- Dating and Intimacy with an Ostomy – Part 1: Background
- The Struggle
- Relationship Baggage: Dating With a Colostomy - New Mobility
Anyway, when we started talking I could tell he was incredibly nervous and had no idea what I was going to say. I reiterated some things about my disease and then said that the only reason I am still alive is because they had to give me a permanent ostomy. I went on to explain that an ostomy is when a piece of your intestine in my case, small intestine sticks out of your abdomen and it is covered by an appliance or a bag, where waste can be collected. I went on to show him more in depth about the appliance and what was on my stomach. When I told him this was it, he looked both relieved but also mad given he was up all night worried about what it was.
He gave me a huge hug and went into all the things he thought I was going to say For example: I had been in jail, severely injured, or killed someone. We laughed about it and then continued on with our day. I have been dating someone for over three years now who actually knew about my ostomy before our first date because of my blog. He is also an advocate in the community which makes him understand things that most cannot. Even though he is no stranger to dealing with bowel issues he is the caregiver of someone who has IBD , the first time I was too sick to empty my own bag and he had to do it for me in a bed pan while I was laying down was mortifying.
I had no idea how someone could still find me attractive and see all of that. I wanted to give you guys a little backstory on my dating history with an ostomy. Obviously, we all have different experiences and go through different challenges, but this happens to be mine. Stay tuned for part 2 where I focus primarily on the teenage years and part 3 where I talk about dating and intimacy more in depth as an adult. Good news - you're already subscribed!
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Dating and Intimacy with an Ostomy – Part 1: Background
Symptom management by Editorial Team. My father had a colostomy bag. He had three children with my mother, and they got divorced when I was three because he was an abusive alcoholic. He married two more times after he stopped being abusive. So, I don't think the bag cramped his style one bit. I swear I'm not making this up but I once knew of a gay couple that fucked in the hole for the colostomy. I don't know why your comment got so many negative points, I laughed my ass of at "it got infected", like what did they expect?!
I've heard the same thing about a straight couple, actually. I have no idea if these are true or just urban legends. I'm not entirely sure, but probably not. Not because of the bag, though. I'd be hesitant to start dating anyone with serious health problems. I'm sorry about your surgery and everything, OP. Crohn's Disease seems pretty fucking brutal. I can understand that. Even when I was nowhere even close to surgery I was getting symptoms that put a lot of strain on us. It is difficult just dealing with that and more than once I thought she was thinking about leaving.
Once I was diagnosed, things got better for a while. There were medical options for us. Things were looking up. Then my condition just plummeted back in December If the entire colon is removed, would the worms still work out? My husband is considering this. I thought it was closer to eight thousand, but maybe that depends on location.
We're in the US. If my husband had something like this happen to him, I would stay with him. But if I met a guy and he had that, I think I would be grossed out and it would be a complete turn off. I'm sorry, I know it's not the answer you want to hear, but I know you want honesty. My mom married my dad who has one, and I exist today, so don't lose hope OP! Yeah, I have a reasonably high tolerance for medical issues in general, so I don't think it would prevent me from dating someone. It would seriously depend. I do take good care of myself. I sleep for hours, shower regularly, change this thing as best I can, exercise when I'm not exhausted , take all my medication, hold down a full-time job, etc.
My life in all other respects except medical is fine. Do you take care of yourself and keep it clean? Are you a bad person? It really is a "is your personality and hygiene better than the bag? My dad has a colostomy and a urostomy bag due to cancer. Keep it clean, and it won't be noticeable or a people deterrent in general, let alone a chick deterrent. I take care of myself in all other ways.
Even with this thing, I still try to be as clean and organised as possible. It's the least I can do, I guess: Honestly, that's most of it. If you take care of the stoma and keep your bag clean, it really removes a lot of the "gross" factor. And if someone says they can't do it, then they can't do it, but you need to know that there are people that can, do, and will for you. It's like not liking a woman with a certain physical trait, like moles. They can't fix it, neither can you, so you skip those that don't like your unchangeable trait and look for those that do.
Physically so-called perfect people aren't uncommon. What's rare is finding somebody I can share my mind and my heart with. I would not want to become involved with someone with that because I don't want to become involved with someone with serious health problems.
What if you were in a long term committed relationship with someone who developed serious health issues? Would you continue to share your life with them? But it's one thing to be in love with someone, and stand by them when they get ill. You already love them. It's another to chose to jump in with someone who has health issues that you don't already love. I would date you. I'd recommend that you change the way you see this and make it as small a thing that you can in your own mind.
If you don't see it as a disability, others will be less likely to as well. Paraplegics go on dates, get married, etc. People with HIV do the same. Yes, some people won't see you past this disease. But, keep at it and someone will. I hope you'll take some time for yourself to process the shock of it and develop a more confident sense of self. The first step might be not telling yourself you look like a freak. If you have trouble, seeing a therapist for a few sessions so you have someone to talk to could really help.
You've suffered a major loss and might need a little help to figure out where to go from here. You've been through a lot. Please treat yourself kindly. Sorry to hear about that, man: Is the colostomy permanent? From what I understand, they are usually temporary following surgery. She must be incredibly shallow if she threw away a relationship just like that because of a superficial change that can be easily covered up when wearing clothes, especially during such a trying time in your life.
I'm sure the vast majority of women are not shallow like that, you're better off without someone who would leave someone over such a silly reason like that anyway. It can be temp you are right. This is for the case of rejections and what not. However, with Crohn's often the whole colon is removed and permenant. During sex the bag can be removed but the whole in your abdominal region will need a plug. The plug can leak or come out.
Given your response I don't think you realize the extent of it. Can't really blame them to be fair. Sex for colostomy patients is not something that many people are too aware of or need to think about the logistics for. I know someone with Crohn's, but it was not as severe as you said since they didn't have their whole colon removed and never had a colostomy post op. Obviously I wouldn't ask them about their sex life. I think I would, there are worse things I could find out about someone I'm interested in and it's not like it's something you choose for yourself.
Plus I, like most people, have my own issues that I wouldn't want to be rejected over. But I'm not terribly familiar with colostomies and what they entail. I can be completely unaffected by some medical things and some bother me more. As far as having a chronic illness goes, I'm a caretaker by nature so that part wouldn't bother me, but it is hard watching loved ones in pain. I mean as a fellow Crohns sufferer, I can't judge you.
Although I don't have one, there is a very real chance that it could happen in the future. I sincerely hope you find someone who can see past that. I'm not afraid of stuff like that and I assume he knows how to take care of it. It's not like I would be his caretaker even if we would be dating. I have my own physical fails, he gets to have that as well. Definitely, it would be hypocritical for me to reject someone for a colostomy bag. My sister has UC and will have to have her colon removed at some point, and a colostomy bag until she does the reconstructive J-pouch surgery.
I know she worries about how she'll look and if anyone will still find her sexy, but the person who loves her inside and out will still find her sexy. My mother dated and later had a live in relationship with a man who had Crohns disease and needed a colostomy bag. It was basically never noticeable that he even had one, I can't imagine a woman being intimate enough with you to know you have a bag and then rejecting you. To Answer your question, eh.
If my current partner ended up with one it would be okay, but I'd likely not want to start a new relationship with someone. My ex had Crohn's as well and he worried about getting a colostomy. He was so down on himself just talking about it and I didn't understand because I would have stayed. He told me he was scared that I would leave. I loved him and he was relatively good to me.
People told me I dodged a bullet when we broke up because he would probably end up getting a bag. I quite frankly didn't care. In short, I would date someone who's had a colostomy as long as they don't feel sorry for themselves. But that's just me because I know what it's like to have had a partner with Crohn's and the pain associated with it. Nothing breaks your heart more than seeing someone in pain and you can't do a damn thing about it. Yes, I have an ileostomy, also because of Crohn's disease.
Dating and relationships certainly suck. It's hard to explain to someone that it's both the thing that keeps you alive AND something that doesn't really matter. Yes, I would date a man with a colostomy. Personally, having medical issues is certainly no "dealbreaker" for me.
