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Newbie in Ontario

7 Posts
6 Users
Joined: 3 weeks ago
Posts: 13
Topic starter  

Hello all

I am on day 3 of my new ileostomy. I'm still a bit overwhelmed and feeling rather alone in this right now, so I thought it would be a good time to reach out.

I am a registered nurse, though I work in mental health and NOT medical. Throughout my training and early work in nursing however, I dreaded all things ostomies... tracheostomy, ileostomy, colostomy... I was clumsy with them, and all I ever saw were leaks and discomfort. I've also been struggling with diverticular disease and IBD so perhaps my discomfort was also related to worries about my own health.

Well, after twenty years with diverticular disease, a good ten years of avoiding surgery, increasing infections and suffering, I agreed to a laparoscopic anterior colon resection, to remove the diseased bowel. The first two months were amazing!! No more pain or urgency. I could go out without worrying where the washrooms were. It was awesome!

But then the pain returned, and worse. I ended up with an obstruction at the surgical site. A surgeon tried to open the anastomosis using a balloon dilation but ended up perforating my colon. Not an experience I would wish on my worst enemy! 25 days in hospital, a drain right through my glutes into my abdomen, a PICC line for TPN and 22 days without solid food, I went home 15 pounds lighter, in shock and simply hoping the obstruction would not return. My doctor offered me the option of a temporary ileostomy to let the surgical site rest, but I avoided it yet again. My surgeon left the PICC line in. She knew it was only a matter of time. 

After four more obstruction events and multiple trips to the hospital, I had been reading more about ostomies, watching some of Eric's videos online, slowly working through my fears and misconceptions. I finally agreed to get the ileostomy.

I know you all know what I'm going to say next...

It's a godsend! I can't remember a time when eating didn't cause me pain before now! I really appreciate all.the work and sharing you have done here. It helped me to wrap my mind around something I thought of as the end of my life. I will say, it's so much less icky when it's my own stoma! 

Anyway, I just got home from the hospital. A little quick on the discharge, but I performed all my own care successfully and I'm feeling ok. I still have some pain at the site, and more than a few questions, but I'm feeling hopeful that this is a part of my story that I can embrace - finally.

Thanks for being here :) I look forward to "meeting" you all. 


LK, VeganOstomy, LLNorth and 2 people reacted
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 1976

Hi Kirsten, Welcome to the forum . I am glad to hear after all your troubles that a stoma is giving you the benefit of better health and wellness. Off course the start will be unsettling but a natural rhythm will soon kick in 👍

ileostomy 31st August 1994 for Crohns

LK, granddayout, Kirsten and 1 people reacted
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 292

Hi Kirsten,

I am in Ontario too. Your story is different from mine, but sounds very much like so many of the stories I have heard on this site. You are definitely in the right place! Welcome. I can relate to wanting to avoid an ostomy - I was quite depressed when I found out that I really didn’t have any other options. But I have to recognize that I’d have died from cancer by now if I hadn’t agreed to the surgery. And that trumps everything. This site is a caring community of people who have “been there “ and want to help. You can rely on us to do our best. I’m glad you’re here, and glad you’re doing well.



Just a semicolon

LK, granddayout, LLNorth and 2 people reacted
Joined: 3 weeks ago
Posts: 13
Topic starter  

Thank you for the warm welcome! 

LK, Tigerlily and LLNorth reacted
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 4032

Thank you for sharing that, @kirsten! I think many of us felt the resistance to have a stoma, since we either imagined horrible things about it, or simply didn't know the positive side.

I'm so glad to hear that you're doing well! Things will get even better after your 4-6 recovery period, especially when it comes to pain!

I will say, it's so much less icky when it's my own stoma!

I'm totally the same!

If you do have any questions throughout your recovery and beyond, just start a new thread and ask away!

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.
~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~

LK and Kirsten reacted
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 1400

@kirsten ... Welcome to VO!! So glad you found us! I'm Linda from smokey B.C. I'm 65 & have 7 grands & my ileostomy is almost 15 yrs young! I named my stoma about 7 different names & some not very polite or nice, lol, but I settled on Rose, bcuz the stoma to me is a really beautiful thing to have! Also, naming my stoma helped me accept all Roses quirks better!! Lol! Remember, no question is a stupid question here, we talk about anything & rather openly! Lol, but its so important.

Stumbling onto VO for me was a complete fluke & I'm so grateful I could'nt get the name of Erics site out of my brain!! When I finally gave in came here to check it out, I was so grateful just like you! Lol! 

I hope all healing continues to go well for you.  Even as a newbie, you have a lot to offer to another member here so don't be a stranger! You have this in the bag!! Hehe! 


Kirsten reacted
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 494

Hi Kirsten, 

Welcome; you will find nice people and lots of good information (and stories!) here. My ostomy was because of cancer, and I had no hesitation or reluctance about getting one - my own philosophy that immediately emerged “is that what it is going to take to stay alive” served me well.

You are no doubt learning a few tricks of the trade, and sharing them here can be of great help to other ostomates!

Again, welcome,


Colostomy 4/30/18.
I love the smell of coffee in the morning. It smells like .... victory.