With it being Endometriosis Awareness month and all, I wanted to put myself out there a bit. (Please keep in mind that this is by no means easy for me.)
As you can see from the photo, I have an Ileostomy bag on my abdomen (it is temporary). This means that my ileum (the end of my small intestine) is cut (nearly in half) and stitched down on the outside of my belly. Waste from my intestines goes into the bag, while the other end of the intestine is stitched neatly underneath the opening.
I wound up with the ostomy because of Endo…
I had to have a lower anterior bowel resection; my rectum was kinked over (almost completely) due to endo deposits and adhesions. There was a large risk that the endo would perforate my vaginal wall and i may have ended up with a permanent Colostomy (where the colon is stitched onto the outside of the belly). Due to the risk of leaving the endo where it was, I decided to go ahead with the bowel resection.
The surgeon ended up having to remove several inches of my rectum (pretty much all of it). The anastomosis leaked and I was rushed in for emergency surgery as I had waste leaking into my pelvic cavity (peritonitis). This is when I received my ostomy. I begged the surgeon not to do it. I cried the whole time i was being prepped for surgery. I was 26 and I didn’t want to go through with something I assumed was for old/incontinent people.
Anyway, obviously I had to have the surgery to save my life… and I would do it again in a heart beat. Because while it took a while for me to come to terms with enough to cope, it is better to have a temporary ileostomy than to have a permanent colostomy.
I tend to use humour to deal with pretty much everything.
So having an ileostomy means I can no longer control my farts… they’re loud and sound ridiculous!! The bags stop the smell though, thank god! I can stink the house out by emptying my bag now, it’s like payback to the stinky boys I live with. The bags can also leak. It sucks so bad when this happens. I’ve had it happen several times (usually when I’m out and about), I race home, stand in the shower fully clothed crying for a while, then tell my partner I’m never leaving the house again. I’m always out the next day. But it feels good to yell!
I wanted to put myself out there today to offer support to any other endo people having to go through this hell. The symptoms of endo on the bowel can be really annoying, upsetting, painful and embarrassing. I also wanted to tell people that while having an ostomy can be a HUGE shock, its not so bad. I can still do everything I used to do.
Please don’t hesitate to post in the comments section if you have any questions. I’m really open about everything and nothing is considered TMI to me.
I hope this helps at least one person in some way. That is all I could wish for.
Thanks for reading