03-23-2007, 06:54 PM   #1
Life after surgery


Well, I had my surgery on March 13th. I had a small bowel resection, a partial colectomy and an ileostomy. I spent a week in the hosiptal. The Emory University Hospital was very good to me but.........I am still unsure about the surgery. I feel like the pouch is poking out and that everyone that comes to my house can see it. I feel like everyone can smell me....... Physically I feel fine but mentally it is difficult. I am sure these feelings will get better but is this a normal feeling or am I just being difficult?

03-24-2007, 01:10 PM   #2
I don't know what you're going through, as I've never had surgery... I'm very new to this whole IBD thing. But I wish I could give you a big hug, Leigh.
03-26-2007, 10:44 AM   #3
Crohniac's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
I cannot answer for you if it is Normal or not because I have not been in your shoes completely. I will say that after all that you have had done to you it couldn't possibly be that you are being difficult. It sounds as though you are doing exceptionally well dealing with your surgeries and you are on track to acceptance as well. I say BRAVO and I admire your courage, honesty, and commitment. Much love!
03-26-2007, 12:47 PM   #4
I went through the same emotional issues after my surgery. It is normal. But it is important to confront these feelings. Include friends and family and doctors if need be and work to bring more positive forces into your daily activities. For instance whenever I am feeling really tired or down for some reason my first reaction is to get up and do something. I usually go for a walk or bike ride or some type of activity. When it was closer to my surgery, smaller activities had to win out, but anything helps.
03-26-2007, 05:26 PM   #5
Hi Leigh, as Jak says, its perfectly natural to feel down after any surgery never mind bowel surgery. You've been through a lot and it will take time to adjust to a stoma. Women are very concious of the way they look and even though you think people can see the bag. . . . .they really can't. Obviously right now, you will still be swollen. It takes a good couple of months for the swelling to go down totally, and when that happens, I can assure you, no-one, will be able to tell you have a bag, even in jeans. The only people who know are the ones you tell. I kept that to a minimum, no need to tell everyone, only my family and close friends know.
The best advice I can give is. . . .take 1 day at a time, try not to think how next week is gonna go, focus on today for the time being, less stressful and if you feel like you need a good cry. . . then do, let it out, it helps. But, try not to bottle it up, try and find someone close to share your worries with, it makes things a little easier talking about them. You will be ok. Feel free to pm if you want to caht or have a vent. Take care

03-27-2007, 05:32 AM   #6
Hi Leigh,

The way you're feeling now is perfectly normal.. it takes time to adjust to having a stoma. I've had mine for 9 years now, in the beginning I felt just the way you do, it does make you feel self conscious but trust me, no one can see it and they certainly can't smell it!

Once the swelling goes down and your wound has healed, you'll find that you can wear normal clothes.. I sometimes still think people can see it even though I know they can't! On days like these I wear longer tops just to make myself feel better.. other days I'll wear jeans and a crop top (my stoma is sited low down) and feel totally comfortable and confident.

You will regain your confidence, it just takes a little time.. but trust me, its all in the mind!

Elaine xxx
03-28-2007, 01:25 PM   #7
Hi All,

Thank you so much for your support. I feel a bit better about things today. I went out today for the first time and had lunch with my husband. I was nervous but it turned out fine.

03-28-2007, 01:25 PM   #8

How do I PM you?

03-28-2007, 08:09 PM   #9
Jeff D.
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2006
Best of luck. I am glad your surgery went well. I have never had a surgery before so I can't put myself in your shoes completely but when I have a bad day I often feel that I smell like poopl even if I don't. Best of luck. To pm someone just clicky their name and it will bring down a bunch of things and one is a personal message.
03-29-2007, 10:15 AM   #10
Thanks Jeff!
03-30-2007, 03:44 PM   #11
Senior Member
TammySue62's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: hamilton, Ontario

My Support Groups:
Now I'm in the same position as you once were.
To have the surgery or not?
Doc told me on Tues he couldnt put setons in to fix my fistulas.
I have untill may to decide if I want the ileostomy .
Don't now if I can handle looking at a stoma.
Have to go for a flexiable sigmoidoscotomy on Mon.
Its bad timing for me right now.Have to find a place for
my daughter and me to live.
Hope you have a speedy and healthy recovery.

03-30-2007, 03:55 PM   #12
Senior Member
TammySue62's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: hamilton, Ontario

My Support Groups:
Hi Leigh
To private message someone look at the top of the forum
under Quick Links.Click on the Quick Links and scroll down
to Miscellaneous click onto Private Messages and away you go.
For Ruth you have to type her user name in the recipient box
that would be ruthmg. This should help you.
If you like you can try to pm me to see how it works.
I was the same way at first.I'm not a computer geek.(I'm dense when it comes
down to trying to remember things on the computer)
I'm forever losing my posts.
Although my daughter is teaching me lots.
Any more problems just let me know.

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