I spent this past weekend at one of my favorite places in the world: Myrtle Beach.
I have been going to Myrtle Beach since I was a little kid. For anyone growing up in North Carolina, there’s always one particular beach that you think about when you hear “the beach.” For many it’s a spot along the Outer Banks or Wilmington, but for me, it was always Myrtle. I think it started because we used to have dance competitions there when we were younger, so we just kept going back.
Then, of course, after I graduated college, I was hired at my first career job at the ABC station in Myrtle Beach. I moved there by myself and lived there for about 9 months. That was a major growing up experience for me and that beach will always hold a special place in my heart.
We took a quick weekend vacation just to get away. We hadn’t been on a vacation all summer and I’m glad we were able to make it down before it gets too cold. I feel like we really needed some time to unwind and enjoy not having any plans. We spent our time eating out, enjoying the beach and shopping at the outlets. Doesn’t get much better than that, if you ask me.
I was nervous when I decided to have my surgery about going places like the beach. I was afraid that I would be too self-conscious. That I wouldn’t be able to wear a cute bathing suit. That I would no longer enjoy one of my favorite places to be. But I know now that I didn’t have to worry about any of those things. I can still be who I want to be and go where I want to go and not even think about my ostomy or the scars on my stomach. I’ve seen women out there who aren’t afraid to go out there with a bikini and an ostomy, and I have a lot of respect for them. Maybe one day I’ll have the confidence to do the same thing. We’ll just have to wait and see on that one.
I understand now that having an ostomy will only keep you from what you let it keep you from. Yes, you have to make some changes in what you wear and how you handle certain situations. But in my experience, it has only been minor adjustments. There’s not one thing in my life that I feel I am missing out on because of my ostomy. And now that I finally have my IBD symptoms under control, I feel that I have gained so much since going through with this surgery.