At what point did you feel good about your situation?
Very fast after my operation, I felt the benefits of my ostomy on my quality of life. I could now eat everything I liked without having to run to the bathroom afterwards, my body regained strength to let me resume my daily activities and I had enough energy to enjoy my social activities. All these elements combined together quickly allowed me to feel good about my situation. I felt liberated from the illness and alive again.
Obviously, not everyone feels the same after surgery and statements from our contributors prove it:
I began to feel good about myself the day I stopped worrying about what others might think of me. I started to wear the form-fitting clothes I was used to before the surgery. It allowed me to improve my self-esteem and to feel better about my body.
I felt good with my situation when I found a balance in my clothing, when I found the clothes that suited me and which I felt comfortable in. As soon as I accepted my new situation and integrated it into my life, I began to feel good.
I think my situation is great every time I meet or connect with someone new who can relate to inflammatory bowel diseases or ostomy struggles. I love meeting new people and sharing advice or swapping stories. It humbles me when I meet people who have also gone through a surgery or illness and reminds me to appreciate my own strength. My situation has allowed me to not only inspire other people but also be inspired by them.
For a long time, I felt as if I had to make up for this "defect". I was trying to train more and have more assets in order to compensate. I would say that I started to be comfortable in my situation the day I considered myself beautiful just as I was, without having to compensate. It was also at this moment that it became easier for me to talk about it.
I tell myself that I feel content in my situation when...
- I'm aware of being still alive and having a good quality of life
- I look back and appreciate the fact that I’m not sick anymore and no longer have to look for toilets everywhere
- I realize that having a positive view of my situation enables me to experience wonderful moments, allows me to be happy and improve my skills in the sports I like
- I share my condition with people and try to demystify ostomies with them
In my case, the road was very long before I could tell myself that I felt comfortable in my situation. After several therapies, I accepted my situation and felt great! Once the right equipment and underwear are found, we feel better equipped for everyday life. We mustn’t give up. Home faith & love.
It can take a long time before we feel good about our situation, so we must give ourselves time to understand, realize and accept what is happening to us. Comparing our quality of life before surgery to the one after it, finding clothes that allow us to be comfortable or feel good about ourselves, being conscious about our strength and beauty, sharing with other ostomates, meeting therapists... all these ways can help us to feel good in our situation. Just find the combination that suits you the best and allows you to regain a sense of well-being.
In the next Alternative Section, the team of contributors are going to share with us the benefits of having a "portable toilet".
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