Ok, so I know that some of you may not be up on all the "colon lingo", I sure wasn't before I had this experience. So here is the very simplistic readers digest version of how things work. A total colectomy is having your entire colon removed. I will then have an ileostomy which means the doctor will take the ileum (last section of my small intestine) and bring it to the surface of the skin. An ostomy is the opening in the skin that the surgeon creates, a stoma is the end of the ileum itself. A small bag called a pouch is attached to the ostomy which catches the "grossness" (yes, that's a technical term) and which I will have to empty a few times a day. Most people get colostomy confused with ileostomy, a colostomy is different in that the opening comes from the colon, not the ileum. You can do virtually anything with an ileostomy that you could do before, swim, work, dance, play sports, travel, have kids. And supposedly the ostomy is virtually unnoticeable, even when wearing fitted clothing, we will have to see about that though.
When people find out that I am going to have an ileostomy they view it as the worst thing that could ever happen to someone, they rush around trying to find last minute cures, which I appreciate because I know they love me. However, an ileostomy is for sure not the worst thing in the world, living the way I have been living this past year has got to be worse, and that's what people don't understand. They only see the happy Sarah with no cares in the world, they don't see the Sarah that is going to the bathroom 30 times a day, who has no energy, can't eat because of the pain, and can't take care of her family because she is so sick. Although an ileostomy seems extreme, and I have no doubt that it will be an adjustment and hard times lay ahead, I also know that I will regain control of my life which is all I really want.