We spoke to our friend Alannah (aka @glitteryguts_x) about things she is sick of hearing as an ostomate. It shows just why raising awareness is so important!
1.'Get Well Soon'
If you have had your stoma for health reasons such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease or a chronic illness, you will never be "well". You may have better health, but to assume I’m going to suddenly be ‘well’ is patronising.
2."It must really stink"
No, it doesn't. The bags have filters that are designed to mask smell, and you will be none
3."I would rather die than have a bag"
It is online trolls who have made bags an aesthetic issue. I get so sick of it because it spreads fear, and those who really need a bag may absorb this mentality, which can make their health and mental health worse.
4. "It must affect how you've found love!"
I found love many times after having my bag. It never affected my relationships, and the bag (I found) was never truly a problem! I never had any issues with partners accepting the bag.
5."It's more than likely that you can’t have children with the stoma"
So many health professionals say this to young female ostomates without doing any fertility testing to confirm it. You can absolutely still get pregnant and have children with a stoma. This depends on your own body and is a very individual process.
6."You are cured now you have a bag"
I am so sick of hearing that getting a stoma when you have a chronic illness (or multiple), will mean you are cured. It is chronic, there are no cures! A bag is to try and enable more quality of life and relieve your symptoms.