What is the purpose of a colostomy?
We all know the famous phrase “shit happens”, but what if it was more than just an inconvenience? What if your entire life revolved around poop? Well, welcome to the world of living with a colostomy. It’s not pretty, glamorous or easy, but for some people, it’s necessary.
In this article, we’re going to take a deep dive into the world of colostomies and explore why they exist and how they affect everyday life.
What is a Colostomy?
Let’s start at the beginning – what exactly is a colostomy anyway? Essentially, it’s when part of your colon (large intestine) is removed and replaced by an opening in your abdominal wall. This opening called stoma has no nerve endings and functions as a new way for stool to leave your body (yes you read that right).
There are different types of colostomies depending on which part of the colon was removed (and trust us there are many):
- Sigmoid colostomy
- Descending colon colostomy
- Transverse colon colostomy
- Ascending colon colostomy
It may seem intense having part of your body removed and restructured like this – but don’t worry – our bodies are clever little things. Our digestive system will continue to function as normal with some modifications required based on one’s specific needs.
Why Would Someone Need A Colostomy?
The main reason someone would need surgery resulting in a permanent or temporary ostomy (another term used for ‘colosotm’) is due to complications such as tumors in their intestinal area (now THAT’S scary). Other reasons could be things like diverticulitis inflammation causing blockages or damage during childbirth.
A diagnosis requires visiting various medical professionals to ensure your specific situation is thoroughly assessed. Prior to surgery, you may want to see a psychologist or attend an educational seminar that dives into various aspects of life with a colostomy (an ostomate).
It’s essential for people living with an ostomy and their loved ones to fully understand the changes happening in their bodies and how this will affect their life going forward. But thankfully, there are resources available globally that can provide all sorts of information related to medicine, nutrition, sports etc.
It’s Not All Doom & Gloom
Many people understandably experience feelings of anxiety/ depression/fear after having surgery – because well… its heavy-duty stuff (pardon the pun) but our message here today is a positive one – it’s not all doom & gloom.
There are legitimate upsides (Yes! even in terms of poop management) like no longer dealing with IBS based symptoms – oh and the added bonus where ‘crop-dusting’’ isn’t required as much in social situations within your surrounding community anymore – yes we went THERE.
But let’s be real: The most significant benefits come from being able to continue on living unrestricted by any previous medical issues.
Ongoing Maintenance Is Required Though
Like anything important in life, maintaining your stoma healthy requires routine maintenance by replacing some parts such as pouching systems regularly.
Other things need consideration too: how do food choices impact bowel movement schedule? Can you have sex post-surgery or what about taking part comfortably in physical activities?
The good news is many companies manufacture specialized accessories designed specifically for Ostomates leading full lives –
From waterproof covers fitted over swimming pool bags allowing individuals freedom at pools/saunas/beaches/etc., through specially crafted athletic wear which help self-assurance during complex movements like yoga routines; all types readily available from trusted distributors worldwide.
While the topic of living with a colostomy (an ostomy) might seem taboo to many people, it’s nothing for those who live this reality. Ostomates worldwide have learned how to embrace life and make changes as required.
It’s important that notionally we begin accepting such individuals without thinking poorly or treating them any differently than what they deserve most — which is kindness.
Let us end on a final note – Managing ‘crap’ may not sound glamorous – but based on what we’ve discovered through writing this post? It could be seen as just another hurdle in achieving a happy balanced lifestyle—stoma and all!