When will all this feel normal?

Hi everyone! I'm 30 days in from my ileostomy surgery and I'm really pleased with some of my progress: I can change my bag without feeling faint, I'm walking to the shops and I'm managing to talk about my stoma with my friends and joke about it. But, I don't feel normal. It takes so much time (bag changes, managing the high output, hydration, finding clothes that don't show the bag, eating the right things, chewing well - heck, I can't even sleep like I used to). How long did it take before you all felt like your life didn't revolve around your bag? And how do I learn to feel like me again? I think, for the first time, I feel a like I'm disabled. I don't feel young, or attractive, or carefree. How do I reclaim myself?
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  • Hi Naomi. You are doing super well. You should know that there are so many people who are afraid to leave their home for up to 4 months after having ileostomy surgery. So you're doing great. I got my ileostomy and stoma (nicknamed Reset) on August 8, 2016. It took a while for me. I used to wonder if people could see my pouch. I found that high-waisted pants are ideal - they sit above the top of my pouch and prevent any bulging etc. I race bikes, so getting into my spandex was a challenge - but guess what - no one could see my pouch. With time, you'll forget that you have a pouch. And like John says, with time you'll learn what you can and can't eat and how to eat the day or night before you change your pouch. I found that if I tuck my pouch into my pyjama bottoms, I sleep much better. Sleeping on your side can help reduce the ballooning effect. You're only 30 days in to this new normal - so be patient with it. Sending you a big hug. 

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