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?
  • Hi Naomi, It will happen. I think you will one day look back and say that 2019 was not the best year you have had. But let me tell you, everything will get better. I think you need the year. You will get better at managing everything. You will learn what you can and can't eat. My advice on that is to be cautious and conservative with diet and when you reach the best outcome you can manage, then you can reintroduce things you like bit by bit. Your friends have already accepted you and they don't want you to apologise to them all the time for noises etc. Don't worry too much about other people. I have had a stoma for 10 years now and about the only place i am wary about is the theatre/cinema because everyone is so quiet. I won't try to comment on appearance. I think most men probably cope a bit better with not worrying about how they look than women do but for you, there is lots of advice out there. Good luck!!


  • Thank you for your thoughtful reply - I agree, 2019 might not be my year! It's really good hearing from people who have dealt with this and are managing well :-)
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