My 5th Stomaversary: Reaching out to all feeling depressed and desperate

Two days ago, June 21st was my stomaversary. Five years of having an ostomy. Its actually gone by fairly fast. I’ve learned so many things and grown so much as a person. Whether I have my ostomy to thank or not I’m not sure. I don’t wanna give it any credit it doesn’t deserve. Its more of a pain in the butt. :)


I’ve been reading so many facebook posts on my ostomy support groups lately and all the posts of the newbie ostomates and some not so newbies are reaching out almost in crisis for various reasons. Many people struggling with the change of having an ostomy and some dealing with complications. Lots of depressed ostomates. And of course all the people who get to await their reversals and the next step for their course of treatment. Cancer patients. The list goes on and on. I’ve  noticed a common theme day after day and it makes me sad quite frankly: people who have or are giving up hope.I  have some things I just wanna say if I haven’t already said them on your FB post. 


I can’t tell you I know what your end result will be but I can tell you I know that there are sometimes lots of ups and downs, fluctuations if you will, when you have a stoma. I deal with this myself. I know for a fact that those first few weeks, maybe months, maybe even longer for some are the hardest. But it gets better. I’m not saying it doesn’t come without challenges but we adapt to our situations. Honestly, a couple months after my surgery I was so depressed my GI dr had me admitted to the psych unit for a couple weeks. Helped me and I started to get better. I also have depression so my situation was made worse by that. So I know that things can be tough, but just hold on because there is always hope. Even if you don’t believe that. My faith has grown from the size of a lemon to the size of a small watermelon through all this mess of mine and I believe in a God of miracles. Even if you have no faith trust me when I say you are loved, you were created for a reason, and you are not suffering alone. Jesus is always by your side. That’s it for the preaching tonight. I have never felt called to be a preacher woman but I do know that we are all loved by God. A God that heals and protects us. 


I don’t know why any of you, or me for that matter struggle with what we do. I however have gotten to a point where, only on some days to be honsest, I have learned to embrace my ostomy and all that comes along with it. If this blog site in its entirety helps even just just one person it will be worth it. Writing is my outlet. It’s probably not yours but everyone can search for an outlet to help them get through their situation. I talked about my faith. That is another one of my outlets. There are lots of things out there that can help you get through a tough time. I’ve  tried a lot of them. Take a class. Do some arts or crafts. Help someone else in need because we aren’t the only ones. Take up music. And so forth. 


Lastly I know this number was floating around for awhile but I will list it again because you never know if someone might need it...

The phone number for the national suicide prevention line is 1-800-273-8255


I feel very strongly about mental health and even stronger that everyone is “helpable”. Please ask for help if you need it. Our FB support groups are great but if they’re not enough there’s always more help out there. If you didn’t get a chance to read my article that got published on the ostomy connection please do. I hope that my story can offer you some hope. I can’t  get a link to post here so to read: google Jackie Barthelemy ostomy connection