And then there is my story, the sun would shine ... out ... if I had one. December 2011 going up the stairs I would feel out of breath for a minute. Eventually decided to go to see my dr. but the receptionist claimed I was no longer her patient, since I hadn\'t seen her since 2003. Another story. I had had a heart attack in 1999 spent five days in hospital, quit smoking (40/day non filtered), and lucky me no effects from the heart attack. Thus in 2011/12 they assumed it was heart problems, unbelievable number of test later, and now Feb/March 2012 they wondered why my hemoglobin count was so low, but no blood found in the urine or stool, so they decided to do an endoscopy and colonoscopy, asked them to do the endoscopy first (should they use the same tool).
The result was four massess of colon cancer, guess if I do something I do it well. April after 8 hrs in the OR I woke up in the recovery room as the sole remaining patient, but my sweetheart was waiting for me (my daughter).
The major problem was sitting down, but one of my nurses took several IV bags filled them 3/4 with water put them in a personal possession bag so I could sit down without hurting my a..
I had a young nurse show me how to change the bag which is not an easy thing to do while lying in bed. Next one I went into the bathroom and did it before the nurse came to change it.
After five days I left the hospital. I went through sixe months of chemo and radiation, and kept complaining about them giving me placebo\'s and told them I would stop coming unless they turn on the machine, reason being I had absolutely no side effects. Even complained about having to pay for a hair cut since they had told me I would loose my hair; I didn\'t.
I applied for the Canadian disability tax credit and received approval, but only because I think it is one\'s duty to reduce one\'s tax payable.
I usually change the flange every 4 - 7 days, and will place the used one in a baggy with water and will re-use, While the government gives me $600 to buy supplies, I hate to spent money on bodily functions.
Must be my Dutch heritage, I\'m not cheap just frugal. :-)
Just about everyone knows I have a bag and I don\'t let it define me, I joke about - I can go to the bathroom standing up. or while talking to you. And I will have the washroom all to myself, if not immediately shortly thereafter.
I kept working and am still working, but I wish they had told me not to lift anything heavy, now I a a stoma on top of \"half a grapefruit\".
In the end I don\'t think it has changed my attitude towards life, except that now I have more empathy for others who go through such a hard time. (Even for Zywie)
My problems are experiences when things didn\'t quite go as expected, when the bag is in the bottom of your pants, can be awkward. Just pick it all up, and pretend nothing happened walk to the car put plastic bag on seat, drive home take shower, then take off clothes.
Best one yet recently, after driving for quite a while I forgot to check and realized bag was rather full, I opened the top slightly to release some air, drove to IKEA walked into the washroom and just after I entered the stall and found the bag on the floor. And of course with my luck the stool was for once solid, used toilet paper to clean everything, walked out, plastic bag as above.
I still lift heavy stuff, I made my own hernia belt, (should post picture of version 2).
My only complaint?
Everyone else with an ileostomy is complaining about trying to gain weight I weighed up to 230 lbs at one point in my life was about 220 when I went for the operation, was down to 185 lbs, but guess what trying (somewhat) to keep the weight to 210lbs.
But the funniest part is they tell me not to eat the healthy foods - whole wheat salads, etc, eat white bread. but being diabetic I should eat the healthy foods.
So my attitude ignore it all - don\'t worry be happy.
And to top it all off I ended up having a former girl friend move in with me, who is trying to run my life, but not quite suceeding. And she doesn\'t want to hear about stoma related stuff.
And doesn\'t like me walking without clothes from my bedroom to the washroom. I guess we all have our cross\'s to bear.
My doctor, who is still my doctor, and chastised me for giving her receptionist a hard time, assured me that without the operation I would not have been here for long.
My kids were mad at me when I told them I could always go back to Holland because they believe in euthanasia. They thought I was serious.
My radiation oncologist apologized told me it was nothing personal but he doesn\'t want to see me anymore. My chemo oncologist told me she was reducing the visit to once every six months after changing the six months to four months.
Whether the world is better off with me still around, may be debateable but regardless I intedn to stick around for a long time.
And the longest stay in hospital? In 2013 I spent seven days in hospital waiting for removal of a gall stone, since it is an elective procedure it was being postponed day after day until my surgeon (same one) came back at 10:00 PM (after working all day) and we went into the or at 10:30 and was back in my room at 11:00 and discharged the next morning. Gall bladder was done as an outpatient - day surgery back home at 2:00 PM.
So Lo, here is a story that is quite opposite to Julie\'s (Zywie).