staying active with an ostomy

Ohad: How to stay active with an ostomy

42 year-old Ohad found it hard to believe, that he could live an active life after surgery – today he plays basketball with his ileostomy.

Ohad received compensation from Coloplast to provide this information. Each person’s situation is unique so your experience may not be the same.

Born and raised with sports

When you see Ohad on the street, your first impression is: what a handsome, athletic guy. It is almost unimaginable that eight years ago, Ohad found himself weak and emaciated in hospital, with a weight around 50 kilos.

“I grew up in an athletic family of five kids. My older brother played water polo. I played basketball with my older sister and quickly decided to join a basketball team. But at the age of eighteen, I was forced to give up playing, because I was unable to complete a game without going to the bathroom.”

Ohad sitting by the sea

Health in decline: from bad to worse

Ohad was first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, but soon began to suffer from intestinal problems. This resulted in a constant need to be close to a toilet, in case of sudden unexpected bouts of diarrhoea. Despite the challenges, Ohad was determined to stay active and get out of the house.

“I began to take long walks. But I always planned a route close to the homes of family or friends so I could knock on someone’s door if I suddenly needed to use the bathroom.”

Over the years, Ohads health went from bad to worse. Despite several changes in eating habits and all sorts of special diets, his condition didn’t improve and medication provided no relief.

“The disease was relentless and eight years ago, I truly hit rock bottom. I was admitted to hospital because I had a leak in my gut – a hole in my intestine. The doctors resorted to the only solution left: an ostomy.”

Returning to an active life

For Ohad, the idea of having to live with an ostomy was depressing. Although the doctors tried to reassure him that he could still live an active life and go back to playing sports, Ohad found it hard to believe that that this would be possible, with a bag tied to his stomach. But after regaining his strength from the ostomy surgery, Ohad has returned to doing what he loves: basketball and swimming.

playing basketball with an ostomy

“I never dreamed I would be able to do all these things again. I play basketball with my ostomy and even go swimming with it. I wear a fitted surf shirt over my swimming trunks so the pouch stays nice and flat, and nobody notices. And when I play basketball, I have my own trick: I wear a fabric band around my waist that camouflages the ostomy pouch very well. Even when I jump up in basketball, you can’t see a thing.”

For Ohad, the ostomy surgery has changed his life 180 degrees – for the better. Eight years and several basketball games, he is living the life to the full and doing the things he loves. Although it can be frightening to think of the life that awaits after surgery, it is possible to live the life you want.

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