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Intimacy with Ileostomy

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Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:55 pm
My husband has had his ileostomy for over a year now, and the ONLY time our intimacy has suffered is just when he was first recovering from the operation (and the infection that came with it).

I suppose the best "tips" I have to offer are as follows:

-With potential partners, don't make a huge deal out of your bag and act like it disgusts you or you despise having it. I have found that our attitudes towards things can be contagious. Don't be afraid to have a sense of humor about it, and explain it to your partner like they are five years old, just to ensure that they understand and aren't needlessly afraid of it.

-If the bag gets in the way, just say "oops", and move it out of the way. Having the bag get in the way shouldn't be a reason to completely stop dead and get flustered - unless of course the bag has exploded or you've hurt your stoma.

-If you're with a partner and they are performing oral sex on you, just gently move the bag out of their way so they don't bang their head into it if they start getting wild. I've done that a number of times, and while it NEVER grosses me out, I worry that I might have jarred his stoma or something Razz

-Try out all sorts of different positions. Not only is this incredibly fun, but it teaches you what works for your own individual needs as far as maneuvering with your bag. So far, my husband and I haven't run into any problems, but everyone is different so I figure that this bears mentioning.

-Have a sense of humor with yourself, and treat the little noises the bag makes like any other bodily noise. Your bag is now a part of your body (for better or worse), and when the material makes a crinkling sound, or if you pass a bit of gas, it's no big deal. Just think of the crinkling bag noise as no different from the shuffling noise your clothing makes, or the sounds your joints make if they crack.

I'll post again if I think of more, but hopefully that should suffice for now.

Cheers to having good safe fun Wink

Tiggy
Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:41 am
                                 
Tiggy wrote:


-If you're with a partner and they are performing oral sex on you, just gently move the bag out of their way so they don't bang their head into it if they start getting wild.
Tiggy



......................it`s all fun and games till someone get`s an eye put out.....so watch out for those closure clips!!!!!   ok, sorry but i couldnt resist
Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:08 am
Maryallison, I couldnt of said that better and when I am doing well, I teach Bible class.  One smart women, cause on this site I found people that dont believe are the ones who really want to hurt other people, no matter how much you want to help them.  I am no Jehova Witness or anything like that, I dont believe in pushing anything down anyones throat, its up to them to have Faith and if they dont want it, let them have a miserable life, they made that choice, but hurting people shouldn't be a part of it.  I read where a girl was trying so hard to explain herself and no one seemed to even try and understand her on this Forum, I always say being a Christian is being Christ like even if you dont believe.  He was a good example for anyone to live by, just as a Human being the short time he was on earth.  Thank You so much for those words of Wisdom, meant a lot to me.  God Bless You, Love Jenny
Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:27 am
                                 
mild_mannered_super_hero wrote:
                                 
Tiggy wrote:


-If you're with a partner and they are performing oral sex on you, just gently move the bag out of their way so they don't bang their head into it if they start getting wild.
Tiggy



......................it`s all fun and games till someone get`s an eye put out.....so watch out for those closure clips!!!!!   ok, sorry but i couldnt resist


Lol so far I've been lucky, good thing I usually have my eyes closed when I'm the throes of passion! Razz
Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:53 am
Nice tips Tiggy.  You know if you use the velcro pouches you dont have to worry about the clips.
Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:12 am
Hey everyone I have had my iliostomy since i was 15 (16 years now) never had sex before that and i gotta say not once has anyone ever had a problem and i have had a very active sex life... I'm even the mother of a 10 year old... I go on dating sites meet men and before it gets for far along i tell them and let them ask questions i also now explain if they are into anal thats not going to happen as that was removed in Oct... I try and make it light but don't give up.. honestly get out there flirt party and have a good time with it... Most men don't really notice it.... Sorry boys but sometimes your alittle oblivious lol.. I've even had a one night stand or two back in the day Smile I hope this helps ... Look how far we have all come from being sick?! get out there and just do it
Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:04 pm
I can understand why many often feel negative when it comes to intimacy. I think this can often result from personal experiences and a knock in self esteem and confidence caused by others.

Since I had surgery in 2001 at the age of 26, I have strived to make the most of my (New Lease of)  life and have achieved this by going back to University and studying for a nursing degree and have now been qualified as a Registered General Nurse for 2 years. I have also become a father of a beautiful 18 month son. So no-one can say that I have not retained a positive attitude.

