Seeking Connection and Hope as an Ostomate

Nick C
Sep 03, 2022 1:17 pm

Hi all, new here. Just like to say how honest and upfront you all are regarding your relationship issues. Since becoming an ostomate, I have spent a lot of time reading through all or most of the posts.

And can relate to all or most of them.

I do find it a bit depressing sometimes. I have a permanent stoma post-cancer for six months now.

And have had absolutely no opportunities to form a relationship with a woman, intimate or otherwise. As I have, like most of you, been focused on the challenges of life with a stoma.

I lost my wife of 40 years to cancer 2 years ago, and I miss the couple's life.

I have recently found myself becoming more and more introverted, a far cry from my previous life. As so many have already stated, I cannot see me getting into a new relationship unless it is with another ostomate or a stoma nurse. Not many 60-year-old stoma nurses that I know of, so I'm banking on another ostomate.

I know it is all about body image, which is shallow. I know, but I can't shake it off, and it is starting to depress me a little.

Sorry for the rant, but needed to say something to anyone who will listen.

And you lot are a kind of captive audience with a lot of experience.

Just need to know it's not all doom and gloom.

Thanks all, Nick

Sep 03, 2022 3:00 pm

My condolences on the passing of your wife, Nick. Losing her and then going through all you did medically, that must have been very difficult. Often we somehow manage to get through a challenging situation only to fall apart a little later. I know I'm not the only one who had that happen. But I don't think it's all doom and gloom because "this too shall pass." If you feel like it's becoming hard to get past, a good therapist can help. Hang in there and I'm sure you'll get more responses here.

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Why Join MeetAnOstoMate?

First off, this is a pretty cool site with 33,970 members. Get inside and you will see.

It's not all about ostomy. Everything is being discussed.

Many come here for advice or to give advice 🗣, others have found good friends 🤗, and there are also those who have found love 💓. Most of all, people are honest and truly care.

Privacy is very important - the website has many features that are only visible to members.

Create an account and you will be amazed.

Sep 03, 2022 3:49 pm

Hi Nick - thanks for your post. This is a fine group of estimates and they are helpful in many ways. Tune in and stay tuned and eventually you will at least feel like you have friends who can understand your feelings. Also, anonymity provides a degree of comfort/freedom to state your feelings. This is the first place I come when I need some stoma information, the come to Jesus eye-opening circumstances of other ostomates, and a bit of humor here and there.

Although I have yet to come to grips with this stoma of mine, I am in a much better place than I was early on in my journey thanks to this website. Yes, we all feel or have experienced the doom and gloom, but hopefully, time and a positive attitude will make it subside. Although I am married to a most wonderful man who has completely accepted my "new me," this does not change the fact that the journey inside our heads must be traveled with oneself. Time is key - give it time. Hugs, jb

Sep 03, 2022 7:01 pm

As a long-term person with a colostomy, I was married for over 20 years. After the divorce, I had two serious boyfriends and I am currently dating a new gentleman. None of the men had a colostomy. Give dating a chance. Most women or partners like to date folks who are clean, have fresh breath, clean teeth, neat clothes, clean shoes, and clean nails. They should also be able to pay their own way on dates, meaning they have a regular income. A good sense of humor, good communication skills, and a positive outlook on life are also important. Join a few dating sites and start talking to people, but take it very, very slow with texts within the dating site and then phone calls. Never ever send money or give any personal information about yourself until you meet the person and make sure they are real and you like them. But still, never loan or give money or pay for large expensive meals until you are in a relationship. Do not tell them about your ostomy unless you feel they are going to see you naked, but be very selective.

Your ostomy is only a small part of your body. Do not let it overtake your joy.

Nick C
Sep 04, 2022 11:26 am

Thank you for your wonderful responses.

I did not mean to come across as miserable. I have a very positive outlook most of the time, but every now and then I fall in a hole. I expect it is the same for most ostomates when you see the long road ahead.

Once again, thanks for the responses.

And positive feedback.



Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Sep 04, 2022 11:33 am

Hi Nick,

Welcome to the site. As you can see, already we are a friendly bunch of people from all over the world. So stop right there and repeat what I have just said. There are not many people who can say they have friends in every part of the world. How amazing is that? What you are going through is a normal response to what every one of us has gone through, some at the start, some midway through. So you are not alone in how you are feeling. It will get better with time, and you will find the person when you are ready. Just an old saying that I like to use, but so true: remember, Rome was not built in a day. XX

Sep 04, 2022 3:27 pm

You've been to hell and back over the last few years. I'm not surprised you have down days.

It's early days for you. Once you accept your stoma yourself, it won't be a problem in any relation. 99% of the problems come from the person with the ostomy pushing people away without even realizing it.

Use your hobbies to get out more and meet people to build your confidence back up. If you have the time, see if there are any 'man sheds' near you. They should change the name now, really. Women are welcome at them too. I've visited a few recently to do with work. I've found more women at them than men and lots of single ones too. They do various activities at them, chat away, make friends, and you never know what it may lead to. Plus, they're heated, so in these times, it cuts down on your own energy bills at home.

Sep 04, 2022 4:50 pm

Enlighten me, what's a "man shed"? Are they unique to the UK? I have not heard of them here in the US, but it sounds like a business opportunity for someone with some enthusiasm and entrepreneurial motivation - namely Alex.

Sep 04, 2022 5:25 pm
Reply to Justbreathe

Man shed or man cave. The place where men can get away and finally be right with everything they do. My whole house is a man shed nowadays. At least until the right woman decides I'm worth dealing with. Man shed.....

Sep 04, 2022 6:03 pm
Reply to Maried

You women expect a lot out of a guy.

Sep 04, 2022 7:32 pm
Reply to eefyjig

Sweet words.

Sep 04, 2022 11:05 pm
Reply to AlexT

Oh, I am familiar with man cave. We have one here - it's called the garage. Thought maybe "man shed" was like a local pub or something - not a bad name for a bar here in the old U.S. of A -

Man Shed

Get on that, Alex. Would probably attract men and perhaps some women looking for a good man!

Or maybe women would think it's a place to shed their current man! Either way, it works! LOL

Sep 05, 2022 3:48 am

To Nick, and to all the others out there starting or continuing life with an ostomy... I'm Marsha, and I've had my (permanent) ileostomy for almost 60 years... since I was a "kid" of 15... After 4 years of being in and out of hospitals, and out of school and things "social" due to ulcerative colitis, I embraced the idea of an ileostomy as a solution to my disease and isolation... Perhaps I would have been more apprehensive if my parents and doctors hadn't "thrown me to the wolves," by insisting I become active with the ostomy group in my area... I thought they'd all be "old people," but I actually met quite a few young adults and teens, and we started our own group... some of us dated, but most of them (college students) were experimenting with being involved with non-ostomates... So, although I had a community of "ostomate friends," I started socializing in my high school with many who didn't know I had the ostomy... As someone stated, you are more than just the "ostomy"... Just think about being social, get out there, try new things, go to meetups, or clubs, or use dating sites, to try out your renewed social and dating skills... I married at 20 (to a man who also had an ostomy... I met his mother at a fundraiser), but after 24 1/2 years of marriage and 2 children, we divorced... Despite having the same surgery, we were not really compatible... So there I was again, in my 40s and back to socializing and dating... I joined singles groups, went to dances and concerts, and began to travel with friends (who did not have ostomies)... It was more about having a social life, and by doing that, I met and dated some really nice men... The ostomy never really changed anything... The relationships just didn't lead to anything permanent... So here I am, 74, and am out socializing, meeting other singles... now that COVID isn't as dangerous... I wish you all the best of luck... Marsha...

Sep 05, 2022 12:21 pm

Hey Marsha - thanks for the boost! At 78 years old, I cannot even begin to imagine the many years ago these surgeries were around - and then my mind wanders to how in the world did ostomates deal with all the issues and getting the supplies they desperately needed?

