I can’t believe the 11th November 2020, marks 7 years since my life changing colostomy surgery.
My stoma, affectionately called Rudolph, is now 7 years old!
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. This time last year I was about to undergo yet more lumbar spinal surgery.
It’s funny how your mind begins to think about the logistics of moving post surgery…..or maybe that’s just me. Each time I’m preparing for surgery, I find myself contemplating how I’ll have a catheter when I wake up, how relieved I always am 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 7 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.
Over the years, three of my Administration team members have had stomas, all of us for varying reasons…..Crohns Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and a Non-functioning bowel. Their friendship and understanding 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 7 years we have journeyed through so many highs and lows of life, all as a result of meeting because we had a stoma. We have also laughed, sometimes cried, over their antics. You can click here to read all about Rudolph and Rosie and their adventures!
Blessed With Time To Decide
I was blessed with 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 this 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 these situations.
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 7th Birthday Rudolph and thank you for making my life so much better!
If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding and 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 and complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.
If you prefer an audible blog post, please check out my Podcast, Medical Musings With Sam
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
If you would like to read a little more about my journey, here’s the link to My Story