I would like to acknowledge that the thought of stoma surgery can be a scary one, lots of questions running through your mind constantly, a lot of negative thoughts come in there too, usually because you have heard somewhere that having a stoma is no life. Positive and negative press has your mind in turmoil not knowing which way to turn.
You have heard that they smell and you can’t go out anywhere, only old people have them. What will people think ? Will they be revolted by it?
These feelings are perfectly normal for us all and I am pleased to say they are unfounded. Some of us that have a stoma advocate to change the stigma surrounding life with a stoma and prove to everyone that life goes on, mostly a life better than before. There are some challenging times but nothing that can’t be eased with the help from stoma nurses / consultants / online forums / stoma charities.
Having a stoma doesn’t smell, no one can smell it on you, it is very concealable so no one notices if you don’t want them too. Even swimwear can make it invisible. If you do have issues, they CAN be solved with the right help, and there is help out there.
Any chronic illness can cause depression and anxiety, so that can alter the way you perceive the way things will turn out, this in turn will make things ten times worse than they actually are. I was like this pre surgery and everything seemed so awful and scary.
I can honestly say that I wish I had been offered the surgery sooner, it really has improved my self esteem and my health and I can assure you that life with a stoma is not the horrible one that you imagine.