My Physician had just come inside the room and woke me. He explained “the surgical procedure was a success ” I became bewildered at this time. It was 6:00 in the evening and I was in my room in the Hospital. I fell back asleep and woke up the nest day. At this time things slowly became crystal clear. I wasn’t experiencing pain but my tummy was miserable. I was fearful to take a look beneath my medical gown. I made the decision it could actually wait. I had other stuff to cope with I needed to get better from this surgery.
IBD patients may experience spontaneous improvements and relapses. However, we do not know what induces or triggers a change in the degree of inflammation in the intestines. Despite intensive research, we cannot say for certain what environmental factors may trigger the disease initially or may result in exacerbations once the disease is established.
The registered nurse came in later on in the morning to evaluate my wounds from the surgical procedure and determine how my stoma appeared. The surgical procedure I had the day before ended up being to take out the large bowel, resection and create an ileostomy. The nurse wanted me to observe the stoma and also to start to become accustomed to my new adnominal shape.
Now I had a pouch externally of my body gathering waste material. It turned out way too much to cope with. One year prior I had been running, doing yoga exercise and dumbbells to get eliminate the five lbs I could truthfully not get rid of ever since the delivery of my child. This put all of that in perspective. I explained to the health professional I didnt wish to see it. She cleaned out the stoma and changed the pouch. She explained the stoma was inflammed and would adjust in dimensions considerably over the following months. I didn’t pay attention, I possibly could not.
The following day the nurse came to evaluate me. She wasn’t likely to change the pouch if it was on safely and securely. Detaching the pouch to frequently could potentially cause skin irritability. This is sometimes a big problem of ostomies. I was healing and I was growing more robust in physical form ever day. Six days following my surgery I was advised I was able to return home the very next day. Having said that, in order to do so I was required to learn to remove and put on a whole new pouch appliance as the healthcare professionals referred to it as with the ileostomy. . Six days after my Crohn’s surgery and simply for the reason that I wished to go home I looked down. I became mortified and started to cried.
How was I ever going to have the capacity to change the pouch. I observed the nurse as she demonstrated step-by-step how you can cleanse the stoma, cut the correct size wafer( where the pouch attaches) and apply the bag. She needed me to make it happen and I claimed I wasn’t feeling very well. I was permitted to go home as planned. I was told to go home with my ostomy products along with a scheduled visit from the visiting nurse.
I had been home for several days and nights when the visiting nurse showed up. She had tolerant with me when I cried. I wasn’t completely ready to handle the ostomy. She permitted this to go for a handful of appointments. Around her third visit, or three weeks post surgery, emerged an challenging time. The nurse explained to me that our HMO wasn’t planning to cover anymore appointments and that I was without any help after today. She oversaw me as I clumsily went through the the steps and changed my ostomy pouch the very first time. I was now to the next phase. I became capable for keeping the stoma cleansed plus the pores and skin healthy and balanced now I wanted to handle the entire body image challenges. I thought this was the tough part.
My partner will never face it, but he was terrified of the ostomy. Basically if I was required to change the appliance he would run out of the area. His actions afflicted me with a feeling there was a little something wrong with me. It was the summer months and I wouldn’t put on a bathing suit or shorts. I became extremely envious of what I considered ordinary folks going swimming at the beach. I had created issues I need to to cope with.
I began to reach out on-line to the ostomy community. I read a great number of stories of men and women with crohn’s disease coping with ostomies. I stumbled upon individuals like Rob Hill with ostomies that claimed the Himalayas , run marathons, and do anything.
I decided to learn as much possible on ostomy. It helped. I began to wear shorts and even exercise. I was transforming or rather becoming myself.
However, my husband was not. I believe the ostomy is much like the do not ask do not tell. People cannot imagine having one and do not want to speak about it. That is fine for most friends, but when you want intimacy it is not OK. I broke down and confronted my husband.
He admitted, he thought it was ugly. It was huge. I was upset, but how could I be upset if I thought the same thing a few short months ago. We began to communicate. He needed to be as comfortable with the ostomy as me. We began with him staying in the room while I changed the pouch.
I explained what the wipe, powder and wafer was all about. It was working. My husband had a sense that this was not bad and in his artistic mind interesting. It was a great start to an awareness of my sense of self, along with his fear of my body and his greater fear of my death from cancer and how the ostomy fit in and saved my life. The ostomy was a good thing!
1. Be patient with yourself
2. Seek help. Along with the IDEAS website has great Ostomy tips.
3. Communicate with your family and friends; they can be as scared as you
4. Reach out and join support groups
5. Exercise. This give you a sense of strength and better body image
6. Dress up! Put the sweat pants away