Ostomates, as I read the posts, it's "oh" so familiar. Though I didn't have cancer, many did. There is no certain age group that has an ileostomy or colostomy. The glue that binds ostomates is the surgery that changes them.
I believe after the surgery, it affects one physically and mentally. Each of us has our own way to accept the change, though some never do. I struggled for two years mentally. In collections, I read about some of the brave men and women who shared their journey. Some are gone and others are still here. Through my struggles, I longed for a women's point of view in dealing with my physical change. Did it help? Why yes, of course, it did.
Speaking briefly on irrigation, this is a luxury because some cannot. There are those that can and never achieve the 24 hours of relief. I myself have yet to achieve such a break in time. Yes, it is rough at times and most of us persevere.
As far as dating/marriage intimacy, that's quite different for all. Some have no issues and they continue as if nothing happened. Then, of course, there are those, both men and women, who leave their mates because they can't handle the physical change.
For two and a half years, I wouldn't venture out because I thought I would have an accident. Of course, I would go if and when I had an appointment. One day, I thought, "Ok, it's time. Just pack your necessary supplies and get out of the house." Life was passing me by. That's not why I had the surgery, to just give up.
Is life perfect? Heck no, but I'm here. These are the cards that were dealt for me. Life is so short. In spite of my ostomy, I'm dealing with it!