Celebrating The Anniversary Of Your Stoma

Jay Garden

Today is my 62nd birthday, an occasion I almost didn’t get the chance to celebrate at all, due to the medical negligence I endured in 2013. In summary, I had just a 44% chance of survival and I doubt it was anything much other than luck that pulled me through. I left the hospital with a colostomy and the worst episode of PTSD of my entire life – and I’ve lived through a lot of trauma including war so that’s really saying something.

I often see fellow ostomates online celebrating their stomaversaries (not a real word but you know what it means). 

This is of course a huge deal for some people. I know one lady who has a party every year for hers!

When a person has a debilitating illness like inflammatory bowel disease, especially for a long period of time, then a stoma can provide a quality of life that they wouldn’t otherwise have. Some people have their lives saved by stoma surgery, and I can see how they might want to celebrate that. Escaping ill health and turning your life around would be a reason to hold a party or remember, for sure.

My stomaversary doesn’t feel like something to celebrate.

But for me, I was ill for just a few days. I wasn’t diagnosed until it was too late, and I almost died. I had diverticulitis and abscesses which had burst internally, I was full of poison with four quadrant peritonitis. I wasn’t ill over a long period of time and I didn’t have months to get used to the idea of a stoma, so my stomaversary doesn’t feel like something to celebrate at all. In fact, I doubt the day will ever come when I celebrate my stomaversary – but who knows? I’m not in my dotage yet so I’ve got time to work on my fears, I know that. I am determined to get my life back, however long that takes. 

But my birthday? Now that I will celebrate!

I’m meeting one of my best friends and going to the seaside this afternoon. Sounds good doesn’t it, even if I do have to wait until my stoma has finished before I set out on my journey. There isn’t a service stop on my route to the beach for at least an hour (and that’s as long as the traffic isn’t bad!). I trust my Aura Flushable pouch, but I’m still going to wait a little while for my stoma to finish up. 

Once it’s done, I’m going to put on some nice clothes and make-up, spray on a bit of perfume and get in the car. Today I am going to celebrate my birthday with a special person by the sea. Today the sun is shining and the petrol tank is full. Today is a day for fun. Today I shall celebrate life, there may even be some fish’n’chips involved! Today I will pretend I don’t have a stomaversary at all!

Do you celebrate your stomaversary? Let me know. Until next time folks…

“I’m not in my dotage yet so I’ve got to work on my fears…but I doubt the day will come when I celebrate my stomaversary.” - @justjayhyrons

Tweet this!

Why not try our sister companies Aura Flushable 

Share this article:

by Jay Hyrons

Jay Hyrons

About the author

Hi I'm Jay. My stoma was unexpected and very much unwanted, in fact it still is. I am a qualified Clinical Personal Fitness Trainer and a former National Champion Bodybuilder. After eight abdominal surgeries I am still Hernia free. You can see the video made in partnership with CliniMed here Core Exercises to help prevent Hernias and you can get other fitness tips on my YouTube or follow me on Instagram.

Recent Comments

  • Anthony O'Neill

    This probably sounds strange, but I celebrate the anniversary of my life saving operation & gaining my Stoma, by sending myself spoof anniversary cards. They are from the grim reaper & funeral directors, who have not managed to get their hands on me yet. I have just celebrated 3 years of being out of the clutches of them. My family think I am a nutter, but I am an alive nutter, thanks to the NHS. Anthony.

  • Sharon

    Im nearly there ....this xmas will be the most poignant ever as 30 years ago I faced the biggest ever challenge of my life to have post hemi collectomy and illeostomy life saving surgery absolutely especially as it was a surgical procedure taking risks massively at the time i prayed it would work so many other variations of these life saving life giving procedures would give us a chance of living our lives to the full .....
    So happy anniversary to ME .... what fantastic opportunities ive had over these 30 years more than i could of ever dreamed of at that dark terrible daily struggle of those times its not been easy and to stay positive sometimes hard but the experiences and things that ive done has been fantastic thanks to a fantastic surgeon professors surgical team Icu team ward staff nurses care staff domicillary nurses physios gp and many more ...this life affirming change and all their care and professionalism has made it possible for me and many thousands of ostomists to just live and be able to live our lives to the full ..... i am now at the half way point 30 years without the operation 30 years post operation what a fantastic place to be unbelievable considering how the odds in favour were .... my husband family friends are to this day amazing ....
    I am so grateful and happy to have got here 30 years later so love light and blessings to everyone who lives with or is facing the possibility of living with becoming an ostomist life is great live it to the best you can every single day One Life Live It ..... will i be celebrating you bet champagne all the way ....

  • Anne

    My colostomy operation was almost 19 years ago but unlike you I had been living with the prospect of a colostomy for three years so had some idea of what to expect. Also I wasn’t ill, there was no cancer, no IBD, crohns or colitis just a growth, a villus adenoma. My amazing consultant tried to excise it but it was stubborn and kept regrowing eventually leaving the consultant no choice but an non reversible colostomy, he said I wouldn’t be using my bottom again so that was stitched up too.
    Life goes on and to be honest I do try to live it as fully as possible. Through my stoma I have met some incredible people and through them achieved & done things I would never ever have considered trying.
    Do I celebrate my stomaversary? No but I do recognise it, because life changed after that date. And no I’ve not named my stoma in the the same way I’ve not named my hands or feet, but that’s the way that suits me not everyone. I do intend to celebrate all and any of my future birthdays because I am alive and massively grateful to be able to be able to add another year to my age, far too many of us don’t reach “old age” or as my gorgeous granddaughter said recently “nanny I cannot count all your wrinkles, you must be very old”
    There isn’t one right for everyone with or without stomas, we are each individuals but we all can be compassionate, caring humans and look out for each other.

  • Jay Morgan Hyrons

    HI Anthony That sounds like a great idea to send yourself a card Hope youre keeping them!

  • Jay Hyrons

    Hi Sharon

    Well done you! It sounds like you have had great support and that is always special. Thank you for sharing x

  • Jay Hyrons

    Anne Thank you for your comment Gosh your granddaughter sounds cute! I agree, although I hate my stoma it has brought some amazing people into my life that without it I surely would not have met!

Add a Comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.