2015 at The Stolen Colon

I’m always amazed at the end of each year as I look back and realize all that happened in the past 365 days. Obviously 2015 held even bigger changes than previous years as I announced  my pregnancy at the beginning of the year and gave birth (amid some ostomy drama) to my son. And if that wasn’t enough, in my personal life, we settled into our new home that we moved into just before the beginning of the year, I decided to leave my full-time job in favor of working from home and getting to spend time with my kid, and celebrated 5 years of marriage to my husband.

I thought I’d take this chance to highlight some of my favorite posts from the past year. I actually had a hard time narrowing this down because there were a lot of posts that really meant a lot to me this year. It’s pretty pregnancy / baby dominated, but I’m OK with that!

2015 stolen colon year in review ostomy baby crohn's disease ileostomy ibd inflammatory bowel disease

Can you still get pregnant with an ostomy? – I used this post to announce my pregnancy at the beginning of the year, but what I love most about this post is what it represents. When my husband and I decided to try for a baby we didn’t know what would happen or how difficult it would be. I’m so happy that things turned out the way they did and being able to share that having an ostomy does not automatically mean you won’t be able to get pregnant.

My best advice for new (and old) ostomates – The 3 pieces of advice I think are some important for anyone going through surgery to get an ostomy: 1. Have a positive attitude, 2. Build a support system, 3. Learn by trial and error.

Body & weight changes after ostomy surgery – Getting an ostomy changes a lot of things. It not only is something new to deal with and to get used to, but it can change your body as well. And it may affect people differently, as some may lose weight, but others may gain.

First / Second / Third trimesters of pregnancy with an ostomy – Every 3 months I wrote about what the previous trimester was like with an ostomy and discussed what I had dealt with, what I was worried about and what I was excited about for the future. Each trimester held different excitements and challenges.

My thoughts on having children when you have IBD – I know the decision to have kids when you’re living with a chronic illness is not an easy one and there are people who decide against it. These were my reasons for making the decision to become a parent and I absolutely cannot imagine making a different one.

If I never had Crohn’s disease… – I was thinking one night about what my life would be like if I was never diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, and while I know there are a lot of things that would have been easier and less painful, in the end, having Crohn’s disease is part of what made me who I am today and I can’t wish that away.

Intestinal blockages during pregnancy – Can’t really say this is a “favorite” post, but it is an honest one about what I dealt with while pregnant with an ostomy. There are definitely extra risks inherent for anyone who has had intestinal surgery and then becomes pregnant, so I think it’s important to realize that and hopefully be able to avoid the same complications I dealt with during the end of my pregnancy.

My first NG tube experience – Again, not a post I enjoy, but a big experience for me this year was getting an NG tube. I’m one of the lucky ones who had made it this long living with Crohn’s disease and an ostomy and not having to get one, but it’s something that so many people with IBD will have to experience. I have a new respect for all of those people.

Waylon’s birth story – My son did not have a simple birth. I was admitted to the hospital 4 times over the course of 4 weeks before the decision was made to induce labor. This is the story of that final hospital admission and what led up to his early birth along with his first few days in the hospital.

My son’s first Ostomy Day – Having a child has given me a different perspective on so many things. Becoming a parent is truly a life-altering experience in more ways that I can explain because it’s not only a change in your schedule or a shift in your focus. You also start to see the world differently and try to look at things through the eyes of your children. And having a mother with an ostomy, I imagine will give my son a different perspective, as well.

It’s been a great year in 2015. Here’s to an even better 2016!

9 thoughts on “2015 at The Stolen Colon

  1. Wayne Wildman

    I wish I was as brave as you are. They tell me I need an ostomy. I am avoiding it. I have no support system. No close family. Little savings. I must work constantly even though I have acute Ulcerative Colitis. Quite often I think dying would just be nice.

    Reply
    1. patsygazaleh

      Do not get discouraged. You say you have no support system, but Stephanie’s blog is helping you. I’d like to help you if I can. Getting an illiostomy/colostomy is scary. I tried to resist surgery for a very long time, but the pain became so unbearable I finally had the surgery. It has taken me almost 3 years to recover, which was very difficult. But that was because I put my surgery off for so long that my body was worn down. But only recently I have started to feel better.

      You can contact the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, they will have people you can talk to locally. Your doctor may have names of others near you that you can talk to.

      I am a former healthcare professional, 20 years, who has Crohn’s Disease for 34 years. My GI was in the practice I worked in. He was my doctor before I became an employee. He and the other GI’s would have me talk to those newly diagnosed Crohn’s and Colitis. So your doctor should be able to find so some one for you.

      I really don’t want to feel alone in this. You can contact me directly of you would like. If you do let me know thru this website and I will give you my email.

      Please do not let this disease bring you down.

      Reply
  2. Mary C

    Thank you for sharing 2015. You have done a wonderful job of telling it like it is, peace and Happy New Year. From One who has had hers for three years now and still going strong at the age of 86.

    Reply
  3. Susi R

    Hi,

    I’m new here but happy new year to all.
    I’m 44 yrs old. Been married for a million years and have 3 amazing daughters.
    I had cancer of the anal canal and received 6 weeks or daily chemo and daily radiation. This was in April 2015. At my first follow up I was “clean”. At my 2nd follow up my surgeon found something and unfortunately it was cancer again / still. I received my colostomy just a few months ago (November 6th, 2015). I’m still recovering from surgery, they removed pretty much everything from the J to the rectum. I live in a remote area and the closest support group is 2+ hours drive plus a ferry ride. So what I’m trying to say is, I’m looking for some ostomates to bounce things off and people that know what I’m going through.
    I’ve been adjusting pretty well I think but would like welcome any suggestions that might make my “new” live easier.

    Thanks all

    Sincerely

    Susi R

    Reply
    1. colette

      This is to Susi R. there are a lot of support groups that you can look up online. If you are on facebook there are two that I joined that are very helpful. They are closed groups so you have to ask to join. They are Ostomates Unite Group and 30+ Network. People post helpful comments and also ask for advice. There are a lot of ostomates out there that are very helpful. I hope this helps you in some way.

      Reply
  4. Nathalie Séguin

    Hello Stephanie, I am from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

    I love your website, it is a great platform to get information and follow you, a women like me living with an ostomy. I add my surgery in June of 2015, I am now a fellow ostomate with an ileostomy. I have a life, a second chance after being sick for more than 14 years. For me my ulcerative colitis started with a pregnancy. I have a positive attitude and my ostomy is not a secret for anyone.

    Regarding this article about the Cincinatti’s police departement treating an ostomy as something “repulsive” and “ugly”. I am just chocked, who thaught of this campaign? In a time where we are making people aware of the challenges of living with an ostomy, to use an ostomy as being ugly and unattractive is a poor analogy.

    Just so chocked!

    Thank you again for sharing

    Nathalie

    Reply
  5. Alex

    Hello! I had my iliostomy surgery in 2002, married in 2007, and had twins in 2009! Congrats on your successful pregnancy! Your blog shines a light on a topic that can be viewed as dark and gloomy. I agree that i proud to have an ostomy. It gave me life and with that the opportunity to be a teacher, a wife, and a mother! The quality of life I have now versus before my surgery ( when I was 19) are incomparable…It is great to hear the stories of others who are walking that same path.

    Reply

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