Is it worth it? An ostomy
Last updated: August 2019
You may have Crohn's or colitis, but not everyone with IBD has an ostomy.
Those who have an ostomy needed one. Most likely they have it to save their lives. Saving your life doesn't always mean that you were on your death bed. Sometimes you just don't have a quality of life; don't have a life at all.
I know that Crohn's is all consuming
If you have Crohn's, you are probably spending every single moment, waking or sleeping moments, on the toilet. Between life (what of it you have) and responsibilities, you spend time balancing that fine line between self-care and painful times.
The hairs on your head hurt. Your body aches. You can only sleep on one side. You only get a split second of relief between finishing your poo and the poison returning to your body. The poison you can feel return moves throughout your body.
People at work are sick of you being sick. They're angry at you but want to be supportive. People who love you place their fears on you. They tell you that you will never find someone to love you and you will never be able to leave the house if you "choose" to have surgery.
Don't you just love it when people assume that having surgery is a choice? Do they think that you chose to have Crohn's too?!
Fear of what life will be like after surgery
Fear of the unknown or fear of what life will look like if you have surgery and require an ostomy can be all-consuming. It can make you, your loved ones, and even the professionals you see, scared. They will place it on you. You might even take it as gospel.
But what if I told you that they are wrong!
Well, sometimes they're not completely wrong, but generally and fundamentally they are.
Your life will not end by having an ostomy. Your life will begin again.
Because what life are you currently living? What existence do you have now? Are you living life to the fullest? What does that full life even look like? Do you spend more time off the toilet than on? And by on, I mean only 1-2 times a day?
What do your pain levels look like? How often do you realize you're covered in sweat?
How often do you leave your house? What precautions do you take when leaving the house? How many times do you track where the next toilet is?
What's life with an ostomy like?
Well, I don't think about where the toilets are. I'm employed, I have sick leave (yep!!!), I'm able to sleep a whole night, I'm able to take those risks without paying for it. There's nothing I cannot do anymore.
There are a few adjustments and occasionally some bumps in the road. Entering this journey without fear holding you back will be what leads you with an open mind and open heart.
Anything is possible with Faith. It doesn't have to be religious, but it's even better. It's faith in yourself. A willingness to put yourself forward.
Having an ostomy is worth it. Anything is better than an IBD flare. Even if it's just to press pause on the control of the disease on your life.
Does living with IBD impact you financially?