Living and Loving life as an Ostomate
The podcast that I took part in recently was a discussion about relationships and dating after stoma surgery. I was lucky enough to meet the staff at Salts Healthcare in Birmingham who made me feel really welcome. The other participants were Emily and Jack, Emily has had her permanent stoma for 2 years and Jack for just over a year. They both had a lot of valid points to share Emily was already in a relationship when she had her surgery and Jack like me when I had my surgery was single.
What Did We Discuss
We all spoke about our experiences leading up to surgery and after surgery, for me you all know that Billy the illy is 27 years old in April so not only was I the granny of the group but Billy was the granddad of the group too.
If you have read my page on finding true love you will know that when I met my husband I was upfront about having a Stoma. I wanted to get that hurdle out of the way, so we could get to know each other properly without this worry that I hadn’t told him about my stoma.
During the podcast my main aim was to reiterate that, you are still an able bodied person. You just have some of your insides on your outside, having a stoma can be pretty daunting when you want to date and want to get into a relationship. However I still maintain that you should be open about having a Stoma. Not everyone will agree with this and may feel scared or worried about sharing, but you will know if it is worth sharing with a person or not. If they are unable to accept you as you are then it was a lucky escape for you, a get of jail free card if you like.
It was really good to hear about Emily and Jacks own experiences when it came to dating and relationships. Stoma surgery does change your life there is no doubt about that but it changes your life for the better. It was interesting to listen to how Emily dealt with being in a relationship when she was going through her illness it gives you a different perspective.
Jack was the same as me after his stoma surgery he felt to unwell to even think about dating but now he is healthy he has started to date. Some of the things that Jack mentioned were so similar to the things that I felt when I was his age. Should I tell my date I have a stoma? should I keep it to myself? how do I tell my date? I still think being honest is the best way but I totally understand how cautious a person may feel.
We live in the age of social media this can be determined as a good thing or a bad thing when it comes to dating. As Jack mentioned the power of google can make people research a health issue just at the touch of a button. The information they may find on the internet may not always be the correct information this again backs up my point that you should be the one explaining how you are not google. I know it feels like a massive deal but it really isn’t when it is out there in the open you feel like you can breathe.
My advice is to be confident, love yourself give yourself less of a hard time be honest with yourself and others. Never feel pressurised never feel embarrassed your bag shouldn’t define you it is part of what makes you You!
You can listen to the podcast Me, My bag & I, Love me Love my Stoma on Spotify, Acast and Itunes. Both the other participants Emily and Jack have instagram accounts you can follow, their details are below.