Every so often I will hear a conversation about romantic relationships while living with an ostomy. Often someone will say they were left because of their ostomy, or that they’ve resigned themselves to being alone because no one could love them now. And I have one thing to say to them: STOP IT. An ostomy does not make you unlovable. It doesn’t make you anything other than another human with your own set of experiences. That ostomy is simply a symbol of the life you have lived and who you have become through those experiences.
Now full disclosure before I get too far into this: I was married when I went through surgery to get my ostomy, so I have not gone through the dating process with one; however, I believe what I am writing is true no matter what point you are at in a relationship.
Sometimes, it’s not the ostomy.
When you go through something that necessitates getting an ostomy—whether it’s a chronic condition like IBD or some sort of trauma—that’s a lot for a person to handle. It may bring up feelings of “why me?” or resentment towards God or the world. Constant pain can make anyone feel frustrated. Having difficulty after surgery can lead to depression, feeling sorry for yourself, and lashing out at others. All of these can cause issues in a relationship. If you were someone whose partner left after your surgery, I am not at all saying that you are at fault. What I am saying is that going through this can change people, and when people change, the relationship changes and sometimes that relationship no longer works. So, if you were someone who was left and you felt they left because you now have an ostomy, there may be a lot more at play than simply that. Continue reading
Waylon Alan Hughes was born on Friday, June 12, 2015, at 9:13 p.m. He weighed 5 lbs. 11 oz. and was 19 in. long. His gestational age was 35 weeks and 6 days. He was born as the result of induction after four hospitalizations in four weeks due to a bowel obstruction.
He and I were able to come home after a three-day hospital stay and thankfully he did not have to spend any time in the NICU. He is perfectly healthy and was already back to his birth weight after just four days.
Other than the initial complication of the bowel obstruction, the labor and birth process went smoothly. I began immediately feeling better after the birth and my ostomy seems to be good as new!
For now, I’m just spending my time obsessing over this little one.
I have debated for a while about writing a post on sex. I know my parents and my parents-in-law and even my grandparents read my blog (I’m giving you fair warning that this is one post you can skip!), but I know that sex is an important subject when it comes to ostomies. It’s probably one of the first questions you have when you know you are going to have surgery. I know it was for me. You wonder not only about the “how is this going to work?” but also the “how am I going to feel?” It’s also a hard question to bring up for many people, so I figure… let’s talk about it! And we’ll talk about it online so you don’t actually have to bring yourself to ask about it.
Like I said, one of my first questions once I decided to go through with the surgery was, “how is this going to affect my sex life?” Thankfully I had a surgeon who this wasn’t his first go-round and he knew it was probably a question I had so he brought it up without making me have to. He told me that it would not change anything majorly, but it would be an adjustment, especially after getting the rectum removed. The rectum is right up against the vaginal canal and provides support, so no longer having it made things feel different. Not bad different, just… different.
It’s my guy’s birthday today, so I wanted to take a moment to give him the spotlight.
Jarrod has been put through a lot in our relationship and dealt with things that no one should have to deal with. And he did it all so willingly. He knew exactly what he was getting into and he didn’t blink. That’s what makes him so amazing. That’s what makes me fall in love with him over and over again. That and his blue eyes. They’re pretty amazing, too.
I love you, babe. Happy Birthday!
As we all usually do at this time of year, I’ve been thinking back over everything that has happened over the course of 2013. When I look back at the beginning of the year, I can’t believe all that has happened in such a short time.
This has been a big year for me, in both good ways and some bad ways. Here’s my Top 10 major events from 2013, in no particular order:
At the beginning of the year, I was in a cast and had just made the decision to train for my second half-marathon. I had no plans to go ahead with another surgery. I was still just becoming comfortable with everything that comes along with being a health activist and sharing your story in a public setting. I had just gotten back my score on my GRE and was nervous about submitting my application for grad school.
All of these things seem like they happened so long ago. It amazes me to think that in just another year, I will probably be looking back on where I am right now and think that there’s no way it has only been a year.
Thinking back over this year as a whole, even with some disappointments, both in myself and in life in general, I am proud of how this year turned out and how I feel that I have grown during it. I am so thankful for the new friends I made this year and the new experiences I had. It makes me really excited for the year ahead. I am looking forward to making plans and setting goals for the next 365 days. 2014, I’m coming for you!