Most important thing for me is how our personalities mesh or clash. Also, you're not a freak, dude. You underwent emergency surgery and you're alive! Sure, some women are gonna be freaked out but there's a lot of us who wouldn't be. All the best and hope you meet a nice lady. There is always this to inspire you pretty sure most ladies would be all over that, bag or no bag. Just own it, keep it clean, and try not to mention it on the first date. People in general are gross goo sloshing sacks of water, a little plastic bag doesn't make anything that much worse.
Second of all, I would totally date a man with a bag. Mostly because I know first hand what it's like. I was 12 at the time of my emergency surgery which resulted in a bag.
Relationship Baggage: Dating With a Colostomy - New Mobility
I didn't get it reversed until I was It was so hard being a teenage girl with a bag, and it got even more uncomfortable as I grew into my body. I was constantly concerned about men rejected me because of the bag. I did have a couple meaningful relationships, despite it. The one relationship that I valued the most was with the man who accepted me and loved me despite the bag. TLDR; if she's freaked out by something that is medically needed - then fuck her. I'm married to a man who was perfectly healthy six months ago, or so we thought, until he was diagnosed with stage-four cancer.
Treatment is going so-so really, he is currently on a medication which has the side effect of severe adult acne. Doesn't bother me at all, I love the man himself. In relation to yourself, no I would not automatically discount a person with a stoma. For a short period it was a possibility for my husband and the prospect didn't concern me. From all accounts it can be very manageable once you get the hang of it, I bet more so than the side effects of Chrons. What would concern me though is your long term health outcomes and I don't know what they may be not knowing anyone with Chrons personally.
My husbands condition is an emotional roller-coaster especially knowing the worst is to come. I could not voluntarily put myself in that position again in a future relationship. I guess that's something only she can ever know. I wouldn't wish to be as cynical and bitter enough to suggest that she didn't love me but perhaps, in hindsight, I was more invested. Would I be as understanding if things were the other way around? I'd like to think so, but who I am I to judge if I've never been in the position? That depends on how well his Crohn's is being managed.
The bag itself doesn't freak me out. Yes I would still date someone who had that. I'm being completely honest. Looks etc are not a thing for me. It's all about love and happiness and the good times. I honestly don't think it would put me off at all if you were the right guy. Sorry but I couldn't. Bodily fluids gross me out.
I wish I never had poop, pee, snot, tears, vomit, or cum ever come out of or touch my body. I practically start hyperventilating of my bf sneezes snot particles on me. Definitely, it's not something that I would consider a deal breaker in the slightest. A close friend of mine recently got one, also due to Crohns, and while I understand the difficulties of having one it wouldn't even enter into my mind as a reason not to date someone.
That girl is definitely in the minority, and not knowing anything else about the relationship you're better off without her. You deserve someone who supports you, not makes you feel bad. When my husband suffered a serious injury several years ago, I had to deal with a whole lot of unthinkable stuff first hand. I had to , because he had an injury that incapacitated him such that he couldn't even help himself. It was almost a year before he could care for himself completely unsupervised.
And of course I did it all because I love him and only by doing all those previously-unthinkable tasks could I help him. There are many many women out there made of strong stuff, unflappable, capable in a crises, with life experience such that they can face with calm that which scares off the more delicate specimens of our sex.
When you're ready, you'll want to be on the lookout for one of them. In the meantime concentrate on recovering from your surgery and working on yourself. Seriously though, in my eyes, it's just As long as you were cool with really stupid jokes like the one above and okay with me having a thousand questions and coming up with absurd hypothetical scenarios involving it, I wouldn't see any issue. Then again, I'm in the medical field and stomas are so not freaky or gross to me. It's really understandable to be freaked out after waking up with an unexpected stoma. Hopefully you'll be able to adjust to having the stoma- you've only had it a week, after all!
The appearance of the stoma will also change- right now it's probably still healing from the surgery, right? You may be interested in bag covers just search ostomy cover on Etsy. Crohns is, for lack of a better word, shitty, but that doesn't mean the rest of your life comes to an end. Hope your surgery has helped you feel physically better, at least. I don't have a Colostomy, but I do have Crohn's disease. If a woman rejects you for something like this, you don't want that woman in the first place. You said you've loved her for years but she doesn't deserve that love. That bag is a symptom of your illness and while you may find in embarrassing, it's nothing to be ashamed of.
