Body Image

14 12 2011

As you know, I’m on prednisone right now. And I’ll be really honest. It makes me feel really crappy about myself.

I’ve always been uncomfortable with how I look, and prednisone makes me gain weight and makes my face puffy plus gives me more insecurities by making my moods crazy bad.

I went to a CCFA meet and greet yesterday and a woman there said after I mentioned I’m on prednisone, “Oh, I can see you have the moon face.”

What? Really? That’s something that I can see in myself but was hoping other people didn’t see. And that comment cemented this impression in my mind of a giant face. And being on prednisone makes me fixate on it more. It’s this terrible cycle of badness.

Today in class we had this really neat activity where the kids did a scavenger hunt around the school to discover facts about different countries. They wrote their facts down in a passport. As the teacher was explaining how to fill out the first page of the passport, including height at weight to make it feel more real, a girl raised her hand and said, “I don’t want to include my weight. That’s really private and makes me uncomfortable.”

It was that moment where it hit me how ridiculous I am being, and how ridiculous we allow our culture and our media to make us feel. This little girl, this seven year old, is already so uncomfortable with herself and her weight. And what everyone else sees is a smart, funny, talented little girl, and she doesn’t see that.

It is so easy for us to get distracted from all that we can offer and be bogged down with our faults. I see all the side effects from my medications and my mood swings and weight fluctuations. I see sometimes this ostomy that I have and all the baggage that my disease brings and I have a hard time remembering that I bring a lot to the table as well. That I am a good friend and a good teacher and that I put all of myself into my relationships with the people that I love.

I challenge you to think about all the ways you sell yourself short. I challenge you to think about all the things you have to offer. Remember that to others you are smart and funny and talented. Let’s work on making a culture of love and self-acceptance so seven-year-olds can love themselves the way they are.


Give a little bit

11 10 2010

I love feeling better, and I know that I feel better because of my ostomy. Therefore, I love my ostomy.

Sometimes if I think about it too much, I get weirded out still.

While at camp I met someone who had an ostomy and had it reversed. She showed me the tiny scar it left.

I’ll never have a scar like that.

It’s weird to think that this bag will be here for literally the rest of my life. That one surgery has changed the way my body works forever.

I’ve already forgotten how it feels to have to run to the bathroom. Although that’s a good thing, it still feels… weird.

I will never have to sneak a book in the bathroom again.

But I will never have a bare belly either.


New ostomy

29 06 2010

Most of my friends had never heard of an ostomy when it came time for me to get one.

I had never met anyone with an ostomy before, and I had no idea how to even visualize it.  Would it smell? Would I be constantly aware of it?

The thing is, you are comfortable with your body. At least to a point. You’ve seen yourself naked before. But when you have an ostomy, you’re never really naked unless you take your bag off (which I prefer not to do- it can get messy!)

The first couple of times I took a shower or changed my clothes I could barely look at myself because it was just so weird. It’s weird having something permanently on your body!

But after a while, I noticed it less and less. Now it doesn’t bother me. At all. I mean, occasionally I’ll look at myself in the mirror and think, “What would I look like WITHOUT this?” but my life has changed so much that I can’t get caught up on how I look.

Now, I just ordered a pouch cover TODAY! I’ve had my ostomy for over a year. I ordered ¬†THIS and will let you know how I like it!

When I first got out of the hospital I only had clear bags. For a while it made sense while my body was adjusting because I didn’t know what to look for and doctors kept asking me what my output looked like. But really? I don’t want to look at my crap all the time! Now I use an opaque bag, which is much better. My only problem is it’s kind of loud- sometimes it sounds like there is a plastic grocery bag stuffed in my pants. Kind of awkward? I’m hoping this pouch cover will muffle noise. If I like it I’ll make my own pattern to sew my own- there are so many fabric choices out there and most covers look like they are made for old people or two-year-olds.

The other big thing that helped with my ostomy was the right kind of underwear. Sounds crazy! But at first, the weight of the bag when it fills pulled on my belly, especially when I was sore right after surgery. This underwear has like a pocket in it which a) flattens your bag so it’s hidden well and b) supports it so the wear time on each wafer like, doubled for me. My all-time favorite underwear is here; it is super comfortable, actually looks cute, and works so well. Check out links to Vanilla Blush and Ostomy Secrets under my link section for tons of cute/reasonable options that increase comfort so much!

Basically ostomies are horrifying when you first start, but there are so many options out there that you can really embrace your body for the way that it is- bag and all!