However things have not always been so easy, I have had failed relationships, most often due my ileostomy. And yes I have often asked myself is it me that has the problem rather than any prospective partner. But on many occasions I have been open and honest with any potential partner about my stoma so there are no hidden surprises, only to be met by rejection.

Then there have been times whereby I have kept my guard up until I have built up enough trust to confide in the other party, only t be faced with hurtful comments further into the relationship.

Yes I know we can say that not every person we meet in life is going to be quite so shallow, and that I genuinely believe, but I often ask myself how many more knocks in my self esteem can I take after building myself up from the last one. Some people are fortunate to have very supporting partners before during and after they have surgery and to these people I am pleased for. I just hope that those of us who have stoma's and have had negative experiences find that sae loving supporting partner one day.


I would also like to add that I appreciate that there are people far worse off in life and for this I am grateful for the life and the supporting family that I have
Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:01 am
Maryallison, I agree with you!  Christopher, if you focus on helping others, you won't focus so much on your problems.  I feel the pain in your words from your posts.  I had my illeostomy when I was 18 years old.  I am now 51. There are people who will accept you and your bag and people who won't.  I talk freely about my bag and always have to anyone.  I am not ashamed of it.  It is a part of me.  I consider my bag a "gift" of life and a "gift" from God.  When someone scrunches up their nose in disgust or says "yewww" when I tell them about my bag, I feel sorry for THEM, not myself.  And then I pray for them.  I suspect Christopher that you decided long before you got your bag what you felt about it and about people who have them.  I am sure that if the tables were turned, you would not entertain a relationship with anyone with a bag.  I respect your honesty in your feelings about the whole thing.  None of us would choose this.  However, this is the only life I have and I'll be darn if I'm going to let the way I poop stop me from living it and enjoying it.
Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:01 am
Well the experience I have was the day before I went into hospital for my completion proctocolectomy me and my partner of 4 years split up.  I knew it had been on the cards as he has never been the same with me since I had my ileostomy formed in September 2009 and now I think the thought of it being 'permanent' he couldn't handle it and fled!  The only time I heard from him when I was in hospital was 2 days after my operation he text and said 'I have packed your stuff in boxes and you will need a transit van, can you get someone to pick it up!TA!  That was it!  So I am now 5 weeks post completion and in the future will be on the dating game, I have to say the intimate side of things scares the hell out of me as my confidence has taken a knock as he never wanted that side of things! so it will be a new experience for me and think that is what scares the hell out of me , but I also now know people who are like that aren't worth having in your life.
Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:00 am
                                 
Blondemoment wrote:
but I also now know people who are like that aren't worth having in your life.


Blondemoment my sentiments exactly!  I have been married twice.  As I said I was 18 when I first got my illeostomy.  I was married at 19 and married for 8 years.  The bag was never a problem.  We were too young.  In between  my first and second marriages, I dated alot.  Only once did I have a problem with a guy.  I was hurt and mortified at first, but then I said to myself I can let this person ruin my life or I can just let it go and realize that not everyone handles things the same way.  I let it go.  My second marriage I was 31 and I had 2 children from that marriage.  Bag was never a problem there either.  He found his college sweetheart on a College blog and decided he needed to be with her.  That would have happened with or without the bag.  A jerk is a jerk no matter what the circumstances.  LOL  Commitment today, unfortunately, is not what it used to be.

Hang in there!  I truly believe that God has a plan for us all, if not, none of us would be alive to be on this site to share our experiences.   Pat
Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:10 am
I have been told by many people that he will need me before I need him!!  And he was not worth having in my life.

Like you say I am sure things in time will work out, I am trying not to let it rock my confidence too much, but I think it has a little, as dating seems to scar the hell out of me lol.  But I am not sure if things will change once my confidence is bag to full strength.

Kelly x
Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:22 am
Hi Pamela,

I just wanted to thank you soooo much for your cranberry juice post.  After reading it, I started drinking a glass a day and you are right it works!!!!  My kids thank you too!  They say Mom your poop smells so bad.  LOL  So from the bottom of my heart and the tip of my kids' nose,  we thank you dear lady!  

