Understanding your feelings

 

Living with a stoma will take some adjustment.

You may find yourself struggling with a new self-image, or, perhaps at first, the ability to cope.

HERE ARE SOME GUIDELINES THAT MAY HELP EASE THOSE FEELINGS

  • Be patient-Do not be too hard on yourself. Some days will be better than others, and in time you will feel like yourself again
  • Keep talking-Talk about your feelings with a loved one or carer. You may find that talking makes you feel better
  • Try to stay active and in good company-Take up a new hobby or get involved with an activity group
  • Use creative work to express yourself-Some people find that writing poetry, painting or drawing, or doing craftwork can be energising. These things can help focus the mind

THERE ARE OTHER THINGS YOU AND/OR YOUR CARER CAN DO TO HELP YOU FEEL BETTER DURING YOUR RECOVERY AFTER SURGERY

  • Become a well-educated consumer-the more you know, the easier it is to make important decisions about your health. Your stoma care nurse is your first resource. You can also find useful information from support groups and ConvaTec, the manufacturer of your stoma care products
  • Meet other people who are living with a stoma, and meet their loved ones-they can speak about recovery on a personal level. These visits often show how life is after surgery
  • Check to see if there is a nearby support group-your stoma care nurse or local stoma association chapter should have this information

YOU SHOULD BE AWARE THAT DEPRESSION COULD SOMETIMES SET IN. BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS:

  • Prolonged feelings of sadness
  • Grief
  • Hopelessness
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Loss of appetite
  • Inability to sleep or sleeping too much
  • Feelings of isolation

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should talk to your doctor, stoma care nurse, or a loved one right away. Patient Associations may also be able to offer support (see useful contacts page for more info).


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