Would you rather have a stoma bag or be on medication for life?
This was a question I spotted in a group whilst scrolling through my feed on Facebook. I found it intriguing and certainly knew what my answer would be. Personally, I would rather have my stoma. I thought I would share with you all the reasons behind my decision, because you may have a different reason or even a different answer.
I have suffered at the tight clutches of Ulcerative Colitis for 21 years. It took me a very long time to work out who I was or, even still, who I am now because I was about 10 years old when I was first affected. Adults seem to grieve for the person they once were, but I missed out on a good chunk of school due to spending it on hospital wards; I spent more time as a patient than a student, seeing more of hospital staff than my loved ones.
I tried everything before getting my stoma
I tried everything from syrups, infusions, pills and injections before I had my first surgery to create my J-Pouch - which I was told would “cure” me. I wouldn’t ever want to be in the position again where I can crack a joke about rattling when I walk due to the large quantity of tablets I would have to take daily. Also I never again want to have to sit for hours with tubes protruding from my arms which often restricted my movement, or have to do self-administered injections.
I definitely don’t miss feeling disorientated and the pain doubling me over, as if I had been punched in my stomach, just before a flare took hold. I certainly don’t miss my hands being a flesh pin cushion and having to persuade those after my blood to use my elbows, because the mere thought of a needle in the back of my hand gives me a panic attack… heck, even acupuncture needles send me into a tizzy.
This is why I would rather have a stoma
I didn’t have a stoma bag with my J-Pouch, which I realised was a bad idea as I soon knew what it was like having to deal with diarrhoea and urgency instead of the constipation and urgency I suffered pre-surgery.
Even though I still have other symptoms from having an auto immune disease and scar tissue/adhesion pain from surgeries, which at times can be pretty darn unpleasant, they are absolutely nothing in comparison to having active IBD. Before my first surgery, my Ulcerative Colitis never went into any kind of remission. After my first surgery, I felt a lot better but never as perfect as I was led to believe.
So that is why I would always choose to have a stoma bag over medication any day; especially since I fought hand, tooth and nail for my ileostomy to be made permanent.
What is your answer or your reasoning behind your choice?