Living with a stoma is not my ideal, but it meant I kept my life. Before my stoma I was reduced to endless toilet runs, pain, bleeding and major weight loss. That was 8 years ago now. I often look back with some surrealism that it even ever happened and also frightened that those dark days could arise again ...I am hoping not. And so I plod on.
I now have a successful nail salon business that I have built from scratch and am currently planning to take some staff on and in the future get bigger and better. I'm not one to let my stoma define me and who I am, so I haven't shouted from the rooftops about it and most people I come across in daily life wouldn't know I have it.
I love my job because a lot of the time I am a sounding board for my clients, when they have had a tough time with life in general, be it their family, work, relationships, I am always willing to listen and I do believe talking about things is the best way to feel better instantly! In return I sometimes find myself opening up to them. A few clients know about my stoma and their reactions can differ. Some are so surprised and unphased. Some I can tell feel a little awkward with what to say next. But on the whole I think it makes them realise that the little stresses in life really aren't worth stressing about. Some have said how brave I am and that they couldn't do it. But we all can. We all face horrid things in life and we all find the strength deep down in the depths of our bodies and souls to cope. We just do. We should pat ourselves on the back for being so amazing but we don't. We tend to be so highly critical and beat ourselves up rather than giving ourselves the credit we most certainly deserve.
I have a client with a stoma too, surprisingly. We often chat about underwear, swimwear, hospitals and boys. In fact I met her in hospital 5 years ago. I would have never have thought then, lying incapable in a hospital bed that I would be sitting a few years later making her nails look pretty and both being healthy again. There's hope for you!