Having an ileostomy for the first time


Like the previous post, this was written a few years ago and are my thoughts on having an ileostomy

On 1st October 2007 my life changed completely. I had undergone major surgery to have my Large Intestine removed and had a Stoma/Ileostomy/Bag (Whatever you prefer to call it). I recovered amazingly quickly after the operation and was back up and running within 3 weeks. The doctors think this could have been because my body was so ill that once these 6ft diseased piece of me was taken out my body was able to recover!

Before I had the operation I didn’t want to know about ileostomies or what living with one would involve. This was probably because it was the last thing I wanted to have done, I didn’t want to google “Ileostomy” and read horror stories, I guess I just wanted to find this all out for myself.

After the operation I loved having my bag, I felt well, I didn’t have to worry about going to the toilet, I didn’t have to worry about having an accident in class. I was able to enjoy my life without the constant worry.

Having a Ileostomy Bag gave me a new lease of life! After suffering for 4 years with Ulcerative Colitis I was able to enjoy life. I carried on playing football, I did a skydive, learnt to drive, moved to London and got a girlfriend who would later become my wife! (Spoilers!!)

I remember first getting my bag and reading a random article about a Ilesotomy bags inflating on an aeroplane. My family had planned to go to Florida and obviously I was about to find out whether this myth was true. It turns out it is completely false and having a bag doesn’t actually stop you from doing anything.

My operation didn’t disturb my studying too much and I finished 6th Form College with a B in Media and a C in English Language, and got into the University of Westminster to study Contemporary Media Practice.

Summer 2008 was involved a lot of holidays! I went camping for 3 weeks (one week body boarding in cornwall), as a family we also went to America for 3 weeks. My bag was not a hindrance in anyway. I didn’t need to be keeping my eyes peeled for the nearest loo or trying to pre empt my bowel movements

In September 2008 the time came for me to severe the parental bond and mover to London, where I would discover that living on you own is quality, but however good you think you are at cooking, mums is always better! University was great fun, I made some amazing friends who weren’t bothered that I had a bag and just accepted me for who I am. I joined a great church in Camden, here’s the website is you want to check it out: www.revelationchurch.org.uk

After being in London for a couple of months one of the biggest “coincidences” or I prefer miracles happened. I was needed to see a Stoma nurse about my bag so googled the nearest stoma care. The stoma care just so happened to be opposite my university just a 5 minute walk away. St Mark’s Hospital is a specialist hospital for Inflammatory Bowel Disease which is an Umbrella term including: Colitis, Ulcerative Colitis & Chron’s. I first visited a Stoma Nurse for a regular check up and this is where Pouch surgery was first mentioned to me.

Even though there was no need for me to have a Pouch because everything with the bag was going well, I was a perfect candidate to have the surgery as I was young and would recover quickly. The procedure involved to operations spaced a couple of months apart and we did it over Summer 2009 so I would be back fighting fit ready to start my second year of university.

One thought on “Having an ileostomy for the first time

  1. Demi Matthews

    I had ulcerative colitis for over 35 years, after polyps were removed and grew right back, I had precancerous tissue. 2014 at the age of 52
    I had surgery to have my colon removed. I never felt better in my life! I love my surgeon!


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