Throughout the world people are celebrating World Ostomy Day and to be honest I never expected the true sense of pride that I feel today. If you go on Twitter and look up ‘#myostomystory’ or ‘#worldostomyday’ you will read moving accounts of perseverance, gratitude and inspiration written by ostomates. These are people who have stared down cancer, severe Inflammatory Bowel Disease, medical traumas and much more. They’ve adapted and gone on to do incredible things with something largely considered taboo, an ostomy.
An ostomy is not a death sentence, and more often then not undergoing ostomy construction surgery frees people of the shackles they’ve grown accustomed to under chronic disease. An ostomy gives life back; not the one filled with pain so familiar to ostomates pre surgery, but a more complete one where we can get back to the simple things in life like being part of our families. Regaining life, no matter the circumstances, is worth celebrating. I wrote my ostomy story as a guest post for Dr. Brian Stork’s blog here: Click to read my ostomy story. I would like to encourage my friends, family and anyone else not just to read my story, but go on Twitter and look for yourselves at the stories of courage written by ostomates throughout the world.
For anyone medically related who may read this I would please ask you to take a moment and search PubMed for an article detailing the high rate of complications following ostomy construction surgery. Ask yourself if or why these high rates are acceptable and what may be simple, cost effective ways to reduce them.
I will be celebrating World Ostomy Today by walking a 5K for the United Ostomy Association of America (UOAA) and by doing what I love tonight, studying. I owe my ability to do these things to my ostomy. I want to thank all of the ostomates who have helped me so much in the past 9 months, you have helped me regain my life. To read more about World Ostomy Day visit this website. http://www.ostomy.org/2015_World_Ostomy_Day.html