I was always too ashamed, felt so different from my peers, and thought it made me hideous…
I could not have asked for a better friend during that time and I don’t think she ever realized how much better she made my world because of it.
It was also nice to be able to share things with her about dating and intimacy knowing that I could be honest about my ostomy and how it impacted things for me.
I never realized that most young people don’t even know what an ostomy was, let alone jump to the conclusion that I had one.
After my surgery at the age of 24 to have a permanent ostomy, I dated a couple of guys since then.
It was very comforting to have my best friend in high school be so understanding, help me whenever I needed help but also respect the fact that I just needed to be alone.
She never pushed to visit me in the hospital because she knew how I felt about visitors.One being about four months post-op and still very much adjusting to my new body and new normal.He was incredibly sweet and sensitive and prior to us having “the talk,” he knew I had been through the mill with my inflammatory bowel disease but didn’t know details.And at 16/17 years old, in the heat of a bad argument, who doesn’t say insensitive things? I had my temporary ileostomy through my first semester of college and told two of the girls I became friends with.I still pretended with a couple of guys that I just had a bandage on my incision.I had an ileostomy from the ages of 16-19 and then again from 24- present day.