New ostomy and depression

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nene205
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 302
   Posted 8/26/2007 9:25 AM (GMT -6)   
 Greetings,
I had been posting on the UC forum but since my surgery on Aug. 1, I guess it is time to move over to this forum. I had a complete procto-colectomy with an ostomy. The reason I had it was that high grade dysplasia was found in my colon in April. Up to that point, I had been living with UC.  I had ups and downs, but I was able to live a pretty normal life.  I had a career, family, and did what I wanted to do. Now my life is upside down!! I have an ostomy and will probably always have it because my rectum was removed also. Right after the surgery my friends hovered over me and helped me feel loved, but  they have moved on now.  My problem is depression.  How do you make yourself adjust?  I know some of you must have a sugestion or two.
 
NeNe205

badbaggirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 275
   Posted 8/26/2007 10:28 AM (GMT -6)   
nene205,

I think the depression is quite normal. After all, your body has just been assaulted and disfugured. I was terribly depressed after mine even though it saved my life. I considered therapy too, but yesterday was my 4 month anniversary of my surgery. I still get down, but I can feel myself getting on with a fairly normal life. It's just a different normal. I had to fake 'happy' for awhile but I have to tell myself I can go on a three hour guided tour without running to the restroom OR having an accident. (I just may look like I have gained a beer gut in the mean time but ...) Anyway, I HAVE done things I wouldn't have been able to do before surgery. One month afterwards I stayed at a friends cabin with no running water and an outhouse! The next weekend I took my daughter on a 4 day fishing trip! Find the top ten list on this post. There are some positives there! (I know, nothing seems positive right now.) Also I was inspired by the book "The Bag Lady" by Sandra Benitez. It's a great book for anyone with an ostomy, their friends, family and partners ....

Keep on with your postings, join a support group or see someone if it doesn't get better, but it does take some time for some people. I certainly know that. Some people have taken antidepressants too. That IS an option! Don't let it prevent you from living. Life's too short.
BadBagGirl
Crohn's Disease, Colostomy due to cancer and I make darned good dill pickles.


summerstorm
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 8/26/2007 1:02 PM (GMT -6)   
like badbaggirl said, it's normal to have some depression, espceially since it's only been a little while since you had your surgery and you might still be having some pain and just now getting used to dealing with the mechanics of the bag. Also, since your life wasn't awful before, it may be harder for you.
But you did say you had some down times, there won't be anymore of those! no more meds, no more watching your diet, or wondering where the bathroom is! also, no more drinking that awful stuff for colonoscopies, and you said you had dysplasia, i think that means precancerous cells, and an ostomy, to me, would be much better than havign to go though chemo and all that. Plus, you have a few less areas to worry about getting cancer in, i know that sounds like a weird plus, but to me it is!
My life is back to normal, actually it's back to better than normal! before normal was miserable pain all the time, lots of meds, missing out on things. Now normal is workign without worry, eating what i want, when i want (although i do suggest you do not try pizza anytime soon, lol) going whereever i want, without a thought as to where a barthroom is.
Also, do like badbaggirl said(she gives good advice) and keep posting here and listening to positve stories, and go to support groups. ANd if you need those friends, call them, and tell them, they sound like they must be good friends to have been there for you, just ask them to hang around some.
hope things get better!

vette guy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 650
   Posted 8/26/2007 1:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Nene- Not only is the depression quite normal, I think you'd be going through denial if you weren't feeling down in the dumps. I'm sure not everyone here will agree, though. I was also very depressed. I know those that have read my earlier posts know that I once attempted suicide shortly after my surgery. For me, going to a few local ostomy society meetings helped a lot. It was refeshing to see some VERY succesful and very normal looking people with my condition there.
It put things in proper perspective for me. Slowly I noticed that I was back doing the things I did before my surgery and even some things that I previously wouldn't dare to do like hot air ballooning, or fishing in a very secluded spot with no bathrooms around.
 
You'll get there. Hey, it's been less than a month for you. Give yourself a break and stop thinking so much. There's nothing worse than being alone with your thoughts. You're doing great!!! 

Crohned
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 8/26/2007 4:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm going to have to agree with the above, and also add that you are already taking the necessary to steps to continue on with this new ostomy by seeking help from people who have been in your position. It's going to be OK!!!

Admittedly, I am one of "those" who have sought better living through chemistry, and take medication for my ups and downs. They help, but I also seek counsel with freinds, family, and an ostomy support groups which has made such a difference.

