Life With a Stoma: The Early Days

Life With a Stoma: The Early Days


We know by now that we need to eat the right foods, need to work out, and do stuff that is healthy for us. Because maintaining good health does not happen by accident, it requires work and smart lifestyle choices. But sometimes when we wake up at 6 am to hit the gym before work or shunning the donuts in breakfast, it’s easy to lose sight of for what are we doing all these. So here are some top articles choices that can keep you motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep diseases at bay.

Life With a Stoma: The Early Days

The experience of having a loved one who has to deal with a life threatening ailment or facing this situation ourselves is a part of life that no one enjoys. Conditions such as Crohn’s Disease (an inflammatory bowel disease), bowel or bladder cancer, congenital abnormalities, diverticulitis, or an injury may require life saving surgery to help remove the waste from your body. A stoma may be made for this purpose. This is an opening that will allow the body to carry out its normal processes such as getting rid of waste when it cannot exit via the normal channels. A stoma may be temporary or permanent, artificial or natural. The mouth, nose, ears and anus are examples of natural stomas. Surgical stomas are created to help complete the function of the digestive or urinary system which is to expel faeces and urine from the body.

Your condition may require that you have a colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy done. These prefixes indicate where the opening will be made – colo (the large intestine), ileo (the small intestine) and uro (the urinary tract).

Adapting to Life After a Stoma

A temporary or permanent stoma creates a big change in an individual’s life. It will take some time to adjust and accept this change, but this adjustment period differs from patient to patient. Emotional support will be a vital part of the healing process. Your activities may be altered, but you can still enjoy your favorite meals and regular activities within a relatively short time. This also includes going off on vacations. As time progresses you will find you no longer have to deal with the associated pain and the fear of not being close to a bathroom. These tips will help you to adjust to your new life with relative ease.

  • Getting back to your usual self

As mentioned before this varies from patient to patient, but it may take approximately six to eight weeks before you can engage in your full level of activity. Full recovery can take around three months. Do not try to rush yourself. Allow family members to care for and help you through. You may feel as if you have lost your sense of independence, but that is something we all experience at one time or another when we become ill. Do not despair – just relax.

  • Coping with tiredness

This will be at its worst during the first days following the surgery, but will improve with each passing week.

  • Rest and exercise

You will need adequate rest and just enough exercise to help your body rejuvenate. Set aside a particular time of the day for your rest and ensure family members understand that you do not want to be disturbed. As soon as you are able to do so, go for short walks and gradually increase the distance as time goes by. Walking once or twice per day should be adequate.

  • Support products

Products such as frames, washers and deodorisers are readily available on the market to help stoma patients cope and improve their experience as they heal.

Life with an artificial stoma requires both emotional and physical adjustment. Being informed and understanding that you are not alone will prove to be of great help to both you and your family members. Learning to cope in the early days following the surgery will greatly improve one’s outlook on life and even help to speed up the healing process. There is no rigid right or wrong way to live your life with a stoma so go on, take control and enjoy life.

Georgia Haskins has been using a stoma for over 4 years now. She enjoys living an active life and sharing her experiences on various health related blogs. Learn how to order stoma care products to help your early experiences with a stoma, visit the link.

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