It is really hard to believe it is already September. I feel like it was last week that I was writing about how much I was dreading the summer months
This summer was definitely different for me with my ostomy. It was still the same type of struggles (skin irritation, not being able to really get the bag wet, humidity impacting my skin,etc) but I have learned a lot about myself and my ostomy. I expand on this more here
For starters, clothing. Always a big question and issue for patients.
This summer I wore 1) lots of dresses, 2) tight tank tops with another tank over it (keeps my stomach looking flatter), and 3) leggings or capri type leggings with nice, flowy shirts.
When I sleep, I have tried just over sized tee shirts but I am more comfortable in boxers and a tank top. I keep the fan blowing directly on me so I don’t get hot when I am sleeping. Hate that.
I also am learning not to focus so much on my stomach in the summer. I have gone out in just shorts and a tank top where if you looked hard enough you could see the top part of my ostomy and I kind of have a “whatever” attitude.
I think being in the locker room at the gym helped me to see that everyone has something. And also… no one really gives a crap what you are doing. Why is it okay to be in the locker room in just your underwear when you are severely obese but it is NOT okay to change in a public locker room with your ostomy showing for a minute or two? It is interesting if you think about it like that.
The point is though, this summer has been far better than others. Despite not sleeping, having terrible migraines, and a bunch of other things to deal with – I did not have the pool (or beach) in front of me. My parents love going to the town pool which was where I used to swim in the summer. Before ulcerative colitis, and even when I had a kock pouch, I couldn’t get enough of the pool. I loved being in the water, loved being tan, and just loved feeling ALIVE there.
But when I had my ostomy, my parents still went to the pool on hot days, they always invited me, but I never wanted to go. So when they would go (because why should they stay in and have a miserable day?), it would act as a reminder of something huge I was missing out on. And not just missing out on… But something that had been taken away from me.
I can’t imagine ever loving the summer the way used to and I would be lying if I said I was sad the summer was coming to an end. I am actually psyched for the fall weather, this is my birthday month, and I always look forward to the holidays at the end of the year. I know I am getting ahead of myself but still! It is nice to have things to look forward to
If you have any questions or thoughts about surviving the summer with an ostomy or Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis), please feel free to contact me at Marisa.IBD@gmail.com