Give yourself time.
Diagnosed Crohn's/Colitis 2003.  
Subtotal Colectomy w/ Ileostomy May 16, 2007.
I'm off the meds!!  
 


badbaggirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 275
   Posted 8/26/2007 5:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Friends. Yep. If you got the right ones they'll laugh louder or cough when your belly starts talking or walk in front of you stratigically to hide your puffing belly until you find a bathroom. I stay close to mine and cheerish them. And thankfully I have a sugificant other who is the most understanding patient person in the whole world who read up on this just as much as I have.
BadBagGirl
Crohn's Disease, Colostomy due to cancer and I make darned good dill pickles.


nene205
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 302
   Posted 8/26/2007 5:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank ya'll . It is always easier to accept life changing situations when others have been there and are able to talk about their ostomies so matter of fact like.I guess I am just ashamed to admit I finally had to go through with the surgery.
When I visit my doctor in Birmingham next week, I'll ask for some medication to help me through the tough spots, even though I have never had to depend on that kind of medication before. I will be checking back with ya'll and try not to sound like a cry baby.
NeNe 205

peggy113
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1998
   Posted 8/26/2007 5:55 PM (GMT -6)   
NeNe - Never feel like you are a cry baby. This has been a life altering event for you. BUT you are not alone. Sometimes you just think that you are, cuz you don't know other people you work with or live beside or walk by on the street have ostomies like you. You would be surprised I think. I am new to this board but I have had an ileostomy since 1984.

Being able to talk openly and freely here is a great way to "vent" and get information to those questions that someone without an ostomy can't give you the real answers to. Nothing is to minimal to ask...... I have read and read and read various topics on this board. THIS IS A GREAT place to visit. Kudos to everyone who posts here and to the moderators. Thank you.

Nene, do you plan on going back to work? You mentioned that you "had" a career, family, etc.... I know it is a bit early to think about it right now. Just curious.

Best wishes on a speedy recovery. Keep your chin up.
Peggy
      
Diagnosed with CD in 1979, many resections and meds
Perm Ileostomy July 1984 at Cleveland Clinic
Disease free since surgery 
 


badbaggirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 275
   Posted 8/26/2007 6:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Yep! You aren't alone. And you can cry. a couple of weeks after my surgery, my gastroenterologist said he wanted to see me in his office to get an idea how it was going. I should say at this point, he is a wonderful man. Last year at a gala for CCFA, he was voted Doctor of the year. In his acceptance speech he came out of the closet and admitted he had Crohn's disease. I had been seeing him for the last 7 years and didn't know it! Sooooo, you can imagine my surprise when I was crying my eyes out when he came in the room and ever so slightly lifted his lab coat and joked "I'll show you mine if you show me yours". Yep. I saw the top of his bag. I would have NEVER known it. He is slim, wears tailored clothes and I had NO idea. I do have to say I kept on the Ativan for about 3 months for the anxiety but have gotten off of that. helped me get through my fear of social events with my ostomy. But he did tell me there is NOTHING wrong with feeling SO sad about it. Whats sad is when you can't get over it. Like they say, you don't HAVE to like it, you just have to live with it. How you decide to is up to you. I will not say you will be fine. I hated that. It will take time. Just weeks ago I finally had an intimate moment with my partner I was so ashamed of my new body. Wasn't mind blowing, earth shattering, train going through the tunnel (toot toot!) but was the most intimate thing I have ever shared with anyone EVER. The willingness to expose my biggest fear with someone got me over the hurdle. I can tell you this because it's still so fresh to me, and sometimes still very painful emotionally. You are still the same lovable you, you just don't know it yet.
BadBagGirl
Crohn's Disease, Colostomy due to cancer and I make darned good dill pickles.


summerstorm
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 8/26/2007 8:53 PM (GMT -6)   
she is right again, badbaggirl is on today, lol. YOu wil lhave cry moments but it's ok if you do. The first time i saw myself naked, sans pain meds, i busted out in tears. I looked so funny! and i still don't especially like the look of it, but i liked the way i looked before even less. I don't think anyone will tell you that their life long dream was to have a bag, but almost everyone here will tell you it's really not that bad, and that they are happy with the decision they made. And don't be afraid to take meds, paxil or something like that, i can't think of any other names, lol.
I am four months past and i don't think anyone has figured it out yet and i actually forget about it most of the time.  Like when i go to work or am doing something around the house or shopping or something, i don't even think about it.  I do occasionally check it, alot less than i used to, i was paranoid for a while, giong to the batrhoom every little bit to make sure the end was closed good, stuff like that.  but i got over that, it was kind of hard, but i realized that was kind of defeating the purpose of keeping me out of the bathroom!

Glad Bag
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 699
   Posted 9/10/2007 5:24 PM (GMT -6)   
[quote= I don't think anyone will tell you that their life long dream was to have a bag..........


believe it or not, i had a friend who used to joke way back in the day, before my surgery, about having an ostomy (we did not know they were called that then, but still). He and I used to love going out to eat together, or just filling up on beer....he used to joke that restaurants should all have a little custom drain line under the table you could hook up to, and that we should all get valves and we could just connect a hose from our valves to the drain and keep eating forever....just to enjoy all that flavor....(no, he did not have a eating disorder, just a strange sense of humor!)

after my surgery I called him and told him i finally got the "upgrade"

it's is true, it is harder for me to feel full though after getting the ileostomy....everything comes out within a few hours of eating....
"All we need is love....love is all we need"


nene205
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 302
   Posted 9/10/2007 7:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Greetings,
Ya'll are sooooo uplifting. I visited another forum tonight, and they were so depressing!!! I know where to visit. Thanks again.
NeNe205
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