Crohn’s and an Ostomy
“Back then I thought this bag was the worst thing ever and I could not wait to get it off of me.”
I’d like to share with you all my journey and story about how and why I got my ostomy and how I manage my life with it.
I was first diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at a young age of 12 and at the time I was a competitive soccer player traveling around Northern California competing with other teams.
This came as a shock because I was such a strong athlete one day and it seemed like the next day I was weak and sickly.
My doctors first diagnosed me with Crohn’s and prescribed me medication after medication and my body rejected them.
If you haven’t heard of Crohn’s Disease, like many people I have met, it is a painful chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that can affect your small and large intestines as well as your digestive tract.
It can also lead to many surgeries due to complications.
After I was diagnosed and prescribed all the different medications to try to get it under control, I finally met a new doctor that had another plan for me.
I was sent to the hospital after a short visit with this brand new doctor in Beverly Hills, and woke up after surgery with an ileostomy. The reasoning for this was to give my inflamed colon a break.
One way the colorectal surgeons do this is by pulling a loop of ileum through the skin, outside of your body, which is called a stoma. They then leave the other end connected making this a temporary ostomy.
This seemed to be my best option and the surgeon told me the ostomy would be reversible after we treated the colon with other medication to heal it. That’s right, reversed.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for me. My ostomy became permanent in 2015 due to failure to heal my colon. My colon was removed and the ostomy was made permanent.
This was not easy. I had it in my head that the bag was temporary. It kept me going and made it easier knowing that if I did everything my doctor asked, I could lose the bag and go back to my NORMAL life.
That’s right. Normal life. Back then I thought this bag was the worst thing ever and I could not wait to get it off of me.
My perspective has changed tremendously since then. The bag was given to me to save my life and that’s exactly what it has done. It has given me a second chance to live a happy and normal life that I always was supposed to have.
“You were given this life because you’re strong enough to live it”
Yes having an ileostomy bag is never easy. But I would say it has made me the strong person I am today and has given me a chance to help others and share my journey.
Having an ostomy is a very doable thing and gets easier as time goes by. One of my recommendations is to seek support.
No one should ever have to be alone in anything they do. Whether it be attending school for the first time at age 5, to going through a first breakup, or even your first loss in your family.
Finding others going through the same thing as you can be a very rewarding and comforting thing. Don’t EVER be afraid to ask for help.
I hope you enjoy reading my blogs! I always welcome you to ask any and everything that comes to mind. Please share with me your experience with your ostomy. Why did you have to get the surgery? What has the ostomy made easier for you? I’d love to hear from you all! Keep smiling.