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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 September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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