Let’s all be honest. Living with a stoma is not the ideal thing for each of us. There are constraints or limitations that will keep you from doing anything you want. However, having a stoma doesn’t stop you from having a meaningful, fun, and fulfilling life.
With the abundance of stoma supplies and life advice and resources for people living with an ostomy, the world isn’t as bleak as some have thought. The accessibility of information on the online highway can help the lives of fellow ostomates a little better each day and perhaps, even more, brighter!
The Ostomy Lifestyle – It’s A Normal Part Of Life
Many ostomates can look back and experience the surrealism of their previous life or current condition. When we think about ‘ostomy’ or living with a stoma, we picture the medical field—we get the image pertaining to wellness and our body anatomy. Many people are living with an ostomy for some reason. Some even invest their time in stoma bag care, ensuring that mishaps and messes are at bay.
However, many newbies or people in the starting phase are full of worries. Their condition riddles their starting day with anxieties about opening up and talking to people about their ostomy and surgery. It’s not about using the condition as an excuse for specific things; it’s often more about acceptance on a social level. Whether they’re at work or when it comes to dating, there’s a hidden hindrance to an ostomate’s social life.
Despite it, it’s a ‘normal’ occurrence and experience for most starters and those new to it. As humans, our early life does not acclimatise us well to live a stoma lifestyle. It does not teach us about proper wound care until we are in that circumstance where we need to learn it for our day-to-day life. It is true that life and experience can teach us in the most surprising way that will sometimes catch you off-guard.
Living With Ostomy – It’s Good When You Can Talk
It does feel good when you can talk to people about your ostomy without any fear of judgement and rejection by peers or even in your dating life. It’s perfectly normal to anticipate people to ask questions since humans are curious animals.
But for others, it can be an uphill battle to think of what you should say. The answer lies in you. Allow yourself to tell them what they only/what you want them to know. In reality, you don’t have to position yourself to explain everything to everyone who is fulfilling their curiosity. You don’t have to tell them the bits of surgery and things about wound care products.
You can have all the information you choose to disclose to a number of people that you fully trust, be it your friends, loved ones or close family members. Remember, it’s not your responsibility to disclose everything about your stoma and surgery. It’s also never a great idea to allow your stoma to define who you are.
Finding Someone Who You Can Talk To About It
It’s never a simple task to find the right person who can willingly listen and accept your condition. Whether you’re in a workplace or attempting to date someone, there are different reactions for different people. But it’s crucial that you find someone with whom you can talk comfortably and support you. Every ostomate needs social and moral support as well. Living alone with stoma supplies isn’t enough.
Managing your life with an ostomy is a little better when you have someone on your side to help you recover, assist, listen and can walk with you. You can always choose from people you know well throughout your life; it may be your closest friend, partner, or family member.
However, you can also choose to share your stories with other people, be it face-to-face or online via forums or related discussions. You can choose to stay anonymous. You can also ask people about wound care or general advice for living with an ostomy.
The Advantages Of Attending & Joining An Ostomy Support Group
There are a lot of challenges living with an ostomy. Perhaps, there might be a number of questions in an ostomate’s head about stoma bag care or which products to choose, how to use them, etc. Educating yourself and immersing yourself in the opportunity to be people who share the same situation where you are now is beneficial. The commonalities in support groups allow you to connect with others for fasting healing.
Here are a few advantages of joining an ostomy support group:
Allows you to express your emotions
Expressing yourself is one of the most crucial steps to healing. Even when you have already recovered from surgery, expressing your thoughts and emotions allows you to communicate better and get things off your chest. It enables you to build positive mental health and self-image as well.
Apart from having an avenue to express yourself, you can also ask more about stoma bag care and other varieties of subjects. A support group will allow you to educate yourself and keep up with anything you need to know about products and a healthy ostomy lifestyle.
Enhance your social skills
Meeting new people is one thing you need, whether you’re experiencing depression, isolation, undergoing treatment or living with an ostomy. Whether you’re looking for answers about wound care or want to meet new people, a group will benefit your journey. Furthermore, a support group can help you with your social skills, enabling you to meet more people and boost your confidence in speaking with other people you barely know.
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