Being a girl who focused on having a flat stomach, a stoma was a nuisance. Now, don’t get me wrong, I welcomed my ileostomy with open arms knowing that it would lead me on to a better life. And even though my ostomy was a bit awkward, I was still beautiful. While I was in the hospital I had multiple friends visit me, one even poked my stoma through the bag. My girlfriends made me feel so great. But at the time, I was dating a new guy. He, unlike my friends, could not handle my stoa. You know that terrified shriek you hear in horror movies? That’s the sound he made every time he even caught a glimpse of Stan, my stoma. As a 16 year old girl, that was self-esteem killer. So I did what I needed to, I booted him. I was not going to let another dictate how well I looked. I have pictures of my removed colon and my old stoma on my phone (talk about a conversation starter). My friends and strangers love seeing them! In the words of a fellow teenager, “Duuuuude. That’s cool!” They knew what I looked like under my bag and they loved it! There will always be people who describe ostomies as disgusting; my ostomy was not, nobodys is. Stan, the stoma, gave me my beautiful life back and he deserves that praise. A toast to stomas! Now I have reversed my stoma to continue life as a J-Poucher. Although I’ll admit my “dirty” wound has some less than pretty qualities, I can’t wait to show off my scars. As I’ve seen before, “scars are just tattoos with stories.”

What to expect when you’re expecting… with an ostomy Chronically Inspired

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  1. Amy says:

    so how is everything with your j-pouch?? I’m currently waiting for mine to heal so I can have the reversal surgery for my j-pouch.

  2. Andee says:

    I love my j-pouch!! At first, I was going every two hours and I thought I made a mistake but now, I barely go. I wouldn’t change my decision for anything. But some advice? Don’t eat spicy food. Let’s just say it BURNS.

  3. Amy says:

    how long was it before you became “normal” again.. like without going every 2 hours.. and that really bites about the spicy foods because I live in South Louisiana and we love spicy lol, but I know it’ll be 100% better than having UC. your story is inspiring btw!

  4. ivana says:

    Wow, what an amazing outlook on stomas, iliostomys and life in general:) I have a question for you ans even your doctor?

  5. Andee says:

    About two weeks after my surgery I made it through my first night without waking up. I still have to hold tight! But I can hold it way better.Once your body gets used to its new little friend, you can practically eat whatever but I learned the hard that chili peppers two weeks post op is a no no. I’m slowly introducing hot stuff into my diet and it works just fine 🙂 you’ll be back on that hot Louisiana food train in no time!

  6. Andee says:

    Thank you 🙂 I hope to make half the difference in somebody’s life as this group has done in mine. Any questions are welcome!

  7. Amy says:

    thank you!! I’ll def keep in touch (: good luck with everything!!

  8. Bonnie A. Shockey says:

    OMGosh! Thirty and a half years ago, on a Friday the 13th, September 1985, at the age of 35, I had a collectomy due to ulcerative colitis that I had since the age of 25. Two surgeries later and 29 years ago, on April 15, 1986, my S-pouch was connected. I’ve had very little contact or conversations with anyone else with pull-through pouches, but have been a sounding block for friends and acquaintances with colitis, ulcerative colitis and IBD. My first reaction to finding this story onFB was a flood of emotions, which I haven’t experienced for many, many years. I am a multiple, auto-immune person and also have MS. As the “grandmother,” figuratively and literally, in this conversation thread, life goes on. “YOU” are in charge. What your life becomes, is up to you. I’m a certified Jacki’s Aerobic Dancing instructor, certified Jacki’s personal coach, the president & CEO of my local hometown museum, do ballroom dancing with my husband, and love to play with my grandchildren. Life is good!

  9. Amy says:

    this is very inspiring!! I’m currently in recovery but to hear all the extra stuff you do and that a normal life is in the future with exercise makes me super happy! thank you SO much for sharing!!

  10. Debra W says:

    You are such a strong person! Kudo’s!

  11. Samie says:

    I’m having my surgery today and the nurse advised I check out this site. I have to say after 5 years of being treated like a lab rat to treat a rare form of panenteric dysmotility (colovisceral myopathy) I know feel much more positive. I am 27 years of age and have a 7 year old son. I have had no quality of life for the past 5 years and am hopeful to get some of that back with my stoma. I hope it all goes well and will keep you posted. Thanks so much for your blog it’s made me feel confident that I will be able to live my life again xxx

  12. Avi says:

    My name is Avi, I’m 50yrs old and getting an ileostomy in a few weeks. Suffered for 17years bouncing off and on Prednisone, missed out on life is an understatement! Hope and pray all goes well with surgery and healing. Im ecstatic about the the site and being able to find support from people that truly understand what UC is and life with it. Thank you for being there for All of us fellow UCrs!!

  13. Brittany says:

    I am scheduled to have a Total abdominal colectomy next friday. Needless to say I am super nervous. I will be 28 years old the day after surgery and have 3 children. I am worried about everything going well and about how I will adapt to the new diet/ bowl habits. I know it has to be done, but still kinda scared.

  14. Bonnie says:

    Good afternoon Brittany, First of all, I’m so sorry that you have to go through a colectomy but you will feel so much healthier afterwards. You won’t be waiting for remissions to cease and be back in a relapse. You won’t have to know where all the public bathrooms are and many more things. Are you having an internal pull-through pouch procedure done?
    September 13, 2015 was my 30 year anniversary for my colectomy. Just this past Tuesday, January 6, 2016, was the 30 year anniversary of the first part of my pull-through pouch procedure and April 14 will be 30 years since the second and final part of the pouch surgery was done. Although “things” haven’t been perfect I would never change any surgery choices that I made 30 years ago. Everyone’s body heals and adjusts differently than the next person. You’ll be on your own schedule. You will have to practice patience.

    You will not be what happens to you. You will be what you choose to become. You are in control.

    As I said on this page 1 1/2 years ago, I’ve done and accomplished so much over the past 30 years: I’m a certified Jacki’s Aerobic Dancing instructor, certified Jacki’s personal coach, the president & CEO of my local hometown museum, do ballroom dancing with my husband, and love to play with my grandchildren. I hope this has somewhat eased your mind and fears. It takes a strong woman to get through bowel disease so I know that you have the strength and fortitude to get through your surgery and back on your feet. Please let me know how you’re doing…

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