Mental Health Awareness – Body Image and an Ostomy

Mental Health Awareness – Body Image and an Ostomy

This week has been Mental Health Awareness week and this years theme was body image so I thought I would talk a little about how your body image can change after ostomy surgery. 

I ran a poll on Twitter to see if people’s view changed positively, negatively or was indifferent and I ran this for two days; at the beginning of the poll the majority was positive. This sadly soon changed with negative outlook on the voters body ultimately won. The poll received 73 votes and this is the results:

It isn’t the end of the world if you dislike the way your body looks after having ostomy surgery but it is sad that people feel like this when it has ultimately saved their life. However it is every single persons own right to feel how they want too about their body. I did however get some lovely comments from people who saw it as a positive. Some mentioned that it was factors that can come with having an ostomy such as hernias or weight gain from being healthier, but the positives were not being on the toilet 24/7, being alive and being healthy.

I find it has been a positive on mine but only because I hate my stomach so much and the bag covers half of it! Which isn’t the healthiest way to look at it but in my mind it is better than continuing to fully hate my body as I have hated it for such a long time. There are only a handful of times that I get annoyed with my stoma when it comes to image and that is things like if it pops out the top of my waistband and it puffs up and becomes visible or if it has filled up quicker than I expected and I become self conscious of it, or sometimes how 00Steve see’s it which as he has reconfirmed recently that is definitely in my head and he doesn’t even notice it now.

It can be a long road to liking how you look and that can be for just a healthy person let alone someone who has been acutely or chronically sick and had major surgery; sometimes acceptance of certain things can happen quicker and easier than others. There is tons of stuff I hate about my body but I am really happy that my ostomy isn’t one of them.

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