Eight months ago today I had surgery to remove the whole of my large intestine.
It’s been a busy and at times stressful 8 months but throughout it all I remind myself that life with an ileostomy bag is SO MUCH EASIER than life with Ulcerative Colitis!
There have been good times and bad in the past few months, I have traveled to Vietnam and Australia and I have faced difficulties with developing a hernia and making the decision to go ahead with pouch surgery.
They tell you it can help to deal with the process of having a stoma to name it, my sister came up with the name Barack Ostoma which I think is brilliant, because my stoma, like me, is no regular boring one, it is an all singing, all dancing bad ass!!
In 11 days I will have my pouch surgery and wave goodbye to Barack, and though this feels like the right decision for me I will be ever grateful to these 8 months of living with an ileostomy bag, not only has it allowed me to come off all the many meds I was taking, but it has rid me of all the awful symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis that I had suffered with for ten years.
It did something else though, it made me reassess the things that were important to me, the way I see myself and the way I want to live my life. It made me a more confident person and it gave me the opportunity to share my story with all you dear readers, to make a difference to people with IBD, to raise awareness in the general public and to push myself into making decisions to speak in public and put myself out there as a mouthpiece for those suffering and living with chronic diseases.
It has made me a better person.
So on my 8 month stomaversary, I raise a glass to everyone living with a stoma, dealing with IBD or anyone living with chronic illness. You all kick arse, you are braver than you think, stronger than you can imagine and are so bad ass.