I can’t believe on the 11th November my beloved stoma, affectionately called Rudolph, is turning 5!
For those of you without a stoma it may seem a strange thing to celebrate. While it was life changing, it was also life saving and I will be forever grateful for the day of my stoma surgery.
Something About November
There must be something about November and surgery for me. I’m about to undergo lumbar spinal surgery in less than 48 hours. It’s funny how your mind begins to think about the logistics of moving post surgery…..or maybe that’s just me. I’ve been contemplating how I’ll have a catheter when I wake up and how relieved I am that I won’t have to think about using a pan or getting up before I’m able.
I then realised another reason for being grateful for Rudolph. No bed pans for that end either. Just the convenience of my stoma bag. All areas covered. See, there really are bonuses to every situation if you look for them.
Rudolph and Rosie
One of the things I am definitely celebrating as my 5 year Stomaversary comes around, is the friendships I’ve made in the Ostomate community.
My closed Facebook support forum, Medical Musings with Friends has quite a few members who also have stomas. We share a special bond, a knowing understanding.
Not deliberately, three of my Administration team have stomas, all of us for varying reasons…..Crohns Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and a Non-functioning bowel. Their friendship means so much to me.
There is one friendship that has always been extra special. We shared the same Surgeon and without knowing it at the time our stomas were created only a few days apart.
Our paths crossed through an online stoma forum quite by chance. Our stories were so similar and we clicked instantly. Our friendship blossomed via texts, phone calls and we eventually had the opportunity to meet in person. What a special day that was!
Over the past 5 years we have journeyed through so many highs and lows of life and all as a result of meeting because we had a stoma. We have also laughed,sometimes cried, over the antics of Rudolph and Rosie.
Blessed With Time To Decide
I was blessed to be able to have time to make the decision to have a stoma. While I didn’t have a choice, my Colorectal Surgeon very gently led me through a process, where I could of my own free will say to him “I’m ready, let’s do this”.
Not everyone gets that opportunity. While I’m celebrating a positive health life choice, I also am thinking of those who are still struggling to come to terms with such a radical change to their lives.
Many receive a stoma through emergency surgery due to bowel perforations, a cancer diagnosis and other health scenarios requiring urgent intervention. My heart goes out to those in that situation.
My husband and I usually do something special to mark my Stomaversary. This year I’ll be in hospital recovering from spinal surgery, so celebrating will not be at the forefront of my mind.
I believe it’s good to take the opportunity to reflect on life changes. It’s important to me to take a moment, to remember what life was like before my stoma and why having it has been such a positive experience.
If you’re interested in “why” Rudolph is a permanent fixture in my life, you can read the full journey in My Stoma Story, A Happy Ending
Happy 5th Birthday Rudolph and thank you for making my life so much better!
If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding & friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum, Medical Musings with Friends . It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic & complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.
I’m a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page
I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women