Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Can you go in a hottub with an ileostomy?

Last May, me and my mother attended a Dual Diagnosis Peer Conference in Portland Oregon (Where my mom wants to live with me, but now that Dan is in my life, I want to remain in MN). We stayed in a hotel and they has a pool  and hot-tub there. None of the other guests wanted to splash around in that cold rainy weather, so we took advantage of that and went down there in our underwear and long T-shirts and swam.

Now, I was definitely afraid of my wafer leaking.
 I don't know if I posted this before and I'm too lazy to go back through my posts to see, but what really helped me was Skin Tac liquid adhesive.  

You open this little bottle and it has a fuzzy ball at the end soaked with the solution. When your bag is off, you lightly dab this stuff all around the stoma and you have to wait for like a minute for it to become tacky, so don't try to put your bag on before then. I have, and I had to throw away the new clean bag because it wouldn't stick on anything once I put it on too early.
This stuff works like magic, I swear to god.
So I put on a new bag after the skin tac dried, and I went in the hot tub expecting shitty (ha ha) results. And I was surprised! It stayed on, and I could soak in that heat as much as I wanted!
It stayed put in the pool too, of course.
Unforch, my insurance doesn't cover Skin Tac, so Im glad I have a few bottles left. That shit is hella expensive! Since my supplies are low, I only use it when I've been having leaky days where I have changed my bag three times and they all leak from the wafer.


Monday, September 26, 2016

I found Love!

For a long time, I've been deeply severely depressed.
 I have Major Depressive Disorder, but the meds I take only help me sleep--not help my mood.
Don't get me wrong, for years I slept only 15 minutes in a week, and I was going nearly psychotic, but sometimes my depression gets the best (or would it be worst?) of me, and I sink.

Some time ago, I sunk so hard I told my mom I was considering suicide. I didn't have a plan, but I knew I never wanted to wake up again.
Where I live in Minnesota, there is a hospital program called "partial Hospital". You are required to come in every day at 9 am and stay until about 4 pm. There is group therapy and an arts and crafts hour where you feel like a rest home patient making wicker baskets or painting wooden objects. It's supposed to help, but I just found it condescending.

But in this darkest time of my life, I met a man who had gone through very similar situations and feelings. When we got to talking, I realized we had music, passions, philosophy... every conversation reveals more and more that we have in common. Our conversations were easy, I felt comfortable and totally accepted.

Through our interactions, I found he was brilliantly intelligent, had a quick and smart witty humour, and we have the same values. He loves his children and respects his ex-wife, and even has friendly communications with her, and they are not acting selfishly out of hurt emotions, but rationally for their children.

Most of all, he made me feel wanted, like I mattered, like I could also borrow some of his strength and stand strong myself.
I've read that common interests have nothing to do with compatibility. It is about respect.
We know how to communicate, and most of all, I TRUST him, dude. I trust him with my very fucking life. When I am near him, I feel protected, I feel safe. Not just physically, but emotionally. He holds my heart as a precious fragile gift I have given him freely, just as I hold his in my own little hands.
Even through struggles, I know we can win victorious. I am on a waiting list for a DBT Dialectical Behaviour Therapy class (forced into it by my mom with many frightening threats of legal commitment if I didn't go), and in two months when I start it, it may last for 8 months. It really may, and I'm afraid of it, and I'm afraid of starting it. But Dan tells me I can do it, that he's here for me, that together we can conquer it.

We were two broken people with our own horrible shit we were trying to get over, and we came together as friends who had known each other since time before. Like in a past life. It was that rare moment when I gazed into his hazel eyes and realized, "Hey. I feel like I've known you my entire life."
As I say to him, cradling his bearded face in my hands, "You are perfectly imperfect."
I fit against him like we are two puzzle pieces. I love to lay my head on his chest and hear the reassuring thump of his heart beneath my ear. His hands are strong with long fingers, his body tight with muscles. He has an elegant face with good bone structure not quite hidden by the short beard, and almost shoulder length brown hair.
We mutually support each other.
I want him to have a good career and hobbies, I support what he does, and I'm proud of him. He has lived through some very horrible things and instead of being bitter, he has become gentle and compassionate.
I never thought I would find love again. I was resigned to being alone forever, and that my life would be lonely, but at least I would never fall into the trap of love where I projected "good things" onto a person and made them in my own mind on a pedestal. That's what I did with my marriage. I projected all the qualities I wanted in a man on my X, and no fucking shit, it didn't work out. Like, duh. I tried to make it work, I forced the puzzle piece into a spot where it didn't fit, and I was left with heartache and despair.

I guess I am writing this to say love can happen in places where you least expect it. Have an open heart. I am so glad I didn't go into my normal mode of isolation... it was difficult at first, awkward to talk to him over our first lunch together, but I realized that here was a gentle intelligent man that was also putting himself out there to interact with new people and get to know them. Really get to know them.

Depression.. it will pass. The difficult shit in your life... it will pass. Love isn't just a man-made construct, relationships are like a blossoming flower. Timid at first, then when more is revealed, the more you witness this transformation, you begin to understand your emotions and your human drive for contact can actually lead you into something wonderful.

I am so blessed! :)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Hernias are super common

When an ileostomy is created, there essentially create a hernia for the bud of the small intestine. A hernia is a separation of the muscle tissue, where guts ooze out from and form a lump. I have said lump around my rosebud.

I went and drank the dye they gave me and had a CAT scan, bud I don't think the dye had digested far enoguh along to show the hernia, because they said 'OH hey--you don't have a hernia" and I'm all like "then what is this huge lump formed around my ileostomy site!?" Ugh

If I had a camera, I would take picture, but it died last year and I have no money for cigarettes, much less a new phone or camera (my phone is also ancient and wont take pictures, voicemail, or let me get on the internet. Yes, I live in the stone ages now.)

Stoma hernias can be caused by being overweight, coughing a lot (I had pneumonia again this year) lifting heavy shit, or infection from the get-go of receiving an ileostomy. I have trouble fitting the wafer over my hernia and ileostomy, causing the wafer to crack a lot and out seeps liquid feces--thank you so very much, body. Come on, can't you just make it work?

I was hoping to at least get a hernia belt or some form of elastic fabric to hold it in, but no.

Here is a link of some products that are supposed to help with this... that i may just try!