Talking to Your Kids About Ostomy Surgery

Talking to your kids about ostomy surgery header

When I had my ileostomy surgery, my kids were eleven and eight years old. I was quite open with them about my surgery and what was involved, but I know that it can be a challenge for some parents.

In this article, I hope to share some ideas on how to approach this topic with young kids so you are both comfortable talking about the surgery and the life that follows it.

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On Being Judged

On being JUDGED

I watched a powerful video by Whitney from the YouTube channel “What a Vegan Eats”, and it struck a chord with me.  You see, I’ve watched videos on her other channel “Eco-Vegan Gal” for years, but I’ve never known her story.  That changed after watching her video about being judged, and although she feels judged for different reasons, I still relate to it in the context of having a chronic illness.

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Not All Support Is Good Support (w/ video)

Good support Bad support IBD

I enjoy visiting support forums and local support groups, but for many years I tended to avoided them.  The problem with most support forums (and this extends beyond forums that focus on chronic illness), is that the majority of people on them are having problems.   Obviously, looking for support because of a problem is one of the reasons to be on a support forum, but sometimes the constant barrage of negatively and despair can make your own situation feel much heavier and more likely to trigger some negative emotions.

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Ostomate Video Chat Support Group

live ostomate support

I frequent a lot of social media sites and forums related to IBD and ostomy support, and one of the most devastating things to read is that someone is feeling alone with their illness or new ostomy. I certainly felt that way between the time I learned that I’d be getting an ileostomy to the time I actually had the surgery, but I was able to find enough online support to make me feel comfortable with my new stoma.  Unfortunately, many people aren’t that lucky and they spend months or years feeling isolated and ignored by their family, friends and coworkers.   Some people HATE their stoma and have nobody who understands their situation to talk to.

I hope to change that by offering a free, online video-based support group for ostomates.  You do not have to be vegan to join, and the goal isn’t to try and convert anyone. 

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