Peace and Prayer,
My personal experience so far (and this is only my personal experience) is the people who I have met who complain about having an ostomy (either ileo or colo) seemed to have had a fairly normal life up to the point that some complication caused a need for their ostomy (cancer, injury or such). Those of us who in fact led some pretty rough lives prior to getting our ostomies (Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn's disease, incontinence and such) seem to cope with it better (again just from my experiences). Leaks are a reality but once a person finds what works for them, gets a routine that prevents from using an appliance beyond it's limit, and just generally gets used to what things to be prepared for it becomes a very "normal" way of life. There is still a possibility, even with a prepared ostomate, that some situation beyond their control will happen but with preperation that is a very rare. It sounds like your chances of having accidents with a colostomy would be incredibly smaller then what they are with your current situation.
As far as pros and cons.
1) Virtually no incontinence, the waste goes into a pouch attached at your stoma and you dictate when to empty it.
2) Odor free, all gas that you may not have been able to contol either goes into the pouch that is either filtered or you vent it when and where you want.
3) Most ostomy supplies are easily hidden under most clothing, no drastic wardrobe changes are needed to accommodate.
4) You will be able to go out in public confident that you will not have an accident. Myself I was housebound since I never knew when or where I would have to go at a moments notice.
1) You have a different way of dealing with bowel movements. You are more of an active participant in the process.
2) To be prepared you do have to pack a small back of "just in case" suppies and take with you when you go out. My case is 4"X5"X1", far from being a hinderance.
3) I can only speak for an ileostomy but it is emptied 4 to 6 times a day, but again at my convenience.
4) The appliance needs to be changed on a regular basis so you get fairly familiar with your guts and their schedule.
That is just a few I can think of and as you can see I am biased, I enjoy my ostomy since it gave me back a life without all the problems that led up to it.
Total Colectomy with End Ileostomy May 27th, 2008