One thing that has been such a positive impact in my life is finding love with a stoma. Many people think “well weren’t you in love before you had a stoma?” and of course, I had relationships and loved people whilst suffering from Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, however all relationships lacked that understanding and support that I needed and I was never given that love back. I was often misunderstood if I was unable to part take in things like clubbing, meals, day trips those types of things and if I lay in bed or called in sick at work, I was told I was lazy. That’s how every relationship mostly went until late 2017 when I had a request follow on Instagram from an old friend whom I used to talk to about Crohn’s Disease back when I was 17 and newly diagnosed! We had lost touch over the years due to an abusive relationship and reconnected as friends at first. As time went by, he became single and we decided to meet up for the first time playing a computer game called League of Legends as my laptop had broke and it was away being repaired, he let me borrow his for the night.
We would talk about having stoma’s and him having a ken butt and myself having a barbie butt (where the rectum is removed and sewn up), about our journeys with illness and failed relationships, lost friendships and family. That first night we met, the hours flew by and before we knew it, it was 3am and time for him to go home! Two days later we met up again and have been inseparable since! We connected in a way that we didn’t have to sit and explain why we were sore or why we kept farting when our stoma’s were active, instead we just giggled! We got engaged 3 months later and it was was our year anniversary last November! Jaimie looks after me mentally and physically and since we got together my health has declined and I always keep telling him that if he wants to leave then he has the chance to, to which I am told “no chance!”. I have also been able to help Jaimie with his stoma with products and I order his stoma supplies for him, making sure his skin isn’t sore and when we have stoma issues we both help and comfort each other.
We have had some incredible journeys together including The Purple Wings Charity Ball in August 2018 (which is a charity helping ostomates), building our family with my 2 yorkshire terriers and Jaimies Yorkshire Terrier and Puggle, I had surgery in June 2018, many hospital trips/admissions/appointments, road trips, spending new year 2019 in the hot tub and seeing The Enchanted Forest Exhibition here in Scotland! Having a stoma has brought me more life and love than I ever could have imagined and has given me the freedom to be able to do things when I am well enough. Being completely honest we both have seen many ostomates worry about finding love because of having a stoma or a Chronic Illness. There are so many options available to hiding your stoma bag if that’s something that you are better suited to such as support wear from Comfizz or finding high waisted briefs for the ladies. At the ball Jaimie wore the unisex boxers and they really are great for keeping your clothes flush for special occasions! I wore my Jasmine Stacey Collection Royal Blue Set. Otherwise we don’t care about seeing each other’s stoma’s in fact now I think it would be weird if we didn’t see each others bags! Most of all Jaimie has helped me gain some confidence back that I had lost due to past mental abuse and thinking I was never good enough, sometimes I still have those days and it’s so heart warming to know that even with my hair scrunched up, my pyjamas on and feeling really fatigued with eye bags that someone does love me, someone does care.
We have so much planned for 2019 such as the Get Your Belly Out ball on the 6th of April, The Purple Wings Charity Ball and hopefully a holiday outside the UK with my best friends Levi and Steph. We also have a lot of hospital appointments this year such as MRI scans for me, surgery for Jaimie, new consultant appointments for me in new departments and infusions. I recently got a new tattoo above my stoma with the IBD ribbon, the date I got my ileostomy and survived sepsis and the Sepsis ribbon. Jaimie gets his next tattoo tomorrow then I am next again in May!
Never did I think that I would find someone like Jaimie – someone who gets me, over looks my flaws and loves me for the weirdo, short fused and crazy person that I am, someone who wants to start a family and wants the best for us. I look so forward to getting married one day, being able to move in together and be a family.
Having a stoma is not the end of life, it is an entire new chapter in life.