There Was Much More to Protecting My Ostomy Than I Thought…
When the idea of ostomy surgery was beginning to enter my mind, and my future was coming into sight, the fear began.
Having an ostomy changes how you are able to live your life, and that can be scary. Adjustments have to be made and those changes can make life seem uncertain. I was very much about routine. Simple changes were a bit much for me to take on, so imagine introducing a new medical device that had to be thought of with each step you took that day! From eating to sleeping, I had to think about how my stoma fit into my life.
That’s why, as a young girl, I feared getting back into more physical activities like sports. Now, don’t get me wrong – I was no all-star athlete! I could, however, kick a soccer ball around! It also wasn’t uncommon to find us at a theme park on the weekend, enjoying the tallest roller coaster we could find.
It was important to me to stay involved in the same things my friends were a part of. I just wanted to feel as normal as I could. As important as this was, though, I was more afraid to hurt my new stoma and land myself in the hospital again. I had to find ways to do the things I loved, while keeping my ostomy in mind.
The journey of finding something to protect my ostomy was what opened my eyes to the ostomy accessories available to patients. With key words like “protective”, “ostomy”, and “belt” I was able to find an array of gear to use while playing soccer, and beyond! I originally went in searching for a hard, armor-like piece of equipment to cover the stoma when I played sports, went on roller coasters, or other physical activities.
With the simple search of ostomy gear, though, I found an array of products to protect my ostomy, my confidence, and my ability to live my life the way I wanted to. From smoothing belly bands, to hernia belts, to skin protectants – I found the jackpot.
It made me realize the steps being taken to assist ostomates in their new journey. I soon understood that having an ostomy, despite it being a huge change, did not have to block from me living.