I don't resent her for it. It's a difficult to position for her too.
I guess it's just the shock of it. I have to live with it, sure, but I know I'm never going to love it. It's out of my hands though, and that changes the psychology of it somewhat. On the other hand, she has two paths she can follow - put up with it and hope that she accepts it in time which she may never OR cut her losses and find someone with less baggage pun intended. It's not easy for her either I suppose. Still, maybe this is for the best. That isn't a deal breaker at all. I know that you will find plenty of women as well who won't mind at all.
It is terrifying but I've kind of come to the conclusion that even though I'm in a bad place right now, in a year, it'll be a normal part of my life and, as a result, I wouldn't feel so bad about it. Perhaps being alone while coming to terms with this is for the best: My former BF had a colostomy bag - it was in no way disgusting, disturbing or revolting.
He did well with girls before and after me. His sex life was awesome. Take it one day at a time - the right person will come along and you will be loved wholly - that includes loving you with an illness or without it. You are worthy of love and your illness doesn't define you - it is a part of you, but doesn't take place of your heart and who you are. I've had 3 feet of small bowel removed - any more and I will be in your place.
Don't be afraid to live because of your disease. It is simply that - a dis ease of your comfort. Take it one day at a time, if that is too much try one hour or one minute. Best of luck OP, I hope for a speedy recovery. I'll be an RN in a year. There's nothing gross or weird about it or you. If anything I'd be happy you aren't in incredible amounts of discomfort and pain anymore! Keep your chin up. I know it's hard. Could I date someone with a colostomy bag? Could I date someone with one leg or one arm In the grand scheme of things, a colostomy bag seems pretty small to be honest.
Yes, I would still date you! We've all got our stuff to deal with. As someone with a chronic lung disease, I'm super understanding of this stuff. If I was already in love with a man and something happened where he ended up with one I could probably get past it, but not from the get go. YeaI was kind of hoping that she would be that "somebody I'm already with" and stick around. I guess I assumed our relationship was beyond the physical stuff but apparently I was mistaken.
Thank you for your honesty: Sorry to hear about what you have. My brother and my mom have ulcerative colitis. We go to events and fundraisers for both diseases. That being said there are people at these events that have bags and they are in relationships. It's not impossible so don't feel like it is. You'll find a companion that will want to be around regardless. It's just finding the right one. And sifting always takes time. I think it would be a horrible idea to date another with it.
People with chronic illnesses need help at times. Sometimes they can't even work. Ha and that's why I'll date younger. But that's not everyone elses fun idea. Some people have different priorities. I was just pointing out options. Some medical things I find disproportionately viscerally disgusting - like I can't even look at it and get nauseated just thinking about it. Other medical things I find fascinating and not at all disgusting.
It follows no logical pattern. I've watched bowel surgery on TV while eating spaghetti feeling nothing but scientific interest, but I have to turn off the TV if there's a cartoon depiction of vomit. I've never seen a colostomy in real life so I have no idea if it viscerally disgusts me or not. I'm going to be graduating and obtaining my RN soon so I know how they work and they aren't scary or weird to me.
If it makes someone's life better then thats fantastic! I would rather they be well and have a pouch for their poo than be sick and miserable all the time. Let's just say I might not try as hard for him. I don't know the life limiting factors of a colostomy bag. I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I think a lot of thought would have to go into before I said yes.
I don't particularly want to take care of someone at all really, I do not even want kids and I made it clear that if I ever become a burden due to sickness that I would make sure he never had to deal with it. Thats what nurses are for. If I don't have to touch it or anything then we are good! It wouldn't bother me at all.
I think women will or won't be okay with it, and if you think that telling about it will scare them off so you hide it until they are sold on you and then surprise! That's lying and not that I'd dump you right away, but I would definitely be wary. What else are you lying about?
Bad credit, bad break ups, etc etc. It wouldn't bother me, to be honest. I understand the ins and outs of such a thing, and I know it isn't easy for either partner, but if I liked you then the bag is just a part of the person I like. It wouldn't bother me. I think a big part of it for me though would be how the guy felt about it. I think I would look to him for how I should feel - if he was cool about it and it didn't bother him it wouldn't bother me either. In the same vein, if I felt like it was a big issue for him I would probably see it as a bigger issue for me too.
