Just thought I'd introduce myself and ask a couple of questions. I've been reading the forum and I have found it so helpful and so uplifting. Thank you for your kindness and openness.
And now I will reveal what a spaz I am ;)
I am a 40-year-old female, generally healthy but last year got a horrible attack of acute diverticulitis (7 hospital stays, an abscess, a perforation, etc). I had seven inches of my colon removed on 11/30/17 and though surgery was supposed to be laparoscopic and not require a stoma, I woke up with an ileostomy and a huge scar. I guess my infection was so bad and my colon had fused with my ovary so they had to go open. The bag is temporary - I have been told 3 months and I am more than halfway through assuming all is well and I can have the reversal when the surgeon said.
Recovery has been physically and emotionally taxing. I feel like a jerk even complaining about this because it's temporary, my diverticulitis is gone, and so many of you are combating much greater battles, but I'm struggling. For one thing, I'm physically repulsed by the hole in my abdomen. I know this is my own issue, but I'm kind of a lightweight. When my wound nurse came to teach me how to clean my stoma and change the bag, I fainted. Even now, 6 weeks in, I sweat and get dizzy when I change my bag. I am constantly aware of it. Like hyper-aware. I'm apparently a high-output kinda babe and a gassy, foamy one at that. I'm loud! I'm constantly experimenting with my diet, but I do drink a lot of ginger ale because I get so nauseated and then it's like my stoma has rabies. I have to empty my bag a couple of times an hour because I can't stand there being anything in it. I'm a generally anxious person, and I am finding that I am isolating way too much out of fear of being out and about and having something happen, which consequently has left me super depressed. Like can't get out of bed depressed.
And per this site's suggestion, I named my stoma - Charo. And the bag is The Love Boat. Just fyi.
I have had some skin breakdown in the early stages, found a great wound care nurse I now go to for skin issues, I am currently dealing with little painful red bloody blisters. And I had my first "blockage" last week after getting a little too intense with some watermelon. This has been pretty painful, and because I am a lightweight and traumatized by all this, I haven't been the tough cookie I tend to be about everything else. I also have just stopped a long course of pain medication, and that's not really a picnic in the park either.
I think what makes me feel so unsettled is that I still have another surgery that is not scheduled and that I keep reading horror stories about - the stoma reversal. So while I figured I'd have this surgery and be done with it, I now have to have major surgery, recover, deal with the bag, get the stoma reversal, and then recover from that. And again, I hope I don't sound like a whiner. It just frustrates me and adds to my already anxious and depressed state.
Thanks for letting me vent. Just curious what your coping mechanisms have been with this. Are you open and tell everyone you have an ostomy? Have you had those little red bloody blisters? They hurt! I suppose that's enough for now.
I hope you are all having a much less neurosis-filled evening than I am!