Through blogging I have met some incredible and brave people. During the course of me appearing on The IBD & Ostomy Support Show, I met Jamie. He lives not far from me which was an obvious starting point for a conversation. He has become a good friend and is always there for a chat and check in. I asked Jamie if he would answer some questions about himself and his diagnosis/surgery from a male perspective. He kindly agreed and so here we go!
My name is Jamie & I am living in Derby. I am a massive football fan & love teaching it and playing. I an a laid back person who is ambitious. I was told I have Ulcerative Colitis over 8 years ago. All the symptoms started with me injuring my toe nail & being on a long course of antibiotics. The bleeding & constant toilet trips all happened a few weeks after my toe nail surgery.
I had my surgery October 5th 2016 for my stoma & left my rectal stump in, in case I wanted a j-pouch created. My surgery was planned after all medications were tried & failed. I was at the stage where I couldn’t go on with the pain and was bed bound.
That first moment I was told I would be having a stoma, I just didn’t take it all in & I felt so scared. I was thinking does it stink and how will I live a normal life? Then the stoma nurse explained everything and I felt so much better. Of course I was still scared but at the same time I was now prepared for a new life with my stoma.
I suffer with depression from IBD & surgery for my stoma. A month in hospital with 2 operations & not getting answers just really knocked me down. I am now on anti-depressants which are helping.
The issues I feel for myself & other men with a stoma or illness is confidence in going out places. For example – can anyone see my bag & what do I wear? Also dating is scary. Explaining you have an illness or a stoma & getting into a sexual relationship is difficult to navigate. The first time you have sex after surgery is a big step.
Advice I would give for anyone having surgery is it isn’t the end of the world having a bag. You still can be normal & achieve anything in life. It won’t be easy, but in my case I have become a much stronger person & my confidence is so much better. Also, good support groups are around online. The IBD & Ostomy Support Show I think is amazing on YouTube, as well as the group on Facebook.
I have surgery planned for June which is the rectal stump removal to make my bag permanent. I have been told if I have a J-pouch made it would just collapse.
Since my first surgery it took some time but I’m basically doing most of the stuff I did before. Playing football was a big one but I did that & was so happy. I would advise whatever you do just rest after you have done it. But yeah, I can do anything I used to do since surgery. I started my blog from seeing yourself & others share their stories. I just wanted to share my experiences and what I went through & if it helps just one person then I am happy.
Thank you for answering these questions Jamie, I am so grateful! Jamie can be found on Instagram and he has started documenting his journey through his blog – The Stoma Guy Blog
Please get in touch if you have a story to tell. I would love to share other Spoonies and parents stories over the coming months, just fill out the form and I will email you back as soon as I can