I remember going to a check-up following a 6-week stay in the hospital and the doctor telling me, "It's time to start talking about surgery."
The doctor then started a lengthy explanation of what an ileostomy is and how it can "cure" my UC. I didn't pay much attention after that because all
I could think of was no more steroids, no more awkwardly going back into school after not being in for 2 months, and most importantly, hanging
out with friends, playing sports, and being a normal teenager. As I left the hospital, I started thinking how a bag could be inside me and not
break (back then I had no idea the pouch was external). I was so psyched for the operation, I was counting the days until the 21st October.
I eventually YouTubed "ileostomy" because when I told my friends I was gonna go in for surgery, I didn't know how to explain what I was getting.
Myself and 2 friends hovered around the computer and I found a video "how to change your ileostomy pouch." I was thinking to myself, "Why would
you need to change it -_-?" I watched the video and me and my friends made some squirmish noises as we watched the video. I was shocked, scared, and
didn't want the surgery. I remember thinking, "How am I gonna live like that? All my friends will think I'm a freak, and what girl would want a boyfriend with 'that'."
I was told to go in on the 19th to begin prepping for the operation. The next day, the stoma nurse came in and started drawing on my belly and asked, "How high do you normally
wear your trousers?" and went in depth what an ileostomy is. The day of the surgery finally arrived, the operation lasted 8 hours, it was done laparoscopically (I was the first patient in Ireland to get the
operation done 100% laparoscopically). I remember waking up being lifted onto my bed and saw my mom and dad briefly, my parents said I was up for an hour but how
was I supposed to remember? I was heavily medicated (high as a kite :D). I eventually got up again and I was in the worst pain of my life. I instantly regretted having the operation.
I was in the hospital for another month due to some complications (I'll explain in another blog). After a couple of months, I was fully healed and felt so good not being on
any medication, not being fluffy/chubby (I was actually really fat, but my friends said fluffy instead to make me feel better), and wasn't known as "the sick kid" anymore.
Anyway, I was just wondering, did anyone else not know what a "bag" was after talking to their doctor about the operation the first time?
And if you're reading this before having done your surgery, I'm gonna keep it real, there was a lot of physical pain, you're definitely gonna become self-conscious
but it eventually gets better, it's gonna feel like it takes forever but you'll get there.
Two days after my operation = Regretted the ileostomy. Two years after my operation = Best decision ever made.
Skin health means something very important if you have an ostomy. That is because the state of the skin around your stoma may affect your quality of life. Find out how and why here.