I am married to someone with ulcerative colitis. When I met him, he had the j-pouch, so no colostomy bag. However, he's been having frequent flare ups, and the antibiotics are starting to diminish in effectiveness. In all honesty, I've been telling him I'd rather him have the bag than the antibiotics.
He'd be much healthier and wouldn't have to resort to immuno-suppressive medication which might lead to other nasty diseases.
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I won't lie, finding someone who will be ok with this, and having to deal with your chronic illness, is not going to be easy. But there's no need to mention it right away. After a month, explain it to them.
Be as upfront about the reality of your disease. The people who are not ok with this will leave you. But the ones who are will be one hundred percent worth it. You do not want to be in a relationship with someone who cannot handle it. There's certain pressures that you have to deal with, and they will need to support you. They will need to understand that there are things you cannot have anymore, or maybe dietary restrictions, always need to be close to a clean bathroom, will need medication and doctors for the rest of your life, will have medical costs that are higher than theirs, etc.
However, though my husband has a chronic disease, he is one hundred percent worth it to me. There's all kinds of emotional pressure they have to be able to handle, too. I almost had to take my husband to the ER this weekend because of a blockage. I was crying but trying to help him out by comforting him. Luckily, we didn't have to, but the reality is that there is a much higher chance I'll spend a significant part of my life as a widow, too. Intestinal diseases are not something to fuck around with.
We met after all of this. It didn't phase me at all and I can very confidently say that if he had added a colostomy bag to that, nothing would have changed for me. You'll find somebody that can look passed all of that or at least see that it doesn't define you. If I was meeting you for the first time, it would creep me out. Then as I got to know you personally, I would judge you on yourself. Like I should have in the first place. My cousin had the exact same thing.
I know he struggled with it too, for a variety of reason. I would still date you if I was interested. I am way more into personality than I am into anything physical. It's just a bag. You will meet ladies who will say yes. But you may meet many more who will say no. Regardless of dating you only want people in your life who make you feel good and are supportive. I fall for funny men, who got theyr shit together, has a twinkle in the eyes and is nice. Offcourse looks sparks interest in the start, but my friends could tell you that I've fallen in love with some men who just can't be called pretty.
So there you go, there is some women who completely and utterly falls for humor and charisma. You work your great asset, and make sure that everyone around you has a good time, and love will come. Your colostomy doesn't define who you are as a person. I choose who to date based on chemistry and personality. The aesthetic aspect of the bag wouldn't deter me. However, I'd definitely be turned off by the seriousness of the long-term illness which resulted in the colostomy bag.
Crohn's can cause other complications, including potentially fatal colon cancer-- I've known someone whose wife died at 35 from it. He told me in hindsight he wouldn't have married her again if given a time machine, which I thought was a very brave thing to admit. So no, I wouldn't be willing to date someone with Crohn's severe enough to necessitate a colostomy bag.
I'd never abandon a spouse who developed such an illness, but in terms of a new dating relationship the risks of being a widow or caregiver just wouldn't be worth it to me. Even so, I'm just one opinion-- I know there's much hope for you, and have my fingers crossed that you find someone who's a good fit. I am sure some women would think it is gross, but they will be in the minority. It is just a very small thing in who you are.
You will get laid again- no doubt vigorously and hungrily - promise. Get as healthy as you can- love, sex, all that stuff will happen to you and it is just as likely now as it was before. Just had to stop and say this. My sister has also battled crohns, and after several years of pain and health problems the docs decided she needed to get a bag and have the same surgery or a similar one. My sister flipped out, got depressed, got angry.. To her credit, her husband is a POS and I don't think that he helped her whatsoever during or after the surgery which probably contributed to her being miserable.
But you know what? She went in for an appointment where she thought they would tell her she was going to have it forever She had it for about 6 months. I think attitude is key here. You need to be open about it, but don't put it on your dating profile. Don't beat yourself up bud! I have seen multiple campaigns on FB and other sites where women were encouraged to show their hardware and be proud of their body.