In The Flesh
This is me. The new me. The me with the ileostomy.
Several people have asked what it looks like and so, here it is. Please note that I do not wear bikinis and have not in many, many years. I apologize for the blinding glare of my white, white skin.
Surprisingly, I was very hesitant to post this. After all, no one wants to see all their "glory" on display (especially on the www!) but, I feel like it's important. It's important for others to know they are not alone. I have been so encouraged by others who have posted their photos that I knew I needed to do the same. It's really quite liberating now that I see it.
Yes, I am imperfect. I have some extra padding that came with fighting disease for 7+ years. Lots of scars from various surgeries. A few wrinkles and gray hairs in the mix too. I am not as young and pretty as I once was. I am, however, ALIVE! And ALIVE trumps all the other stuff. So, this is me, in the flesh.
You know what? I am feeling more and more empowered by this. Having an ileostomy gave me my life back. Why should I try to hide that? Would you? Maybe I should display it daily...
OK, got a little carried away there. I will not go around in public with my shirt tied up like I did when I was 10. But, ask me about it and I'll whip out the ostomy and show you. I am happy to be alive. It's hard to be ashamed, embarrassed or negative about something that has improved my quality of life by leaps and bounds.
Haters beware, I'm on a mission to educate the world about ostomies and the miracle my own personal experience is!