Got my brand new Ileostomy (dec 09) - emerg surgery resulting from the worst Ulcerative Colitis flare I'd ever had, coupled with a virulent dose of C-Diff.
After 30+ years of UC (and IBS as a kid), I knew it was only a matter of 'when' an operation would happen. I had assumed it would be a colostomy. I was at the point of 2 to 3 bad flares a year, some lasting 4 months - blood/mucus/many Bms. Would of been better to go into surgery healthier ... was very run down at the time of the operation. I've always believed that all things come in their proper time - perhaps this did too.
I'm the kind of person who has a private cry/downtime and then just gets on with it. So far, the whole appliance/bag issue hasn't been much of one. Would I chose to poop out the front of my body? No. But I didn't exactly have a quality life when the poop was coming from it's proper place! Unfortunately, it looks like the UC is in my rectal stump (pain, discharge) ... another surgery is recommended to remove the rectum.
Have had one severe blockage (at the hospital) where a Nasal Gastric tube was needed (please never again!)and another blockage scare on Christmas Eve (the day I came home from hospital)that took me to emerg. Eat small portions, chew chew chew, and eat slowly are my mottos.
Hubby and I enjoy walks with our Chow Chow in the lovely wooded parks we have or by the sea. I was born and have always lived here and love it. I'm a homebody and enjoy keeping house, cooking, gardening, reading, knitting/crochet, painting. I did a lot of heavy gardening (digging, landscaping, etc) and wonder/hope if I'll be able to get to that point again.
We love to travel and are avid snorklers. That was my first question to the surgeon ... "will I be able to snorkel with the Ileostomy?" He said "only if you were able to do it before" with a smile. Made me feel good.
We had been planning a 3 month Europe trip for Fall 2010. That has been postponed a year or so. Anxious to hear other ostomates' experiences with travel.
Hubby and I are childless, but have one Chow Chow, one dear old cat and a 500 gal marine aquarium. Hubby still works. My sister and her husband live just a few minutes away. They are our 'best friends' as well, and have faced their own major challenges in the last few years.
My hubby and I don't need alot of people around us. We're friendly and enjoy the company of others but are really quite happy on our own.
I make an effort to live in the moment and take one day at a time. It's taken me years to feel comfortable in my own skin and know who I am (there ARE some benefits to getting older!) and I won't allow an ileostomy to keep me from living the good life.

I looked at various ostomy boards/forums and chose this one. Quite a cross-section of members and lots of information. Since I'm still at the info-gathering stage, this was important to me.
I'm chatty so will no doubt be trying to contribute ... and I know I will be asking questions. What can I expect from swimming/snorkeling now? And travel --- I need to hear the good and horror stories. Who is feeling down? ... hope I can say something to improve their outlook.
Values/Morals: Let's be kinder and love more than we do as a species. And live in the moment.
Want to share experiences, info with other ostomates on this site.
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