Pat
Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:39 am
                                 
Maryallison wrote:
I am ready to take any tomatoes you may want to throw at me.  I realize that religion is not PC but as a Christian I do not want to be marginalized for my faith.
Christopher, you use the word "punishment" over and over.  Punishment implies a crime or crimes that you have committed.  What are they?  What have you done that is so evil, what have we all done that is so evil that we deserve punishment.  Actually we all have sinned in our lives, that is part of our nature and we can't avoid that.  But we can accept the love God extends to us as sinners through Christ.  Any idea that we are unforgivable and thus, need to be punished is evil and is a lie through Satan.  


I have read this thread over and over and it irks me when I read the comments above. Surely this person, who I do not not know, is only stating a fact and is pouring out his innermost feelings.

Yes Maryallison you deserve to have tomatoes thrown at you, as you say, for bringing religion into this because Chris did not mention anything along those lines. I always struggle with people who make statements like 'I do not want to be marginalised for my faith', but then continue on. Also just sitting at a distance Maryallison I do no think Chris's comments regarding punishment had anything to do whatsover with committing a crime or anything of the such. He is just stating that he feels he is being punished. Not everything relates to the Holy Scriptures or has to be related to yours and others belief that everything revolves around your deity.

This has nothing to do with the so called Satan whoever he may be. The only Satan here is if humankind does not  believe that science and bodily functions are responsible for our well being. And if all our ills are as a result of your Gods will then I am so glad I am in the other camp. I also saw in another post that someones bag is a gift from God. I just wonder to myself if that is the case is it not true that the only reason he gave them 'a gift' is because he also gave them the problem? Just food for thought.

It constantly amazes me that some people of faith have this need to constantly put forward their beliefs when it is not the way others think. I am an atheist but I dont have this need to advise others on my beliefs.

Ken


Last edited by KennyT on Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:01 am
Wow, you don't need to attack people for their beliefs, especially if their faith gets them through their difficult times.  This is a place and forum for help, comfort, guidance, etc.  Not attacking.  Shame on you.
Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:35 am
                                 
ucmama77 wrote:
Wow, you don't need to attack people for their beliefs, especially if their faith gets them through their difficult times.  This is a place and forum for help, comfort, guidance, etc.  Not attacking.  Shame on you.


cant improve on this post.......this forum is not designed to be "politically correct". if you come to a post you do not agree with, simply close that thread and go to another.
while i personally find atheistism{spelling incorrect?} distasteful...i respect your RIGHT to your opinion. lets keep things positive on here. regards mmsh
Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:00 am
Wow, you don't need to attack people for their beliefs,   This is a place and forum for help, comfort, guidance, etc.  Not attacking.  Shame on you.



To me truer words have never been spoken.....and they are your words.....YOU DO NOT NEED TO ATTACK PEOPLE FOR THEIR BELIEFS....even if they are not the same as yours.  THIS IS A PLACE FOR HELP, COMFORT, GUIDANCE.....NOT ATTACKING.  NEVER FOR SHAMING!!!!!!!   Never.....

                                                                   Shelia
Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:01 pm
                                 
Anonymous wrote:
Maryallison, I couldnt of said that better and when I am doing well, I teach Bible class.  One smart women, cause on this site I found people that dont believe are the ones who really want to hurt other people, no matter how much you want to help them.  I am no Jehova Witness or anything like that, I dont believe in pushing anything down anyones throat, its up to them to have Faith and if they dont want it, let them have a miserable life, they made that choice, but hurting people shouldn't be a part of it.  I read where a girl was trying so hard to explain herself and no one seemed to even try and understand her on this Forum, I always say being a Christian is being Christ like even if you dont believe.  He was a good example for anyone to live by, just as a Human being the short time he was on earth.  Thank You so much for those words of Wisdom, meant a lot to me.  God Bless You, Love Jenny


Just back there a bit. I guess this is positive and does not attack others for their beliefs, or rather their lack of.
Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:36 am
Shelia, I do not believe I was attacking him or his beliefs.  Did you even read his post?  I truly believe that Maryallison was trying to help him get over the feeling that he was being punished for something.  This guy just reposted a snippet of what she said and did a long commentary on how people of faith irritate him.  I did not attack his beliefs.  If I attacked anything, it was his rudeness towards Maryallison and her beliefs.  

