Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Where I am coming from

I'd lik to take it back to fashion for a minute. I've been reading posts on several of the IBD/Ostomy sites that I frequent from new ostomates wondering "how to dress". Right after surgery life is overwhelming and the last battle you want to fight is with clothes. Many think that after surgery you are destined for a life of elastic waist pants, mu-mu's or tunics. Not.true!

Let me show you what I have to work with.

This is a side view of my abdomen - standing normally, not slouching, leaning or anything of the sort. This is just what it looks like for now. FOR NOW I say! From what I gather, this is NOT what the majority of ostomates look like 9 months post surgery.

And here I am holding the camera flat against my chest with the lens pointed straight down - this is what I see everytime I look down. Yes, that is a deep "divet" for lack of a better term. This is a result of multiple abdominal surgeries in a VERY short amount of time. My upper layers of skin became so traumatized that they wouldn't hold a stitch. So nifty internal stitches were placed. Those stitches "came loose" (without having to explain the whole story) and I "dehisced". Dehiscence is a surgical complication (tah-dah!) in which a wound breaks open along a surgical suture. What I'm trying to tell you is my guts spilled out. Seriously. The wound opened up and my insides were there for all to see. Welllll, that was not good. So, I had nylon stitches - I swear they were like fishing line! - placed and those suckers held tight and I guess the last of them were absorbed or fell out or something, I don't really remember anymore.

So, I was supposed to heal up and out. The dehisce was so bad that it left me divided down the middle. Dressing with an ostomy can be a challenge of its own in the days/weeks post op. THIS definitely threw a wrench in any plans I was thinking of! BUT, I wasn't going to let it get in the way of my style so I began searching for things to help push things together. The rest of my body is a 4-6 but in order to get things around my waist I have to get an 8 because there is extra "space" that shouldn't really be there.

Here is an example of how I erase that space:

Jeans with pouch tucked into my undies.

Victoria's Secret bandeau top turned upside down and worn on my hips. It has a good bit of lycra which pulls everything together and just enough to keep my pouch close to my body.

Jeans zipped up with bandeau top on the INSIDE not over the top of the waistband. These particular jeans are a bit loose in the waist so trying to get the bandeau top OVER the waistband is futile. HOWEVER, I do have some skinny jeans that are more fitted in the waist and putting the bandeau top on the inside of those is a bad idea - definitely on the outside over the waistband!

Ready to go! Other people probably don't notice at all, but I can see the very top of my pouch sticking out a little - a simple "blousing" of the tank top took care of that. Just a little adjustment.

Is this what you think a "bag lady" looks like? What ostomy pouch?


  1. Can I share your page on my Facebook to give a glimpse into what I go through with my Crohn's?

  2. BTW my scar busted open recently. In two spots. I have Crohn's and have been under anesthesia for various procedures 200 times and counting now.... kidney stones yearly (thank God as they used to be bi-yearly, fistulas, abcesses, arthritis, uveitis, you name it. And I sometimes think they just think I am flaking out on plan when things flare and I am housebound. I want to be out there, being home sucks. There is only so much you can do in your own home. My desire to rejoin the world DAILY has gotten me to the point of innate sadness. That is why when I go out and when I am with others I would move the world for them so that they experience one iota of the joy I feel to be out and about. I may seem to overdo life when I am able to escape the rest I need so often but I am making up for lost moments. I crawl so much that when that door opens I want to fly and never stop. Don't clip my wings, they are temporary. Crohn's will clip them soon enough. Just fly with me and be happy.