Every time my stoma-versary comes around, the fact that I have my stoma for the rest of my life hits me in the face all over again…
I don’t think it has ever really sunk in properly. It’s crazy, even though it’s been 5 years already. It doesn’t even seem like it’s been that long, time has honestly flown.
The prompt I’d written for this post was how is life 5 years on from getting a stoma?
In all honestly, without sounding cliché it really is my second chance at life, it’s been 95% great and allowed me to live life without the dreaded problems I used to have pre-stoma life. Though that’s not to say it hasn’t come without it’s problems. The first couple of years after getting Squishy were absolutely incredible once I’d fully healed. Things are great even now on the crohn’s front however there are a few hiccups that occur every now and then with my stoma directly.
Leaks were very few and far between at first, now I’ve noticed leaks are unavoidable and around 99% of ostomates (fellow people with stomas) will experience a leak at some point in their life. Some days I will have a nightmare with getting the bag stuck properly, that’s just the way life goes for me now! I’m not saying I leak a lot or all the time, it’s just one of those things that tends to happen all of a sudden, sometimes when I very least expect it as well. It’s something you learn to cope with and you get better at managing when time goes on. Some leaks will result in you needing a shower and chuck all your clothes in the wash, some will result in just a quick clean up and fresh bag. Some you will realise before it even happens!
In most recent years, or months even, I find myself taking time to observe my stoma instead of just changing it as quick as I can. Mostly because I’m really anxious of flaring again so I like to check that it still looks all healthy. Sometimes the stoma itself will bleed a little during changes, again I’ll take extra time to be careful to not aggravate it and see what exactly is going on. I’ve always been a fan of science and medical stuff so watching my stoma move and retract during my bag changes is quite interesting as well.
Another prompt I had written was any regrets?
I mean, I don’t really have any major regrets as I think a permanent stoma was inevitable. I do wonder sometimes though about if I went ahead with a temporary stoma when I was younger, would I have ended up with a permanent one at 19? But you live and you learn, I was stubborn and 100% against a bag in my teenage years and now life took a turn and gave me one I have to keep. I’m not complaining, I’m doing things I would never have done if I didn’t have a bag!
So there we go, a whole 5 years since I got Squishy. I think I deserve some cake…