10 things you should know about body confidence with an ostomy

10 Things You Should Know About Body Confidence With an Ostomy

Living with an ostomy can be a life-changing experience, but it doesn’t have to limit your confidence. As a woman who has undergone ostomy surgery, I understand the challenges that come with adjusting to life with an ostomy bag. However, over time, I have learned how to embrace my body and feel confident in myself. 

So, what is an ileostomy?

A permanent ileostomy is where surgeons remove the colon, appendix, rectum and anus and bring the end of your small intestine out of your abdominal wall. They then sew the end of the small intestine back onto itself on your stomach to allow waste, now of a more liquid consistency, to leave the body into an ostomy bag, which I change daily and empty 4-5 times a day on average. My bum hole was taken away due to me never needing to use it again and sewn up, so my bum looks like a Barbie’s in the sense that there is no hole there.

Learning to accept your body after major surgery such as this can be tough, but I am so proud of how far I have come in over 11 years. On the days where it has been tough, I have tried to focus on what my ostomy has meant for me.

Here are ten tips that have helped me:

Educate yourself:

Learn as much as you can about your condition, the ostomy equipment you use, and how to take care of your skin. Understanding what you’re dealing with helps you feel more in control.

Wear what makes you feel comfortable:

Dressing for your ostomy can be tricky, but don’t let it stop you from wearing what you love. Experiment with different styles and find clothing that makes you feel good.

Share your story:

Talking to others about your experiences can help you feel less alone and more empowered. Join a support group or connect with others online who also have an ostomy.

Practice self-care:

Taking care of your physical and emotional well-being is essential for building confidence. Make time for activities that you enjoy, whether it’s yoga, reading, or spending time with loved ones.

Be honest with your partner:

If you’re in a relationship, it’s important to communicate openly and honestly about your ostomy. This can help build trust and strengthen your bond.

Focus on your accomplishments:

Don’t let your ostomy define you. Celebrate your achievements and focus on your strengths.

Seek professional help:

If you’re struggling with anxiety or depression related to your ostomy, consider seeking counseling or therapy.

Challenge negative thoughts:

When negative thoughts creep in, challenge them by focusing on positive affirmations or distracting yourself with something you enjoy.

Find humor in your situation:

Knowing when to make light of things can be a powerful tool for coping. Watch a funny movie or read a humorous book to lift your spirits.

Embrace your unique beauty:

Remember that you are beautiful, just the way you are. Your ostomy does not define you, and it’s a part of what makes you unique.

Living with an ostomy presents its challenges, but it doesn’t have to hold you back from feeling confident in yourself. Remember to be patient with yourself and trust that you’ll find the right tools to help you along the way. Having an ostomy has brought me my life and actually being able to live life instead of just exist in agony. It has meant I have been able to help so many others, not just with Bowel Disease, but with other illnesses and in general. It has opened so many doors for me in terms of what I feel well enough to do on a day to day basis and also so many opportunities when it comes to raising awareness, educating others and being proud of the person I am today. One of the biggest opportunities I have had to date which I am so proud of was getting to work with Women’s Health and Activia on their recent Gut Health campaign. I also blog for Ostique and Respond Healthcare.

Often, body confidence doesn’t come from looking in the mirror and having to feel in love with what you see, but more so being appreciative of what it does. This is a big part of Body Neutrality.

I can confidently say that most days, I fully accept and embrace my body. I feel proud to be different, proud to have an ostomy bag, proud to be able to give others a voice and to celebrate how my body is after life-changing and life-saving surgery.

Having an ostomy isn’t the end. For me and many, many others, it’s just the beginning.

Tiktok / Instagram

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *