When I was first
asked to write this article, I thought
"Heavens! Where do I start?" Well I guess it's
easier to start at the beginning.
My name is Alex and I
am 16 years old. I had my loop ileostomy
for three years now and looking after it has
become quite a normal part of my daily life.
I suppose I am
writing this article to make you other
teenagers aware that there are other people
out there who are coping with the same problem
as you are.
Being 16 is bad
enough without having to carry around extra
"baggage". I've found shopping for
clothes very frustrating as all the
fashionable things have tight, low
waists. Although with a little
adaptation, there is no reason why can't wear
whatever you want.
I've had my share of
mishaps as I am sure many of you have probably
experienced, I mean, you can't say waking up
to find the contents of your bag everywhere is
very pleasant. But hey, if you can't
laugh about it, what can you do?
For many of you, your
ileostomy has probably improved your quality
of life quite dramatically.
Unfortunately for me, because of my rare bowel
condition, it hasn't improved mine.
It took a long time
before it was finally decided before we try
the ileostomy, which is why I have a
reversible stoma and I can't say I was very
happy about the decision. Although I was
aware that it maybe a possibility, months in
advance, I didn't really begin to accept it
until the day before I was to have it done.
It did take a lot of
getting used to, the fact that the bag on my
abdomen was going to collect my body
waste. At first I couldn't think of
anything more disgusting and as you can
imagine, it didn't do much for my
morale. But the longer I've had it, the
more I've got used to it being there.
Although I long for
the day that I don't need the ileostomy and I
can lead a healthy, happy life, I know that I
will be able to cope with just about anything
because of what I have experienced.
Last year I joined
Y.O.U. and although the many members in the
group have been understanding and supportive,
I still have the problem of being the youngest
member in the group. So, if you are a
teenage ileostomate or the friend of an
ileostomate, why don't you come to one of the
meetings just to find out if it is the support
mechanism you have been looking for!
Reprinted from the
"Thoughts of YOU" membership folder.
Most stories were written from the early to
Young Ostomates United Inc