Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Don't You Tell Me I'm Not Normal

Most people with a(n) bag ostomy will tell you that after surgery, we live a pretty normal life. I feel that while it's true that we are back to being awesome our best selves and we have a renewed sense of living, we definitely have to make some adjustments. What do you mean, Ava?

Well, for starters - there are so many things that we have to anguish worry about that people without stomas will wonder why we're trippin don't even take a moment's time to ponder. For instance, I was once a very slobberful peaceful stomach sleeper. To me, that's the actual stuff that "dreams are made of." You know, the one-knee-up, head cocked gently to the side, with a hand tucked beneath the face.....man, I miss that! Now my appliance completely gets in the way and I wind up (rather pissed off upsettingly, I might add) on my back. The main problem is: my bag fills up rather rapidly while I am asleep. Sometimes I have to get up in the middle of the night to empty (usually around 3/4ish) because I do not want a crappy situation leak. 
The truth is: Leaks Happen. You'll be happy (or not) to know that leaks are not the norm for me. I've had one three. Thankfully, once my bag fills up, the sensation triggers something in my brain and I usually wake up right on time! If only I could easily get back to sleep afterwards. Admittedly, I've had a lot of trouble sleeping lately. 

Also, my six-pack abdominal muscles were severed during my operation. While I have endured multiple physical therapy sessions to strengthen my core, I still have a lot of weakness around my midsection. Because my core was cut, I am at risk for developing a hernia so heavy lifting is out of the question. However, strength training would probably help to re-build the muscles in that area. Ah, catch 22. It doesn't help that I've gained 65 pounds since my surgery. I'm fatter bigger than I've ever been AND I have a weak core. Oy vey!

I showed you all a picture of myself wearing my boring lovely ostomy device in my last post. Although I was scared senseless a bit apprehensive, I've gotten some really great feedback. While I don't have serious challenges with finding clothing to camouflage the appliance, I do have to take more time than I did before the surgery to pick clothing that accentuates my new assets gives the smoothest appearance and cleanest lines. I am not ashamed of my ostomy, but at the same time, I don't want ish sticking out looking all funny bulges under my shirt or sweater. Is that contradictory? I don't know. You tell me. All I know is that since I'm out being a shopaholic buying a new wardrobe now, I'm more apt to try things on. 

Lastly, my love for the "midnight snack" can often have serious consequences and repercussions. I am a serious night-owl. I always have been and always will be. Who likes to raid the pantry snack while up late watching Jimmy Fallon or 'Love It or List It'?  This gal does! Transit time from mouth to bag is between 1-2 hours. See the dilemma? If I eat that Ben and Jerry's Half-Baked, I might be up all night. Sometimes I just do it anyway. I really don't want to shy away from doing things I've always done just because I have an ostomy now. No one's gonna tell me I'm not normal.

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