I had to be well into my late 40's before I ever even had an inkling of what the word ostomy meant. Did I live in a freakin' bubble? Maybe, but I'd like to think not, as I was very much a part of the corporate world, traveling and never a stay-at-home person. Did I have my head in the sand? Maybe. But I am guessing people just didn't talk freely about this subject like they did about diabetes and other illnesses, so I never heard mention of it. Did this result in stigmatized ostomates?
I am guessing - - - yes. I am feeling it myself these days.

But, as many on this site have said - "get over it," "move on," and live your best life," "be thankful" - just the same advice that is appropriate for everyone to do on a daily basis with or without an ostomy. I am trying hard to do this.

MANY THANKS for sharing your story. It really puts things in perspective. jb

Sep 05, 2022 4:26 pm

Hi Nick, at least you are on the mend by the sounds of it. I wish I had your positive attitude.

What's wrong with a younger stoma nurse? Most of the ones I meet have been lovely ;-)

Are you going to a support group such as the IA Association in the UK? It is a great way to meet people who understand what you are going through. You can make new friends and you never know what might blossom :-)

Sep 05, 2022 5:20 pm
Reply to Nick C


It's all okay and we all have a lot to handle and we all don't tell how we really feel and try to be positive. It's okay. I can't imagine anyone being positive and happy all the time in life. It's just faking it sometimes with me and I know I'm not speaking for anyone, but we all have many ups and downs...

I have a story as many have read and it's very hurtful and a big punch in the face and a feeling of seeing stars. I've actually been there too, and that's another time in my life!
But anyway, I don't come here a lot, only because I need a computer too...

But these past few years, as I'm having a sad day, our thoughts can hurt our heart, mind, soul, and body. My dad's best friend died in front of me and I'm still so upset about it. He was a great man, like a father figure, and was the best. He was very nice to me as he was my dad's friend of over 60 years, so I got to know him very well, like a father figure. He was special and I really miss him! I hope everyone is doing the best they can and I hope you relax more, Nick, and everyone who reads this. I haven't been texting or doing much this year, so I hope you're all okay.

I have a few friends I have to write to, and Joe, she's okay and having a good summer.

Take my own advice.

Love you all.

Happy Monday Labor Day

Sep 06, 2022 12:53 am

1 year ago yesterday, 4th. I almost wasn't here, but thanks to God and my surgeon, I'm here today. This year, I can say was about the worst I've had. I have become so much closer to Jesus than I've ever been. I consider myself lucky to have someone who can make my days better. There's got to be lots of people out there who don't care about ostomy, and this may be the perfect place to find someone to share your life with. Good luck.

Little Stinker
Sep 06, 2022 1:56 pm
Reply to Renfromtexas

Jesus has seen me through many trials, surgeries, diverticulitis, and now an ostomy that has relieved me of so much pain! I am so grateful for His help in it and for the nurses and surgeons who helped me through.

Sep 10, 2022 5:54 am
Reply to AlexT

One more thing is needed in a dating partner: a car or public transportation pass, bike, motorcycle (aka transportation)... so you both can meet for dates. :)

Sep 10, 2022 7:34 am

Damn, one more thing I gotta come up with. ‍

Sep 10, 2022 7:49 am
Reply to AlexT

And no, you can't turn up on a donkey that will definitely take all the shine from you to the ass. LOL XX

Sep 20, 2022 8:38 am
Reply to Caz67

I have had my ileostomy for 22 years now and we have become inseparable (pun). My wife passed away 2 years ago. I am on my own now, but I have accepted this situation. I get out quite a bit with friends and have taken up karaoke singing, which I find a lot of fun. The housework keeps me busy and cooking meals keeps me busy, and if I do meet someone, that may be a bonus. I suppose by keeping busy, it keeps me focused. Good luck to all optimists. Life has a way of changing direction, so it may change for you when you least expect it.

Oct 06, 2022 9:33 am
Reply to AlexT


Nov 29, 2022 3:43 am
Reply to Nick C

Hi Nick, I can understand how you're feeling. You will have good and bad days, but keep the faith. Losing a loved one who you love and care for is very hard, and there will be loneliness and depression, but there is light at the end of that tunnel. God will turn it around for you. I am in that same situation, but slowly I am getting through it. It takes time. It's been 7 years since I lost my husband, but faith I am holding on to day by day.