotion for you!!

    After working as a carer and seeing a few ladies with a stoma it sort of becomes like a second nature to me….

    The life saving and life changing affects it has on your life are beautiful!!

    Cant believe how amazingly open you are about your highs and your lows. That in itself makes you such an inspierable lady!!

    Well done for publishing this and stay strong but remember its ok to cry 😍 xxx

    Like

  2. Lisa Davies says:

    Your stoma is lovely, it’s neat and perfect and your tattoo is awesome. Be proud of your journey and the fact that you made it through and were able to do this. I have stoma envy now. Mine is crap compared to yours! 😉

    Like

  3. toni says:

    Hattie u r so brave and so inspiring to so many people it’s unreal . Ur doing an awesome job with ur blog girl keep it up. Every word ur writing is helping others … Ur mum must be so so soooo proud of u …. No…. She is sooooo proud of u
    Lots of love
    Xxxxxxx

    Like

  4. Chris Medcalf says:

    Well done, you! …for doing this post. Too many ‘anomilies’ in people’s lives are still taboo but, I hope with people like you, this will change.
    And as to whether its attractive…’beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ – YOU are gorgeous (looks and I imagine personality) and any worthwhile suitor accepts each of us for what we are…
    For me…it saved your life? …wow, reason enough for you, and anyone who loves you, to be pleased/grateful for it. All the very best, kiddo. x

    Like

  5. Sam Cairns says:

    You are beautiful and so is your stoma you obviously take very good care of it. You are very brave for posting this and bringing attention to a hidden issue, those with stomas should never feel that they need to hide! Your body works just in a different way to most that’s all. Thank you xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Like

  6. Nicole Vettise says:

    more power to you girl! Your and inspiration. I have a bowel disease and at some point may end up with a stoma. Im petrified of that day.
    At least I know im not the only one
    X

    Like

  7. megangurr says:

    I admire you so much for writing this blog. I love people who aren’t afraid to show others how they are coping with something that other people can’t even imagine. You’re doing such a great job and I really hope you recover tremendously, because you deserve to with what you’ve dealt with in the past month or so. Keep it up! 🙂
    xx

    Like

  8. Lorraine says:

    Your are beautiful, and an inspiring person. I have a pubicbone catheter and I’m having trouble excepting it myself. Haveing to deal with it is hard for me and I wish I had your attitude but sadly I feel so ugly I’m sure that one day I will get there and reading your storie ha made me realise that it’s my own self confidence. Thank you for sharing Hattie x

    Like

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