Since my recent permanent ostomy surgery, I have been thinking a lot about living the rest of my life as a permanent ostomate and how that will impact all the things that I want to do. Honestly, the way I have been doing for these past 2 months since surgery has made me feel that nothing can hold me back now. I believe that having this ostomy gives me the freedom to do so much more than I thought that I ever could, and it poses no interference to all that I can see myself doing. I am very sensitive and tuned in to so many other people that are on a similar journey and have watched as they, too, have made similar improvements with their health since their ostomy surgery or going through the challenges of this disease. Putting myself out there and sharing my story has given me the rare opportunity to meet others and hear their stories as well.
Many people share their history through their illness, accomplishments, challenges, photos, videos, and through all I am inspired by their tenacity and strength as they persevere. Often, I receive something that inspires me to share with others. There are many such stories that need to be told and this is a great arena to share…this is one such story.
Recently, I met Kate (from Australia) through the United Colon Vlog. Kate does not have inflammatory bowel disease, but she has been challenged for more than a decade with a prolapsed bowel or full thickness rectal prolapse at the age of 18. Although not the same, her symptoms very much mirrored that of a person suffering from IBD. After 5 major surgeries, she now has a temporary ileostomy. She told me recently that she will probably face permanent ileostomy surgery in a couple of years, as there is no quick fix, and her surgeons believe that a reversal will probably be unsuccessful.
Kate has not allowed this to hold her back. Not that long ago, she traveled to Canada from Australia with her husband. During her trip, her husband photographed her in various places showing her ostomy. She sent me a message in my inbox with the photo gallery attached, and with every photo, I just kept getting the goosebumps as I saw her accomplishments in every portrait. My heart connected with her immediately and I kept saying to myself “Oh my gosh, Kate, look at you!!” I actually felt the stinging of tears as I was so proud to see this because for some time now, I have been communicating with her, and I know parts of her journey and how hard this has been for her. To see these photos is so incredibly liberating. As much as she says that I inspire her, she inspires me–so much that I wish to share some of her photos and will be displaying additional photos on the United Colon Vlog fan page on Facebook. Her husband did an amazing photographic depiction to give the feel of strength and remarkable accomplishment for someone who has been through so much.
Kudos to you, Kate! May you continue to inspire. Thank you for having the courage to share these photos and your story and allowing me to show them. And thank you for being my friend. I know this may have been difficult, but your willingness to open yourself up to others will touch the hearts and lives of so many people across the world. It did for me! You rock, Kate!!
Instead of saying, “I am woman hear me roar” we can restate it to say “I am ostomate, watch me soar.”
Kate at the top of Mt Edith Cavell after hiking for almost 3hrs. Her greatest accomplishment so far.
If you have photos to share, proud moments of you overcoming the challenge of your disease, a huge accomplishment, please email me (Nadia@UCVlog.com) or message me on Facebook so that I can share your story with others. We can all inspire one another. Let me tell your story.