Funny, I joined this site hoping to find some compassion, understanding and some helpful advice, tips, tricks, etc.  I was thinking people in the same situation as I certainly would be all those things.  I guess I was wrong.  People are people with or without a bag.  It's enough for me to try to get understanding and love from the "bagless" people of this world, let alone to join a site of "my own kind" so to speak and get hammered for my feelings and beliefs.  I guess this is not the place for me after all.  Good luck to all of you.
Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:49 am
Now let us get some reality into this ucmama. Below is the initial post by maryallison to which I responded.

                                 
Maryallison wrote:
I am ready to take any tomatoes you may want to throw at me.  I realize that religion is not PC but as a Christian I do not want to be marginalized for my faith.
Christopher, you use the word "punishment" over and over.  Punishment implies a crime or crimes that you have committed.  What are they?  What have you done that is so evil, what have we all done that is so evil that we deserve punishment.  Actually we all have sinned in our lives, that is part of our nature and we can't avoid that.  But we can accept the love God extends to us as sinners through Christ.  Any idea that we are unforgivable and thus, need to be punished is evil and is a lie through Satan.  You need to tell the old creep to back off and go away, you are loved by God.  Then you need to know that God created you (you did not emerge from the primordial ooze) in order to get to know you and love you.  If you have a relationship in which you take your pain to Him and listen to Him I think you will learn that you are punishing yourself far more than anyone else is.  Try to help others in some way, in whatever manner you choose.  Maybe at work, or school or whatever life you lead.  Forget about the bag and concentrate on love that you can give and you will receive it.
Hopping down off the soapbox now.  Get ready to fire those tomatoes, but please!  Not stinky rotten ones.



As I stated not once did Chris raise the subject of religion but has to receive the above sermon regardless of his beliefs which to me seems wrong. But aside from this I constantly find it incongruous the criticism that will emanate from some religiously minded people if someone has the temerity to question their faith. By the way if you read the post maryallison expected criticism. On the flip side I notice the deafening silence with regards to another post in this thread containing more vitriol and scathing remarks regarding non believers. This does not surprise me.

Some of my very best friends are believers and attend church regularly but do not find it neccessary to push their beliefs upon others when not solicited which to me shows respect.  Conversely they are not immune to some robust theological discussions and do not endeavour to influence others by utilising their religion. I have the utmost respect for them not only as friends but human beings as well.

Ken
Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:59 am
                                 
KennyT wrote:





As I stated not once did Chris raise the subject of religion but has to receive the above sermon regardless of his beliefs

Ken


while the original poster did not mention religion, the reply by maryallison was intended to comfort/console him. now that is going to be a pretty standard type reply from a middle aged woman from the midwestern usa. re-read the reply from maryallison and direct me to any "forcing of her beliefs" on him...the intent was in "her own way" to comfort him. it seems that the original poster did not take any offence or simply ignored the post if he didnt agree or "belive".
now we come to your post.....what is its "intent" ?
were you trying to comfort her or the original poster? no, i dont think so.....your post is a negative reply to someone you do not know...you simply do not agree with her point of view.
my point is that all members here are entitled to their opinion and encouraged to post them in any "positive" way. that is THE PURPOSE of this forum.
there have been a few{very few} threads on this forum that i have found distasteful...i always try to control my urge to post a scathing reply. the best method is simply let the thread "die" as most members here are similiarly inclined.
Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:19 pm
I most certainly read the post....and saw a person speak THEIR beliefs which were not the same as yours....which if I remember correctly is okay.....we do not all have to think exactly alike.....how boring would that be?

If you read for deeper meaning I do not believe there was any negative commentary on people of faith.......rather on people that feel the need to foist their beliefs on others.  There is a difference.  It is okay to live your life as you wish and even to express your views (well it's okay with me)....but when a person makes it known that they are not open to sharing those views then there is no need to get upset or angry about it.  You can have faith in many things......I do not for one minute believe that is what irritated him.  You can be passionate about something without being a pest.  

You said if you "attacked" anything it was his "rudeness"......you do not think it is rude to attack him for speaking up?  Perhaps it could have been said differently......but why are his "beliefs" less worthy of defending?

You joined this site hoping to find some compassion and  understanding....but only wish to share it with people that think like you?  People are people with or without a bag and people are people whatever they choose to believe.  It is not our place to judge.....and any one that considers themselves to be a true believer should know that.

Whether or not I like a person is not decided by what they choose or do not choose to believe in....I have foun you miss out on a lot of wonderful people if you do.

