It may not seem like much, but today was another achievement for me because I left the house for the first time, by myself. It was only to go over the road to meet a friend for a coffee, but I walked there completely alone. I know it was just an irrational thought, but all of last night I just kept thinking about all the things that could potentially go wrong, like me fainting in the street or middle of the road… Completely irrational but they were still there creeping around my head the whole walk there. Admittedly, it did take me over 20 minutes to walk a journey I used to be able to walk in 8, however that is besides the point. I did it, and I’m proud of myself.
Another thing I’ve conquered this week swimming!
I was saying to Mum, that number wise, I’m the same weight I was before I was admitted to hospital, physically I’m a different shape, but I’m still not 100% comfortable with my body – to be perfectly honest with you, I’m not sure I ever will be completely comfortable with the way I look now I have my stoma, it’s not the nicest thing to look at let’s be honest! But I can’t imagine not having a bag stuck to my tummy now, it’s become part of me, but there’s still a tiny part of me that resents it. I want to feel as comfortable as I can in my own skin, so I would like to lose a bit more weight, or even just tone up. But how do you do that when your diet basically consists of white carbs and a bit of protein? It’s so hard to find “healthy” low fibre meals that aren’t full of white carbs.
Diet isn’t the only part of being healthy though, it’s exercise too and I’m not going to lie, I’m not exactly physically fit! Just walking for 20 minutes at my own pace wears me right out so even attempting to swim was huge! The main hurdle for me though was the psychological side of it. I had a million and one worries going through my mind beforehand.
1) What if you can see my stoma through my swimming costume?
2) What if it starts to peel off from the heat of the water and I don’t notice in time and it leaks into the water?
3) What if my skin reacts to the chlorine and then the stoma bags won’t stick properly afterwards?
4) What’s it going to feel like trying to stretch and swim now I have my stoma?
They all sound like silly little things to most people but they were all pretty big things to me and I can confirm the answers are as follows…
1) You can’t really see my stoma through my swimming costume, although I was feeling really bloated that day and I do think the pattern of my cozzie helped disguise it a little.
2) Thankfully it didn’t peel off or leak… The adhesive started to go a bit gooey around the outside, but no more so than when I’ve had a shower or bath but it definitely stayed firmly attached to my tummy at all times!
3) The chlorine made my skin a little itchy after, but then everything is making my skin itchy recently and the pouches still stick providing I clean my skin properly.
4) It feels weird to swim… It was good because I realised I have a more muscles than I thought I did, but the actual movement of stretching felt like something was tugging at my tummy ever so slightly… But then I do have part of my intestine poking through my stomach wall so I’m not really sure what expected!