My name is Jennie, I’m 31 years old and I have had my ileostomy for 3 years.
My ileostomy and my diagnosis came as a shock to me as it was all very sudden. I had what I thought was a really bad tummy bug and after many trips to the doctors, I ended up at the walk in centre having not eaten or drank for about 10 days. Everything I had tried to eat would hurt my tummy and it just got too much, especially as I found out I was pregnant at the same time.
I was rushed into hospital and a week later I had a stoma and a diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease. Originally it was meant to be a reversible operation but because of the severity of my illness at the time my bowel had burst and I was unable to try for a reversal.
While recovering, I tried to build up my strength slowly by walking, swimming and jogging. I was petrified of hurting my tummy or getting a hernia so I spoke to my nurses about returning to exercise. I found one of the most important things about starting to become active again after surgery was support wear. I started using CUI Wear support belts while I exercised which made me feel comfortable but still supported.
I fell poorly again which meant exercising fell by the way side and just over a year later, I had another operation to make my stoma permanent. Although I’m still having health problems, I am so much better than I was.
Although my stoma came as a shock, I absolutely embrace it, its allowed me to get back to nearly full health and live my life with my children: it’s part of me now and honestly I couldn’t live without it.
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