Relationships and your colostomy bag

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Bionic B
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 4/12/2008 10:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Just a have you guys experienced relationships with the colostomy bag?  Have you been treated any differently and when you enter into new relationships, how soon do you tell the people about your colostomy bag?
Before I was hospitalised in Aug 2006 and the operation was done in September 2006, I wasn't in a relationship.  During my long recovery of almost a year, I didn't even think about entering into a relationship, because all I could think about was getting well as I was very, very ill.
My friends remained more or less the same too.  The friends I had before the operation, know about my "bag", but they forget about it, because I have adjusted to it so well.
The friends that I have made after my recovery, however, I haven't told them about the "bag", because I don't feel that they need to know, but my concern is, is when I meet a friend that becomes really close, how do I tell this person.  There is this girl that I have befriended and we do a lot of things together, but I haven't told her about this "bag" as I don't know how to tell "new people" in my life.
Also, what if I should enter into a relationship with a guy?  How do I tell him?  I am not interested at the moment in any kind of romantic relationship, because the reversal is waiting for me next year, so staying healthy for that op is my main priority.  I just don't know if I should tell NPATO (new people after the op) about it.
How did you experience, telling NPATO?
bIaNcAcHaRlEnE aGe 29
DiAgNoSeD sEpTeMbEr 2006
AsAcOl TaBlEts 2x DaIlY
aSaCoL sUpPoSiToRiEs 2x dAiLy

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 4/13/2008 3:38 PM (GMT -7)   
i like NPATO, that's a good way to say it, lol.
Well i don't know when you should tell, i think though, that if someone is really and truly your friend, they won't mind, and if a guy is freaked out by it or something, he isn't worth your time!
i think something that would be important woudl be to make sure that the people you tell have some good info about your bag, cause most people don't understand them, and probably have negative thoughts about them.
I personally haven't told anyone except for my family. My grandma however, thought it was a great idea to introduce me as "my grandaughter, she just had surgery" for a whle, which menat i had to start explaning things! i just sort of made a very vague descritption, saying i had stomach surgery for ulcers. Which is sort of true, lol.
If you do decide to tell someone, maybe think of what you want to say ahead of time, sort of make yourself like a little mental speech, and be sure you are ready to answer questions.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 629
   Posted 4/13/2008 4:29 PM (GMT -7)   
all of my friends know about it, but i reallllly don't think they actually comprehend what we've been through. can't say i've made any new friends since surgery...and definitely no relationships--i have to admit, my self confidence has taken quite a hit in that dept. when you figure out how to tell ppl, let me know!!

Dec 2006: Proctocolectomy/permanent ileostomy
Since 1991: Indeterminate crohn's/ulserative colitis

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 4/14/2008 3:32 PM (GMT -7)   
i only told one person at work besides my boss, nobody could tell when i went back, i have 2 guy friends that know

i dont know how id tell a new guy friend, girls tho, id only tell if its need to know, u know someone who might have to drive u home to get a change of clothes or somethingi say need to know basis only

but, as far as the guy thing, i know the if a guy is freaked out he isnt worth ur time thing is easier said. im still workin on that one, but i dont plan on n e one seeing me nakey n e time soon....
25 y/o female- crohns disease since 14
Ileostomy pending-very worried
Tried asacol,pentasa,prednisone,remicade,6mp,azasan, no avail
Seatons placed
Worst year ever!

"For God has not given us the spirit of fear....."
Where does mine come from?!
 Temp Ileostomy performed 1/29/08
Still Adusting has been my Godsend...Thank you

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 4/14/2008 7:50 PM (GMT -7)   

I was married for only a year when I got sick with Crohn's, so my husband saw me go from very healthy to very sick over a 7 year period. It broke his heart to watch me go through that, and he's been thrilled to see me so healthy ever since surgery. He doesn't even notice the bag, and there are ways to be intimate without it being so obvious (like wearing a stoma cap or a short nightie).

When it comes to meeting new people, I usually wait until I feel like we know each other pretty well. Then, I'll casually bring up that I used to be sick with Crohn's, but have felt great ever since I had surgery a couple of years ago. You'd be surprised how many people know someone with Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's, and they understand what a debilitating disease it is. Even if they don't, everyone has said that they're happy that I'm not sick anymore. That's a great place to start.

Once you've shared that much, and they've been understanding, you can talk in more detail right then or at another time about how the surgery helped you. For example, in my situation, my colon was so diseased, that in order to live a healthy life, I had to have it removed.

People are always amazed when I tell them that I don't have a colon. Usually they'll ask if I have a bag, and I'll say yes. If I feel comfortable enough, I'll even show them the top of my bag. So far, everyone has been accepting, understanding, and amazed, because they had no idea! I think the main thing is to get to know someone first, and then wait for the right time to tell them.

:-)  Cecilia

Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free, medicine-free, and very thankful to be healthy again :)

Bionic B
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 4/18/2008 10:32 AM (GMT -7)   
hi thanks for all your input...i think it's best to take things one day at a time hey....i'll be sure to let you know when i have made this step

bIaNcAcHaRlEnE aGe 29
DiAgNoSeD sEpTeMbEr 2006
AsAcOl TaBlEts 2x DaIlY
aSaCoL sUpPoSiToRiEs 2x dAiLy

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