Introduction to the Bag Lady Mama (Part 1)
What you cant tell just by looking at me is I have Crohn's disease. It took a lot to get to a diagnosis. No one believed me and I had to fight for the diagnosis. I was told it was impossible for me to all of a sudden become lactose intolerant. I was told it was all in my head and that I was a drama queen.
The morning before my diagnosis via a colonoscopy and endoscopy, my mother made me my "last supper" of bacon, eggs and fried chorizo.... As you can imagine, the moment it touched my stomach, it came straight back up....
For 8 years they tried everything to get me into remission but my Crohn's disease was too severe and I didn't respond to any of the medications. I remember the drive to my final doctors appointment. It was a 4 hours drive and I drove it the whole way in tears. I cried and I prayed that if there was a god he would either stop punishing me slowly and end my life now or give me the surgery - I just couldn't take it anymore!
I think the powers that be heard me. At my doctors appointment he told me that there wasn't anything else that they could do and it was now time to have the surgery. October 12th 2006 at 22 I had my first bowel resection. They took 6kgs of diseased bowel.
Recovery from surgery is a slow process. You have good and bad days and if you were anything like me and a few of my female friends - you probably got your period too just to add to the sh*t lol. And you have a new body that I have to get to know. But I was 22 now and I was going to finally be able to live my life. I was nervous but very excited. Weird I know, but I was excited for the new me! I was more nervous than my best friend who wheeled me into theatre!
I was excited to be able to be functional again! I wanted to live like a “normal” 22 year old but up until this point I hadn't be able to because the disease had left me a recluse. I was hopeful that having a bag wouldn't be anywhere near as bad as the life that I'd been living.
Was I afraid of living with a bag and finding love with a bag? I had an Aunty who had a bag for Ulcerative Colitis who told me that no one would ever love me with a bag! I just couldn't believe it and I didn't let her words get to me. To me I was going to live with the motto that my surgery would 'cut out all the assh*les in my life!' ;P I knew that the man I'd find to love me would be spectacular and would love me despite my baggage! Someone had to love me, right?! I was worthy of loving just like everyone else!
Being marked up for my brand new stoma was very well thought out. We picked a spot across from my belly button. Id never been a belly showing girl so it didn't need to be low down.
My first memory of seeing my stoma for the first time with my stomal nurse, she told me that I had the cutest little stoma that they'd ever seen - I thought they were batsh*t crazy!
My life started from that moment.
I was so scared of this weird looking stoma and thought I would hurt it while cleaning it and for the first few years, I'd change my bag daily! Now... errrr, I'm a bit more lazy ;P 1-2 times a week depending on necessity! haha
After my surgery I moved to Greece and lived there for 3 years. I moved for a Greek man and although it didn't work out, I stayed. I also lived in London for a period of time and did some modeling for a fashion show for people with Ostomies.
That was probably a massive turning point for me. I met my soul sister who showed me an even bigger side to living with an ostomy! She opened my mind and life to a 2 piece and granny panties!!!!
Not long after returning from Greece, I met my husband Shannon at work. He likes to say he was my boss, but he wasn’t…
To Be Continued.....
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