Ostomy Features - Sarah Speaks To... Tanya

Ostomy Features - Sarah Speaks To... Tanya

Q & A with Tanya

You started with endometriosis what were your symptoms?

My symptoms - I had really bad and heavy periods for years, fainting, vomiting, sickness, I could walk when I would first come on as the pain would radiate down my legs. At time went on, I had bowel problems and wasn’t able to retain my food. Blood in stools, food was going through me.

Tanyalivingfree Endometriosis Stoma Image - The Dailymail and The Sun

You were misdiagnosed to begin with?

I was misdiagnosed with IBS and advised to go on the low fodmap diet. It helped to cut out dairy and gluten but it didn’t solve the problem.

Explain your daily life before stoma surgery.

Before stoma, I definitely had anxiety about going out and eating out, finding out where the nearest toilets were, scared about eating as I’d need to go straight after. I wasn’t able to make a workout, I’d usually feel wheezy and faint half way through. I was in pain almost everyday with endometriosis and my bowel problems.

Stoma Surgery Hospital Image

Did you have a choice in your Ileostomy and what is the story behind Lola your stoma?

I didn’t have a choice for my Ileostomy. I was told I would need one and I woke up from surgery with one. The surgeon said the endo was squeezing my bowels too much that I had to have one. The name Lola was my sister's idea! She helped me create some identity and instead of calling it a stoma (because I didn’t like it when I first had it), she said let’s give it a name 😊

Tell me your typical daily meal plan.

For breakfast, I usually eat gluten free coco pops (don’t judge me!), GF porridge or baked oats, pancakes, poached or scrambled egg with GF toast, there’s loads of options! Lunch varies as well, sometimes a light stir fry, fruits, chicken, eggs, lots of snacking! If I’m in the office, we usually go for a cheeky burger or fish and chips! I love Turkish, Thai and Moroccan cuisine so we vary with dinner as well depending on what we fancy! There’s no limitations just because I’m on a gf diet 😊

Tanyalivingfree low fodmap gluten free meal plan

Is it hard to find Good meals when abroad or out of town?

London is really good for gf meals and eating out! I rarely have a problem and if I can’t find anywhere, I’ll go to my go to places! Abroad is a little more tricky and I sometimes take things like porridge and some snacks with me. I usually research a place before I go and see what the options are :)

Tanyalivingfree Ostomy Eid and Swimwear Image

Is fasting for Eid different now than before having your stoma?

To be honest, fasting for me hasn't been that much different. I’m just more conscious of making sure my stoma is ok and doing what I can 😊 I actually feel like my bowels are healthier than they have been!

If you would like to share your story and discuss it with us in a one on one awareness feature please get in touch.

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