How long did it take you to accept your ostomy bag?

Aug 26, 2020 4:11 am

Hi gang,

I noticed something the other day when I was cutting up some trees that fell recently from the nutty weather we've been having. I got done cleaning my chainsaw and was ready to jump in the pool when I realized I'd forgotten to check my bag in some time! Being short-gutted, I normally check it every few minutes by quickly feeling my bag under my shirt with my hand.......but using a chainsaw is a two-hand job and you have to stay I didn't check my bag. What's remarkable here is that my bag is always on my this was different. And I find myself not checking it as often now.......which means I'm getting comfortable having the damn thing and confident that I understand my bowel habits. It means I'm starting to accept that the vinyl/plastic appendage hanging off my abs is really part of me. I'm starting to own it. I didn't think I'd ever be able to do this.......but I guess I was wrong. It's only been 6 years (in mid-September) since I got my how long did it take you to own yours?



Aug 26, 2020 7:41 am

Hello Bob.

Thanks for this post, which got me reminiscing the early days. I am sorry to say that in those days, I did not take much notice of my stoma when I had other things to occupy my mind. (including chainsawing!) This led to all sorts of problems which arose through neglecting what was important. I suppose part of my 'problem' was that I looked forward to having my stoma, after all the problems that had gone before, so I 'elected' to have one  and therefore 'owned it' from the outset. 

Best wishes


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Aug 26, 2020 12:14 pm

I have been here for a year and a half. I still don't own it. Lol getting better.

ron in mich
Aug 26, 2020 1:07 pm

Hi all, I would say I owned it after I was released from the hospital, when the nurse came into the hospital room with the surgeon and told him I had changed it myself. He said, "Let him go home." The funny part was that he asked me if I noticed waking up with morning wood. He was worried about me being young (35) and if he ruined my sex life.

Past Member
Aug 26, 2020 2:24 pm

I owned my stoma from day 1. LOL! I've been around ostomies all my life. They're just as normal as having a colon to me, and I've owned my own since I was 19... TBH, I don't even think about it unless I'm on this group.

Stories of Living Life to the Fullest from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Aug 26, 2020 6:51 pm

I've had this for so long, it's impossible for me to say when I finally recognized it as part of me.  My surgery was in 1964 (I'm as old as dirt), and the appliance I was given to wear would be a relic today and not something anyone would want to wear.  But my guess is that it took me at least five years before I finally adapted to it as something as normal as my right arm.  As far as advice and preparation for having it, I got zilch.  That certainly affected the length of time it took me to accept it. 

Aug 26, 2020 8:17 pm

One of the happiest times post stoma surgery was when I was raking and bagging leaves for over an hour never once thinking about my new plumbing.  I hadn't gone more than a minute or two in the past.  My stoma and the appliance were always on my mind and any other thoughts had to squeeze their way in and get out of the way quickly.  Now, there I was looking at 4 huge bags of leaves and almost wondering how they got there.  Once I recognized I was able to function for some time without dwelling on the thing, my life changed. Don't lknow how long this took but it certainly wasn't overnight.


Past Member
Aug 26, 2020 10:36 pm

Owned mine in hospital too...just one lesson about the whole works,

then it was supervised except when there was a leak or something then they'd

help out..I had an incision to pack and dress daily the nursing home, they

were a bit less strict, did get more help from nurses...

Past Member
Aug 26, 2020 11:21 pm

I owned mine from the outset too, I had been so unwell with Crohn's for many years before the op it was such a relief to be free from constant chronic pain, nausea, and discomfort, made the difference between just "existing" and actually "living".

I was lucky to have heaps of information beforehand from a fellow ileostomate plus an excellent no-nonsense stoma nurse so I felt confident about the whole situation from the get-go.

Might be a male thing with constantly checking it perhaps?! You guys always seem to be checking (or adjusting) any outward appendages at the best of times! "I don't know how you guys walk around with those things!" LOL!

Doesn't matter what the situation there is always a Seinfeld quote that applies (well, in my head anyway)!

Aug 27, 2020 5:36 pm

Hey Bob, good question, but actually I'm just leasing mine!! Ha ha.

Aug 27, 2020 6:20 pm

Hey bro,

I owned my "unique and different way of plumbing" the day I realized I was still on this side of the grass and when I walked out of the hospital after an 8-hour operation by my family doctor and colorectal surgeon - who just happened to be a former student of mine. "Good thing I passed him - eh!"

The difference was that "it" had to get used to me, rather than me getting used to "it." That's the way I roll.

I could have had a reversal and still can, but Doc said that if all is going well, why add more scar tissue to the operation scene. Doc reiterated that he would only revisit the surgery site if there was an emergency. Plus, he was very firm on the fact that he would never do any reversal until at least one year has gone by - for healing purposes and said the success rate is as controversial as it is an individual choice. He also teaches at our Medical University in Edmonton. I trust him.

So, I forgot about the reversal as I am doing everything I did now as I did before the operation. I can s### and shop at the same time - hey - and even fish. Irrigation has been a wonderful option and bonus for me.

Sis - K.

Aug 27, 2020 11:31 pm

Ha ha, good answer!  Yes, I see your point.  If I was leasing mine, I'd just miss a few payments and make them repossess it!  Wouldn't that be nice??? 



Aug 28, 2020 9:33 pm

Hi Bob, interesting timing for me on this one. I have always been comfortable about being naked and getting the stoma didn't change that. My husband is used to seeing me naked with my opaque pouch. However, recently since developing the prolapse, the ostomy nurse recommended I start wearing a see-through pouch so I could really keep an eye on things. Well, that changed my habits and I became very self-conscious wearing something that showed my stoma in all its glory and the product of that accumulated at the bottom of the bag. Not a pretty sight. Last night, my husband came upstairs and surprised me as I was coming out of the bathroom naked. We had a brief conversation and then he turned and walked into the other room. I realized that not only was my stoma and poop on full display but he hadn't even looked at that region of my body. I was relieved but also realize it's become a part of me that I am so used to that I forget about it. I can't really say I am fully owning it because I'm waiting for surgery that will leave me with a temporary ileostomy. It's all wait and see for now.


Aug 29, 2020 2:27 pm


I think I owned it from the beginning. But did not stop thinking about it way too often. It did not come until I finally found the proper pouch system that worked best for me and irrigation, 3 months or so after surgery. With all of that, no more leaks so I don't think about it being there anymore. If I have gas or output at any time, it does bring my hand down on the pouch but I think that is more from the sensation than any worry.

Hope you forget about it more often!


Sep 02, 2020 10:49 pm

I've had since 2002, I still don't own it. I'm still in denial. BUT, I love being able to hear that you do accept, and maybe someday I will

Sep 02, 2020 11:57 pm

2.5 years and still do not own it!

Call her Enigma because I never know what she will do.

A constant worry, especially when I am teaching; state of fight or flight but I count my blessings. Still here to moan!


Sep 17, 2020 11:37 pm

Been thirty three years... I don't know where along the way it was accepted, maybe immediately given the alternative of death!! Still hanging in there through good and bad!