I can’t quite believe it’s been six months since my surgery. Having only expected to have a stoma for four months, these two extra months have pretty much gone by unnoticebale. I can’t say they’ve been easy though.. I think I’ve managed well, and I definitely adapted quickly. I’ve learned how to accept my body, I’ve accepted my change in weight and for once been grateful to my change in appearrance.
After having an emergency surgery for a stoma, I thought my world had ended. I was such an insecure person, I was convinced I’d want to hide away forever. But I can’t have dealt with it more differently. I got over my fear of judgement and showed myself off for the world to see. I got some negative, but mainly a postive response overrall and accepted that nobody would ever share the same opinion. But suddenly, the opinion of the outside world didn’t matter to me. Oddly enough, I became the person I’d always feared of acknowledging. I became confident.
Isn’t that funny? How I’d spent my whole life worrying about my image. Worrying about my weight; for it to eventually take the mentally deemed unacceptable to face the ultimate acception. An acception that has allowed me to live a normal life.
My loved ones feared for my mental health in the beginning, concerned as to how I’d deal with such a change to my body. I definitely surprised them when I started this blog, and opened up to what became a wide audience. In fact, I surprised myself. What started out to be an open recovery diary eventually became an insight to my life. A passion to help others and to raise awareness. It gave me meaning. It allowed me to do what I love most for a living – writing. It’s let me meet and work with some truly amazing and inspiring people. I am so grateful for all the support I have received over the last 6 months.
But for me, I feel I’m ready to continue with my journey, by taking a slightly different path. I have decided to have a reversal.
I am filled with many different emotions as I write this, but after a lot of thought, I feel I am ready to say goodbye to my stoma. It has been an experience I’ll never forget. One that honestly, I’d never have wanted but one that I’ll always be grateful for. It saved my life and showed me a different side to living. It changed me as a person. I am more truthful to myself and others around me and I feel I have learnt to be a better person. I have subsided any judgement and experienced the passion of helping others.
Lately though, I feel my mental health has deteriorated a little. As summer has approached, my ostomy bag has become uncomfortable and I have been dealing with a lot of leaks and burnt skin. I have become agitated from lack of sleep from the emptying of the bag and to be quite honest with you, I miss not having to wear support pants all the time, to fit into the clothes I didn’t want to throw away. I cry a lot when changing the bag because I am an impatient person, and my stoma is extremely active, meaning I’m getting through a lot of bags a day. There’s a number of reasons for me opting for reversal, but I can honestly tell you now that my appearrance is on the bottom of this list. Of course, I miss my old scar free stomach, but lets face it, my scars are going to sit on my abdomen for the rest of my life, and I shall forever be proud of them.
It’s important to remember that stomas are lifesaving. And I do not regret a single ounch of what my stoma has given me. It taught me everything I know now. It taught me what’s important. Love, family and happiness. It’s really not about making a lot of money and being the best at your job – I can tell you that for a fact. As I was rushed into theatre for emergency surgery, the only thing on my mind was to make sure I told every person in that room I loved them, in case I didn’t make it. I wasn’t thinking about anything else but love. And now, I will do everything I can to make sure everyone important to me knows that they are loved.
My reversal could go one of two ways. It could be great and I could live a long, comfortable life. I could get sick again and end up having a more major surgery. I could have issues conceiving naturally, but that may be a possibility with my stoma also. But, all of these ‘coulds’ are not a definite. And I can’t live life being scared of “what if”. I need to live with an open mind and take risks.
I will be continuing with my blog, and updating you as I approach reversal surgery. I am awaiting another date with my surgeon to agree on a date for the reversal, and will let you know how I am as time goes on.
I hope to keep writing over the next coming weeks, to document my last couple of months with my stoma. I will continue to work with charities and connecting with those going through a similar situation. I hope to have helped even just a few people over the last 6 months, and to continue helping as I continue on my journey. I think it’s important I keep writing, to relieve myself of unwanted stress and to keep myself sane. I want to document my reversal and my life afterwards. I hope to compare, and be some sort of indication to others struggling to make a choice between ostomy and reversal.
I still have some really exciting projects and charity events coming up, and will be selecting a date that allows me to complete what I see as an experience of a life time.
Thank you for all your kind words, support and lovely messages. Thank you for reading into my life and taking an interest in me. And most importantly, thank you for helping me love myself. I hope you’ll stick by me through the words of my next surgery experience. x