December is the month of giving and reflecting and my stoma has given me a new lease on life and changed my perspective for the better. Living with a stoma can seem daunting at first, but it has become a powerful symbol of my triumph over adversity. It isn’t just a part of me; it’s an emblem of the second chance I’ve received.

Here are a few ways in which I have embraced my stoma and the positive effect it has had upon me and others:

  1. One of the most profound ways my stoma has changed my life is by quite literally saving it. Without this significant medical intervention, my health journey could have taken a different turn.
  2. Besides this vital purpose, my stoma often brings joy in the most unexpected ways. For example, my children laugh every time I pass wind, turning an awkward moment into a light-hearted one.
  3. My stoma also provides a certain amount of convenience. I no longer need to wait in lines for public toilets because the stoma bag discreetly takes care of that.
  4. When someone notices the outline of my stoma under my shirt, they’re often intrigued by it – especially those suffering from an IBD – I see these moments as opportunities to educate people about it. These conversations often serve as great ice-breakers.
  5. Moreover, the solidarity I’ve found among other ostomates on social media has been truly inspiring. It’s comforting to know that there’s a supportive community out there who understand this unique journey.
  6. Lastly, living with a stoma opened up an opportunity to collaborate with charities and organisations like Respond Healthcare Ltd, a company that aligns perfectly with my values. This partnership has added another positive dimension to what seemed like an overwhelming situation, initially.

Continuing on this journey, I have found that embracing my stoma has allowed me to see the beauty in resilience and the strength that comes from overcoming challenges. It has given me a new perspective on life and a deeper appreciation for the little things. Through sharing my story and connecting with others, I have been able to educate and inspire those who may be going through similar experiences. Together, we can break down the stigma surrounding stomas and create a more inclusive and understanding society. With each passing day, I am reminded of the power of embracing our differences and finding strength in our vulnerabilities.