showing off your bag and body!
So I posted this on Instagram so I'm sorry if you've already seen it. This is for everyone that doesn't have Instagram.
I went to a sh*t bag convention yesterday, I was really looking forward to seeing the different bits they had going on but can honestly say I was just disappointed. I saw an underwear stand... and thought that's perfect for me, anything frilly and pretty, as I got there the underwear was (pretty) yes. But it covered every little detail of the bag, the woman advertising turned to me and said "these are just perfect so you can hide it and never know it's there"... well lady, NO, I don't want to hide it! I want to glamourise it, I want it to stand out when I'm in my undies, I want it to look perfect and proud, not hidden in some granny pants! (no offence) but I'm sick and tired of going to these little outings and just feeling low about it afterwards... Society thinks it's best to keep it tucked away nicely.. well bugger what society thinks and any other ass hole, it's bloody lovely it's kept me alive when if I hadn't had it I would be dead. So if any of you have ever been told it's a perfect way to hide your stoma, it's not, it's you and you are brilliant and LIVING!! I really understand people aren't confident having it, but is it because you think it's ugly or you think other people will find it ugly? Ask yourself that question I guarantee you'll find your answer within seconds. I'm not hiding my stoma in granny's knickers, I'm gonna prance around in skimpy undies and flaunt it!!
Hey guys, So I recently posted this on my Instagram page... ( I am an insta addict)
And the response was amazing, I am so happy to share my story, other stories and get the message out there that stomas really aren't as scary as you think.
Basically my point was... I've had so many people always say to me... "Oh thank god you can have your stoma reversed" ... yes I can, yes in the future I might. But right now quality of life & happiness are much more important to me than what I look like. Yes, sometimes I look in the mirror and feel fat or ugly or disgusting but most days I look at myself and thank my "willy" for giving me opportunities giving me strength when there was only ever tiredness before, being able to gain weight and feel happy... yes I gain. With UC and Crohns you can lose so much weight, I couldn't keep any weight on I would go to the toilet over 50 times a day (not an exaggeration) as many of you know, I would be told I look awful by people who barely knew me but thought it was acceptable, I was told I looked like a boy because I lost whatever boobs I had. Not getting enough nutrients it affected every other part of my body such as my teeth, skin and toes. Not being able to walk along a beach freely and not worry about finding the nearest toilet 24/7. Little things like eating a meal and not rushing to the loo half way through. Not missing a simple thing like seeing my niece or nephews blow out their birthday cake candles..... Yes there are downsides to my ileostomy... rashes.... miscarriages.... ectopic pregnancy from scaring or the most recent a stoma infection. But before you assume its a bad quality of life or gross having a shit bag on my hip maybe you'll realise the crap before it. A reversal takes time and focus and all your strength yet again and for now I'm so happy not fighting against my own body. Enjoying it. Living life. We don't have long so stop the judging and start being positive. The majority of people who contact me everyday are only ever upset because of what someone has said to them. Love don't hate, don't judge, respect everyone! Oh and if your squeamish I totally get that! me too. But some people aren't as lucky to have the option I do. Besides its good to be different.
LOVE TO YOU ALL. XOXO
So when I started my website, I had the lovely news team around to help take the focus off of people being ridiculed or judged by their stoma's, we wouldn't walk down the street and judge a person for the wheelchair they are in or a condition they have. why should we judge a person with a stoma who had no other choice but to have one. We have a stoma so we can work, live a normal happy life, live without having to rush to the toilet any more or cancer to reoccur and end up killing us or the colitis/crohns to get so bad that we end up being rushed into hospital every other month. These bags save our lives, and I was so grateful for the amazing Claire to come around and really show an understanding of the bag and get the word out that we are NORMAL, clean and healthy. Here's a picture of these two lovely people from ITV news. I thank them so much for helping me spread the word, and for being so amazing. Kind hearted lovely people.
So the main reason why people don't choose a colostomy/ileostomy is because they don't want people to judge them or look at them differently or think they are disgusting for quite literally having a shit bag on their side. I've never been embarrassed or worried about my stoma simply because i find it so unbelievably interesting and amazing. So as many of you can see and know i am very open about all of it and do not care about my appearance and what others may feel toward it, in fact i feel sexier than ever with it. Another person who finds it fascinating is my nephew, Cameron. He cannot get over the fact i don't have a body part that he and his mummy and daddy have in their bodies. And he finds the cleaning process and the 'squidgy' so cool, that he even took one of my stoma bags put it on his tummy and said he was going to take it to school to show all his friends. Here's a few pictures of how fun, and educational it can be for not only a five year old like my nephew but anyone who wants to learn about it. Why don't some of you give it a go show people it's reality and everyday life for you.
So It's that time of day, Bag change day. If your like me and Has to be as clean as possible, then coming to terms with the bag and changing it over a first must have been hell, all the nurses were so quick and didnt really care how much they cleaned it, whereas i was worried it would smell or leak if i didnt clean it properly enough. And I still like to change my bag so its sparkling... well as much as it can sparkle! So here is a picture of my process. And my key items being Wet wipes, pelican wipes, white cloth wipes and niltac spray! My nephew has even helped me change my bag over, he loves what he calls "jadey's little squidge" and hes so helpful and listens to everything that needs to be done. He even told his school friends i had a outside will that poo's on my tummy! Gotta love how children describe things!
Afraid of leaving the house for the day? Afraid you might leak on a night out? or a day trip somewhere! Don't panic! The likely hood of any of us leaking on different occasions is rare anyway, these bags are strong, secure and smell free. And a leak is not a leak, it's slow and not immediate, you will realise before anyone else does. If your worried, simple.... 4 little things, A spare bag, A disposable bag, your little scissors & wet wipes. All very easy and compact-able into a tiny clutch for those cheeky nights out or any day when your just carrying a normal handbag, and these things are so easily compact that men, they WILL fit into your pockets.
Hey, Just a little bit about myself, I had Ulcerative colitis for 7 years, and now I've got an ileostomy bag. I'ts changed my life for the best, and I'm finally being the 23 year old I should be.