Accepting your ostomy after surgery can take time, but this is a lifesaving event. You now have an entirely new way of passing bodily waste, and the stoma can change shape, color, and size along the way. Keeping an eye on the health of your stoma can make a big difference when it comes to comfort, and we have a few tips and ostomy supplies that can help with your quality of life and accepting your ostomy.
Learning You Need Ostomy Surgery Can be Difficult
There are various types of ostomies, including colostomies, ileostomies, and urostomies, each with unique challenges and requirements. Learning that you need such a major surgery can be overwhelming and daunting, and it’s natural to feel a wide range of emotions, such as fear, sadness, anger, or confusion.
Ostomy surgery can impact an individual’s daily life, such as their ability to work, travel, and engage in social activities. It can also lead to changes in body image and self-esteem, which can be challenging to navigate. Accepting your stoma and this new way of life is possible with proper education, support, and guidance.
Helpful Tips for Accepting Your Ostomy
Understanding the reasons behind your ostomy surgery and learning how to care for your stoma is crucial to feeling more in control of your situation. Ask your healthcare provider for resources or attend virtual or in-person ostomy classes for additional guidance.
Seek a support network
Finding emotional support from loved ones, healthcare professionals, and support groups can help you navigate the emotional challenges that come with an ostomy.
Take care of your physical health
Maintaining good physical health through a healthy diet, regular exercise, and appropriate hygiene practices can help prevent complications and boost your overall well-being.
Be open and honest
Being as open and honest about your feelings can not only help you in accepting your ostomy, but it can make the people around you more comfortable. Being open and telling others about your ostomy, how it felt, how the surgery was, and how tough it can be, helps people to support you. When people ask about it, try to help educate them about life with an ostomy. This can help break the stigma.
Adjusting to a new way of life can be challenging and may involve some setbacks. Practicing self-compassion by acknowledging your feelings and giving yourself time to adjust can help in the process of accepting your stoma.
Experiment with different products
Various products can help you manage your stoma, from different types of ostomy pouches to belts and adhesive barrier strips. Experiment with different products to find what works best for you. Part of accepting your stoma is about comfort, so you will want to find those products that work for you.
Celebrate your achievements
Acknowledge and celebrate each milestone in your recovery, no matter how small it may seem. Celebrate your resilience and strength in adapting to this new way of life.
Remember, accepting your ostomy takes time, and it’s a process that is unique to each individual. By practicing self-care, seeking support, and staying informed, you can learn to accept your ostomy, overcome these challenges with time, and lead a full and rewarding life.