Finding Gratitude in My Ostomy: Embracing Life's Blessings

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patri
May 27, 2013 1:47 pm

I've noticed in myself a lack of appreciation for the blessings that I live. I shudder at my ostomy instead of celebrating that it is working. For four years, I was in pain and now I am not. Right at the edge of being able to live, I came and now an ostomy and a bit of a tummy that I don't want is really all the trouble I am in. Where is my appreciation for the life that I live? Well, like any positive habit, I speculate feeling appreciation for my continued living is a habit I would do well to develop and practice.



So today I say YAY! I HAVE A HOLE IN MY STOMACH THAT'S ALLOWED ME TO LIVE! I HAVE THE ABILITY TO WATCH MY KIDS GROW UP AND EVEN GRANDKIDS IF I JUST LET THIS CANCER GO AND APPRECIATE THE OSTOMY THAT I NOW HAVE. I CAN IRRIGATE AND FORGET MY OSTOMY FOR HOURS AT A TIME. I CAN SLEEP ON MY STOMACH, I CAN BE NAKED. I CAN TAKE HERBS THAT DEODORIZE MY INSIDES SO PASSING GAS IS IRRELEVANT. I CAN SIT IN COMFORT. I CAN LIVE AND WATCH MY KIDS GROW UP, THIS OSTOMY IS WHY I CAN LIVE AND WATCH MY KIDS GROW UP. THANK YOU TO THIS BODY CHANGE, THANK YOU TO THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY, THANK YOU TO THE FELLOW HUMANS THAT HAVE GOTTEN THEMSELVES AS SIDEWAYS AS I HAVE YET KEEP THRIVING AND SMILING AND LIVING. IT IS GOOD TO BE A MOM AND ONE DAY TO BE A GRANDMOM, I AM OF VALUE JUST AS I AM. THANK YOU MOST OF ALL TO WHAT I CALL GOD, I KNOW YOU KNOW ME AND ARE WITH ME AND THAT IN THE OVERALL OF THINGS ALL THAT I AM EXPERIENCING NOW IS PERFECT AND GOOD WHILE BETTER FOR ME IS COMING STILL IN THIS WORLD.



AMEN
gottadime
May 27, 2013 4:24 pm

Amen! You do not have a soul, you are a soul. What you have is a body. This is part of the adventure...

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Rizzo
May 27, 2013 8:22 pm

What are the deodorizing herbs called, Patri?... I need to get some!

Newtothebag
May 27, 2013 8:47 pm

I feel the same way as you do, Patri! I often wonder why I do not just appreciate being alive instead of concentrating on this bag that hangs from my abdomen! I feel it is a very difficult thing to get past. Of course, some days are better than others! In my opinion, it seems like it is easier for those that are already married or in serious relationships to get past this stigma than it is for those of us that are single. I could be totally off base here, but that is how it seems! Any thoughts?

gottadime
May 28, 2013 1:00 am

New to the bag, although I think it would put a big strain on a relationship, it's better to have than have not. Myself, I filed for divorce over four years ago and have been separated ever since. She didn't support me when I had colon cancer and therapy in '03, and it went downhill from there. Very few people outside of my siblings and mom know about my colostomy; my kids don't know, and she doesn't know! My kids don't need to know, and she doesn't deserve to know. 8^)

 
Staying Hydrated with an Ostomy with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
ron in mich
May 28, 2013 1:02 am

Hi all, when I first got my ileo 29 years ago, I was very conscious of smell and heard that eating fresh sprigs of parsley with your meals reduced odor. It seemed to help, but I don't use it anymore as I really don't worry about the odor.

Jupiter
May 28, 2013 1:32 am

Go girl!

dragon2
May 28, 2013 12:07 pm

Hi, I have a nine-year-old with an ileostomy... OMG! At the start when he was five, he used to cry every time I emptied his bag because the acid is so strong. But after he has had cabbage or wind food, you have a banana, and white bread is dense and good for ileo. But one really good tip is to have apple cider vinegar... quarter of a cup of apple vinegar and warm to hot water in a cup, mix with honey to taste. It makes the bag not so odorous, and it gets the toxins out of your body too. Try it, it worked for us. The other one for odor is putting a teaspoon of baking soda in the bag because it soaks up the acid smell. Hope that helps... Cheers, Julie... Dragon2 Mum!!!!

