I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that “thing” referring to my ostomy bag. No one really prepares you for what it’s going to be like with a bag hanging from your body. When I was told that I would need an ostomy bag because my Crohn’s had become so severe, I worried about how it was going to change my life.
Those first couple of weeks while recovering I was constantly wondering, how is going to feel when I put jeans back on for the first time? Will I be able to wear a fitted dress, swimsuit, or even my favorite shorts again? Will I be able to hike, kayak, swim, bike, play softball, or workout?
Yes…Yes… and Yes!! I was able to do all of those things and more! I will be honest it felt different and I was constantly touching my stomach or even holding it because I was so self-conscious. I would check and double-check in the mirror after I put on an outfit just to make sure you couldn’t see my bag.
They’re all looking at my stomach…I just know it!
As soon as I would enter a room I felt like everyone was looking at my stomach. I worried. Is my bag bulging out of my clothes? I bet it’s leaking! Uh oh, I just felt something warm come over my lower stomach. I better go check! I spent so much time running into bathrooms checking on my bag. My poor husband, I can’t tell you how many times I said, “hey babe can you see my bag?” Believe it or not you CANNOT see your bag through your clothes. But so what if you CAN…be proud you have story to tell and you are a stronger person because of that bag.
Don’t hide that thing
Embrace your ostomy bag and all those scars that came along with it. Be open with people about your bag and how it came to be. Some people avoid talking to you about it, because they don’t understand it. I enjoy answering questions. Probably one of the best questions came from a little kid, “Does your bag catch whole pieces of food when it comes out?” Hmmm…well I guess it kinda does.
Well here I am a few years and a couple of surgeries later and…I ain’t got no colon and I feel better than ever! Having an ostomy bag does not keep me from doing the things I enjoy. I’m able to do all the activities that I want and wear all my favorite styles of clothes. I find I push myself more to do things, because I don’t want my bag to hold me back. I have truly embraced this new body that God has given me over the years and all the challenges that come with Crohn’s Disease and an ostomy bag. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.