Life with an Ileostomy: Celebrating 6 Years!

By Leah Sannar

Ahh, don’t you just love exploring the lighter side of life with an ostomy? Anyway – guess what? This month marks my 6th “Ostoversary.” In case you’re new to this fabulous term, which I know you are because I just made it up, it’s a combo – Ostomy/Anniversary. This is a big deal you guys! I can’t believe time goes by so quickly and that I’m already celebrating 6 years! And I do use the term “celebrating” on purpose, because that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m celebrating. Sure, living with an Ileostomy has had its challenges. And they are definitely challenging; I don’t mean to downplay them. But when you put those trials next to the ones I faced with active Crohn’s Disease – they feel mild, even easy. Maybe not in the moment… but they are 100% more desirable to me, than going back to life without an Ostomy. (Hear more about how I ended up with an Ileostomy here.)

People are always so fascinated with me when they find out about my Ileostomy. I always get this blank stare that says, “Oh man, I have so many questions… I really want to ask, but I don’t want to offend [...] continue the story

My daily Companion…Crohn’s

I was diagnosed in 2003 after 88 days in the hospital, the physician said he was treating me for ulcerative colitis but thought it was crohn’s so I signed for exploratory surgery.  He said we would take a section of my colon or do an biopsy..let’s try a look, then.  I awoke with an ileostomy, and had 5 more sugeries (not the pig intestine transplant that I’d hoped for or the stem cell transplant suggested) but I no longer have an exit, so this is not reversible.

I’m on Cimzia injections, still deal daily with pain but am grateful for every day that I live well.  He’s now considering TPN for the rest of my life and I’m only 48? Seems drastic, but I met a man on a mission trip in Lufkin, Texas, last summer (while building wheelchair ramps with United Methodist ARMY youth volunteers…he’s in his 70’s and watched his grandchildren grow up for the past 14 years.  I can do this, if I have to!

I hope to be an inspiration to others, I’m a psychologist and getting my doctorate in Autism Spectrum disorders to work toward my future…however, long or short that may be.  My mantra is…I can [...] continue the story

My Crohn’s disease and my ileostomy

This is the story of my Crohn’s disease and my ileostomy. I hope it will help you.