patri
May 28, 2013 1:13 pm

New to the Bag asked about being single and feeling like an impediment to forming a relationship. Hi NewToTheBag, I used to say (and still do actually) that if you truly look around, the attractive are insecure and doing their best to look like they are having fun while the heavy and rather plain are all happily married and actually having fun. I do feel a lot less attractive, especially since chemo seems to really attack a woman's looks, but wearing a diaper on my stomach really was a downer and no longer being potty trained was an outrage and felt primitive and mean to be living. It is a lot less bothersome to me now that I irrigate; unless I leak, which is very rare, or unless you catch me when I'm irrigating, it is really a non-issue if a man thought that I was the one that he wanted to exchange glances with for the rest of his life. I think that's the real challenge and having an ostomy doesn't help or hinder, except in how we feel (which is a big hindrance, actually, since how we feel is how we act and how people then respond to us). It might even help since our ideal mate might have one too or might have something that levels the playing field. That would help me at least feel less self-conscious. If you both have the same or similar concerns, if something goes wrong, a rolling of the eyes and addressing the matter is just par for the course, whereas if you are the only one with a physical difference, the inconvenience and mess can be compounded by emotions that are damaging to self-worth and relationships. I guess in all this rambling I'm saying yes and no...yes, if you feel bad about the bag, the bag will imprison you and make you different. If you appreciate the bag and make no longer being eligible for a career as a stripper not so important because you have other things that you do want to live for (that because is what works for me), like your kids or future grandkids or...the bag is just a bag and the matters of dealing with it are simply that: matters of daily living. I'm still only two years into having a stoma myself; NewToTheBag, so I can't say I'm stable in how I feel; right now I'm feeling good though, so it's a good time to answer. The only time to answer in my book! I think I'm too new to the bag and still awaiting divorce and still have cancer anyway, so a relationship is not smart to start right now, I'm guessing, but how it really affects things is more about how I am letting it affect my feelings than how it truly affects my life. In other words, I think how I feel about the bag has more impact on my relationships and lack of them than the bag itself. Milk every good feeling and distract from everything else and let some time pass, NTB. All is well.

patri
May 28, 2013 1:33 pm

Rizzo asked about the body deodorizing herbs. Hi Rizzo. There are several brands of products that you can take that make being an eater and therefore passer of wind a secret identity if it is silent. Takes the deadly out of silent :)) My current favorite is GO RUBY GO juice powder. It's very pricey but well worth it as the stomach soothing and acid balancing effects translate also to no tummy pain from chemo (I also take emu oil for that) and no aches in the body from acid buildup and more energy to have fun living life with. Another product I've taken that works well just for the odor is Odor Blocker, a white bottle with green writing. I would add links but did before and deleted the comment because it was just text, no link and looked messy. I'm still learning posting finesse :) By the way....baking soda also lowers acid levels, combats chemo damage to the gut and therefore reduces stomach pain in chemo or gassy situations.

patri
May 28, 2013 1:33 pm

Thank to those that added their tips and encouragement to others. GottaDime, I'm laughing as I sit here four years separated in divorce proceedings with colon cancer, you practically told me my own story ;))To any interested btw, yesterday I wore my altered stoma stifler around the house to see how it felt. I felt invincible. A bulge is visible unless I drape a scarf I guess, it feels that way at least. I like the feeling.

yaya
May 29, 2013 3:07 am

Ok... Duh... What's a stoma stifler???

patri
May 29, 2013 11:39 am

I posted replies above to several comments, perhaps using the wrong link pathway. I hope the replies were seen by the recipients... YAYA, adding links here doesn't seem to work, or I haven't figured it out yet on this platform. So if you can, just go to youtube.com and in the search bar, type "stoma stifler". You might like it. As a general update on the product: I did buy it and receive it, and cut it into a simple circle to use for myself since it is so big as it is made. I couldn't even figure the belt out, lol. To use, I just put it over my stoma, which has a cap or band-aid over it (I can go almost bare since I irrigate daily). I use a belly band to hold it in place and the Geniecami shaper over that to add more of that all packaged up feeling. I have a hernia I am also having to hide till a chemo break allows for surgery. Silly me picked up a sixty-pound child like a baby a few months after surgery. She was sick, and I felt good that day and hadn't yet learned that I simply must now take things more easily. Anyway, rambling curbed: I am surprised to find from wearing the Stoma Stifler around the house and out for errands how relieved I feel. I didn't realize I did feel vulnerable to stoma impact from kids and whatnot. And of course, it is wonderful to feel completely free of concern over gas. It is like having my stoma potty trained almost. It's a beautiful thing. I felt very free and comfortable moving about and went out more spontaneously than I normally do. I felt very ready for anything. I do still want a smaller appliance, something that is symmetry addressive as well. I made that term up completely. Ha ha ha. Having a little Wednesday morning fun. I feel like my determination to appreciate my stoma is picking my mood up. I caught myself on a rampage about my dinner last night too, so I guess I am developing the habit that I want: that of being appreciative of the life that I live, down to the lovely details that feel so good to stretch and enhance.

mooza
Jun 02, 2013 2:52 am

Yep, appreciative I am, but still we all are and have our insecurities. We are human. Lol, my typing never seems to get better either. Xxxx

patri
Jun 02, 2013 2:00 pm

True true, Mooza. We sometimes put our best foot forward. We sometimes put it in our self-talk mouth and just ruin the moment.