So, today marks 1 year since getting my stoma. It’s had it’s ups and downs, but overall it’s been the best year I’ve had for a long time.
The biggest thing I’ve had to get used to is eating like a normal person again; although I am currently keeping to a (mostly) gluten-free and reduced dairy diet, I’m still learning what foods are good and what ones are still bad. Most of the bad ones consist of foods I couldn’t eat before (such as certain fruits and vegetables) but there are some new ones (like nuts and popcorn). Still, it beats living on instant noodles, plain crisps and gluten-free cereal.
Getting back to a normal sleep pattern hasn’t been hard at all; it seems I wasn’t sleeping anywhere near enough before so I’m able to sleep fine now. Other things like doing housework and being able to go out for the day are still a little bit difficult due to a lack of energy, but I have less concern about bathroom location now whenever I leave my flat.
Another thing I’ve had some trouble with is exercise; I was warned not to over stretch or lift anything heavier than a kettle for the first 6 weeks. Because I was practically bound to my room at the hospital for three weeks, my leg muscles had deteriorated quite a bit so I had to work up to walking longer distances slowly. This also meant I couldn’t exercise much at all. After a few months, my legs were almost back to their original size and strength and my stoma nurse said I was ready to start some gentle stomach exercises. She gave me a booklet that outlined ways to strengthen my abdominal muscles in order to avoid hernias. I had a bit of a false start due to some liver problems, but I started going to the gym not too long ago and it feels good to be able to get back into a routine again.
As for what to expect in the future, I’m seeing my surgeon tomorrow morning and, seeing as the issue with my liver isn’t what they thought it was, it looks like reversal is a strong possibility. I hope to get that ball rolling and have a date for the next surgery soon. For now, I’m happy to keep baggie for as long as I need to.