From Trauma to Acceptance
I was first diagnosed
with Familial Polyposis in October 1980, aged
13. I had my first operation three weeks
later, in which a small section of my large
bowel and one large polyp were removed.
My recovery was quick
and I enjoyed three years with no major
illness of any kind. My bubble popped in
October 1983 when I started to haemorrhage
once again. After weeks of fairly
extensive tests, it was decided that my large
bowel should be completely removed, which it
was in 1984.
The word ileostomy
was never mentioned at this stage, I was going
to have a pull through in which they join the
small bowel to the rectum. This sounded
okay at the time but it turned out to be a
disaster. I had limited control at night
and spent most of my days on the toilet.
I also had to follow a very strict lactose
-free diet (no dairy products) which resulted
in a drastic weight loss and I had to spend
several months in hospital trying, to regain
In October 1985, I
developed an abscess and was admitted to
hospital. Various treatments failed and
about five weeks later it became septic.
It was decided that a temporary ileostomy was
my only option and surgery was performed in
I found the ileostomy
quite hard to cope with at first and it took a
couple of weeks before I would even look at
it. After a few hiccups with appliances
were sorted out, I was now able to sleep
through the night and eat a normal diet.
I gained weight very quickly and began to
think this stoma (which I named on advice from
staff) was not going to be so bad after
all. George and I get along quite well
Reprinted from the
"Thoughts of YOU" membership folder.
Most stories were written from the early to
Young Ostomates United Inc