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What People With Ostomies Want You To Know

What People With Ostomies Want You To Know

Chances are you have heard of someone living with an ostomy, you just did not know that is what it is called. An ostomy is a surgery that involves creating an opening that links someone’s urinary or digestive systems to an outside source, like a bag.

People might have ostomies for different reasons. They may also have different kinds of procedures. But the thing that brings people together is that there are some things that they want you to know about what it’s like to have an ostomy.

There is no shame in carrying a bag

Unless you suffer from an issue with your bowels, you might find it difficult to talk about your bowels. You might have been told that it is impolite when you were a child. You might have been told that it is just a bit gross. But the reality is, carrying an ostomy bag is nothing to be ashamed of.

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One of the hardest parts of having an ostomy is in the beginning after you’ve just had the surgery. It is a life change that some people have a hard time coming to terms with. But when they have support from their community, it is easier to realize that there is no shame in carrying a bag. Waste is a fact of life!

Ostomies do not change you, just how you remove waste

You might not talk about it at the dinner table, but every single person on this planet removes waste somehow. The President of the United States, Hollywood celebrities and your great aunt all have to do it sometime. People with ostomies remove waste too. They just do it a bit differently.

Having an ostomy can be a life changing experience. It can make people more comfortable and relieve so much pain. But it doesn’t change who they are.

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They are the same person that they were before they had the surgery. They have the same hopes, fears, dreams and sense of humor. The only difference is that now they can go out their daily lives with a similar level of comfort to what you already enjoy.

People with ostomies don’t mind talking about it

If you have never had issues with your bowel movements, you probably don’t talk about them. But for those who have had the misfortune of inheriting bowels that do not work quite the way they should, they used to talking about it. They talk about it with their doctors, their parents, their partners and with other people if they have to.

People with ostomies do always not mind being asked direct questions about their experiences. In fact, they prefer it. The more comfortable people around them are, the less stigma is attached to the bag. This is better for everyone.

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Do keep in mind that some people might think this is a private matter. Make sure that you read social cues before pressing on with this. Ostomy or not, not everyone likes to share!

Anyone can have an ostomy

Some people believe that it is only the elderly that have ostomies, but this is a myth! Even young children can need an ostomy.

Inflammatory bowel disease is one of the most common digestive diseases. It can affect anyone from the age of 10 on up. Lots of people who have Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis also end up having these procedures as well.

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It doesn’t mean your life is over; it is just beginning

Having an ostomy is not something that people choose to have. It is often a procedure that happens when little else is working. But that does not mean that their lives are over. In fact, it means the opposite. For many people with ostomies, it means their life can finally begin.

There are some things that might have to change after the procedure. But these changes are as unique as the person carrying the bag. In fact, having an ostomy does not have to stop people from doing anything they want to do. As mentioned before, they still have the same hopes and dreams!

Unfortunately, some people sometimes start to have issues with self-esteem and turn to social media, going on a binge collecting Twitter followers. It’s not surprising that your confidence might take a hit if you have been sick for a while. This is why it is important for you to talk to people about their ostomies. Even if they’re feeling sad, you can remind them that now they have an opportunity to live a life that is more comfortable than before.

There are a lot of things that people with ostomies want you to know. The best thing you can do to support someone with an ostomy. The best thing you can do is to not treat them any differently than you did before.

Featured photo credit: Miss Shari via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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