Good luck to you also....and best wishes.  No conditions put on that....and that is how it should be.
              Shelia
Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:02 pm
We are all adults and it is not necessary that we approve everything posted.  I reserve the right not to read things I find offensive, and dismiss them immediately.   No one can make you read or believe anything.  In real life I simply walk away   and distance myself from the speaker.  I find myself constantly dealing with people who offend my sensibilities.  That's life!
Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:42 pm
YES I AM WITH BEYONDAPA THAT WAS PRETTY DISTURBING TO WRITE SO I AM CURSED I HAVE LEARNED TO LOVE MY CHEZZA SHE IS LIKE A SMALL CHERRY TOMATOE IF U READ ABOUT THE AMAZING DIGESTIVE SYSTEM U MIGHT THINK DIFFERENT I WONT SAY I HAVNT HAD SEX DID KEEP MY T-SHIRT ON BUT THAT WAS TESTING AND WERNT WORRIED ABOUT THE T-SHIRT IF U UNDERSTAND THAT IT MAKE ME FEEL REALLY DOWN WHEN I HEAR SUCH NEGATIVE THINGS LIKE FREAK AND DESPISE THINK OTHER PEEPS IN HERE DOIN IT HARD TOO NOT LISTENING TO THIS SHITE AGAIN AM REALLY PISSED OFF .
Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:34 pm
vicbear13 ~ Wow, you sure started a interesting thread — as for intimacy, I have experienced that intimacy grows only when I remember in every fiber of my being that I always only perceive part of the one I want to intimately connect with, and interestingly enough, the twists and turns of this thread illustrate how fragile intimate connections can be when the essence of the following story is forgotten:



— John Godfrey Saxe's (1816–1887) version of an ancient story —
It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approach'd the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
"God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!"

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -"Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!"

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a snake!"

The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
"What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain," quoth he,
"'Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!"

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!"

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a rope!"

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!
Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:58 pm
Ok I think I have got it now. I was very confused but have finally realised where I went wrong. If I get on and promote my atheism in a positive way in response to peoples posts I will not be railed at by others of different beliefs? Of course I would but and so I should because it does not belong here. But there is the paradox in this whole situation. And I have once AGAIN read the original post I commented on and if that is not a sermon I am not here.

Which brings me as you said MMSH to my post and the purpose of it and as far as I am concerned I stated that quite clearly. I dont believe forums of this type should be utilised as a platform to promote theological beliefs when they clearly do not have any relevance to the matter at hand. But then again it seems to be ok to offend atheists but woe betide someone who offends some christians. Still not a word on the other post I highlighted MMSH? A surprise? No. Once again I will only post what you term positive comments and ignore all the negative ones I read quite often. If only it would cut both ways when it comes to religion but alas this place is not much different to many in the world today judging by your comments. Toe the line or you will be ostracised.

As I said in my previous post my christian friends would not be part of this soapbox preaching  (someone else's words by the way) and a few have actually laughed when I showed them this thread. They are a little different to some here and realise that there is a time and a place for their beliefs. Mine included.

Bye
Ken
Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:31 pm
Oh my! Looks like I've missed a lot of interesting discussion on the forums while I've been so busy these last two weeks or so.

I did want to opine that it would probably be totally cool to engage in theological discussion and debate in the "Let's Talk" section, without fear of any backlash. If people feel like they are being preached to, it can make any situation extremely uncomfortable and I speak from personal experience (both as the preacher, unfortunately, and the preach-ee from time to time). =P

It goes without saying that some of us are so extremely devoted to our respective faiths that it can be a bit too easy to forget that not everyone thinks as we do, and that not everyone is as interested in our holy books as we might be. This is human folly, and shouldn't be a serious deterent to enjoying an exchange of ideas, or friendly conversation.

Having said that, since everyone else is throwing their ideas into the mix, here are mine:

~I love God.

~I love sex with my ostomate partner.

~I love atheists, Hindus, Jewish folks, Buddhists, Wiccans, neo-Pagans, Shintoists, Catholics, Christians, agnostics, etc.

We're all in this together, let's try to remember that. Smile
Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:50 pm
Just putting me two cents in cos it seems like everyone else has!

I reckon Kenny T was just trying to have the last word there but thanks Tiggy, you seem to have put a plug on that!

