Adjusting to living with a stoma

Coming to terms with changes

Some tips and strategies for dealing with any setbacks or frustration that may come from living with an ostomy.

Coping with the changes after ostomy surgery can be a bumpy ride with many ups and downs along the way. There's no short cut, but in time you will achieve balance and happiness in your life - just like others who have been through similar challenges have done.

finding balance after ostomy surgery can help you become active again

When frustration sets in

You may have felt relief following surgery, as it may have helped to alleviate any symptoms you had previously experienced as part of a chronic condition.

But as you begin to return to daily life, feelings of confusion and frustration might start to emerge. While there's no universal solution for dealing with these feelings, there are certain things you can do to regain balance in your life.

Take control

It is not uncommon to experience a loss of control over your situation. If that's the case you should take an active part in every decision concerning your stoma, from choosing your products to setting the boundaries for what you are and aren't ready for. This will give you a greater sense of control – and that will without a doubt make you feel stronger.

You are still the same person after ostomy surgery

You are still the same person

It is also quite natural to feel a certain sense of identity loss, as if somehow you became someone different after the surgery.

With that in mind it's important, where possible, to continue to keep doing the same things you used to do and enjoy before.

Try not to be nostalgic about life before surgery, but to remind yourself of all the positive experiences you can still enjoy.

Make a list of all the things you used to do and enjoy before, and make sure that you continue to do at least a few of these things each month. And remember: It is only your physical circumstances that have changed. Not who you are as a person.

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