Our wedding anniversary is on the horizon and I’ve just had to remind my husband, Matty, that we’ve been married 13 years not 12! Let’s hope it’s not an unlucky year for us! That memory lapse has certainly earned him a dog’s dinner.
I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in the year we married, and I’ve had an ileostomy for ten.
If my husband has ever looked at me any different, he’s not done it whilst I was looking. I can tell you what he has done though, he’s helped me out of many a bed, covered head to toe in poo from a bag explosion. He once cut me out of my favourite pyjamas, while I stood in the bath, and then showered me off because I was post-surgery, sore and sleepy. Then whilst I’ve carried on sorting myself out he’s stripped the bedding and put the washing machine on.
Matty has defended my honour on many occasions…
Outside disabled toilets when people have hammered on the door yelling, “What’s taking so long?!” he’s been there to put them in their place. When people have shouted, “You don’t look disabled!”, as I’ve exited a disabled loo or parked in a disabled parking bay, he’s been there to stand up for me and help educate others about hidden disabilities.
Matty has come to my aid when my stoma is behaving like a burst water main and squirting all over the place.
Whilst I’m trying to stop the flow and get a bag on, he’s there to support me and we can now work in perfect unison, like those people who cap oil wells.
Matty knows the difference between super pants (my support pants) and normal pants. I know I’m lucky.
I hear from other ostomates about their partners who won’t even acknowledge the existence of their stoma. Don’t get me wrong, we did struggle for about six months after all the operations. The dynamics had changed, and we were both so exhausted from everything… not only did we have a year of daily struggles with my health, but our son Callum was still young and had been born prematurely.
Marriage counselling was a great help.
What surprised us both was not only our willingness to admit there was a problem with our marriage but that we were also both willing to go to marriage counselling.
Thankfully it worked and here we are nine years later, still married. We’ve had our ups and down and maybe could’ve done with more counselling, who knows, but we deal with everything together now and Matty is willing to deal with actual ****, so he’s got to be a keeper!