And "three", there is a never a post of yours that I don't think WTF?! LOL!

Methinks Kenny mate perhaps ya feeling a bit pissed off at this time of year, being Christmas an all, perhaps all atheists are like that around December (and Easter for that matter - sorta like being a bastard on Father's Day, LOL!).

Two cents over with,

To all (except the atheists of course) I wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Be of good cheer one and all,

Jo xox
Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:04 pm
I would like to know the real reason you decided to look in on this site?  We all need positive feedback, you need to take a real look at the person you are.  Do you enjoy being negative and what if your were the person with the stoma.  We want our life to be as normal as possible, if you do not like what you see here. No one made you do it!  God help you.
Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:44 am
You know...I haven't been on this sight for like 3 years now. I'm really understanding why its been so long. Originally, I was excited to find this thread in the forums. However after reading the last 30 minutes of the thread, I feel like you people really have missed the point about talking about intimacy. Honestly, if you have a beef with someone, just send them a private message and don't post something that has nothing to do with this particular thread. Some of you have just wasted my time on this earth and I will never get it back. And we live such short lives...sigh...


Now that that's off my chest...

To date, I've had 13 surgeries and still am under going treatments for reoccurring infections from the initial surgery. I've had four ostomys in total. Yes that's right I said four. I'm now left with a permanent where I was told in 2006 that I would only have two surgeries and have a reversal. It's sad how plans never play out the way you hope them too.

It's funny, I recall Steve when I first joined this website. I am excited to see you, Steve, that you finally meet someone who is fabulous. I also never met an ostomate on the site. It was sad really. It was the first place where I found people who had my condition.

As for myself, I've had my loves and losses. And having non-stop surgeries for the last 5 years hasn't been easy. I dropped my major in college and changed degrees. I finally completed all my required courses and walked this past May. I never thought I could do it because it was such a long journey alone.

No man understood me...nor did my friends really KNOW what it was like to live the way I do day in and day out. I honestly did not love myself like I used to. It's hard going from 150lbs in C cups to barely over 100lbs and left with just nipples your first surgery. Talk about body image issues. However...I manage to gain my weight back and slowly return to social events. Had I not had the bag I would have otherwise missed out on a lot of great things. Although, it made me stop doing extreme sports; I took up dancing which I still do today. And even though I run to the bathroom every other song to empty it, I still get to dance. I never met the love of my life in all the short relationships that I've had but it wasn't the bag that kept me running away from intimacy.

I believe we all have our guard up. It's easier keeping to ourselves because we never will have to be rejected by another person. We don't have to put ourselves through the stress of trying to make it work when times get tough. Because for us ostomates...times are tough from the 5minutes of changing the bag to 5 years or more of our health flip-flopping from bad to worse.

I never wanted the bag but I know it's given my life back to me which I would not have otherwise. It's taken me years to truly let my guard down to truly open up and give myself to another person. I'm not talking sex. I'm talking the whole mental, emotional, spiritual, everything...intimacy.

I met my significant other online on another dating website. It was so easy to have conversation and not have to worry about the commitment because I didn't have to be physical. There was no expectation on the other end. And for that matter, he was 900 miles away.

I honestly never thought I would meet a person like him. And fall in love with myself again. When I finally had the nerve to tell him in email, it took him a bit longer to respond than I thought it would. The delay was due to him doing research of what my situation entailed. I thought I had lost that first real connection to another soul because he didn't respond quick enough. Was I floored when he told me it was okay, yes, that he didn't think anything of it.  To him the ostomy is just another part of me, it does not change the way he looks me on the inside. I was a beautiful person no matter the 'shit' that clings to me nor the amount of 'extra baggage' that I carried with me.

This April we will have been talking for two years and I can say that I've never loved someone so much in my life that I can say that if I knew what I was going to have to go through up till today, I wouldn't change it. I know that had I not been so sick or had my surgeries I would not have met him online. I would not have met my dance partner. I would not have met the man that loves me for me, ostomy and all.

My best suggestion to everyone searching for intimacy or however you would like to define it, surround yourselves constantly with uplifting people, believe in yourself, time heals all wounds, let your guard down and open your heart because one day you will meet your ostomate. Smile
Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:17 am
Hey Seasoned I did not just check in here and I did have a stoma. Actually a couple of them but that is a moot point.

Take care.

Ken.
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