By: Kelly Brynn

The ten years leading up to my ostomy surgery were incredibly difficult. After years of failed procedures, my body just didn’t function. I was unable to digest on my own and was only able to have a bowel movement with an enema. I was basically stuck in the bathroom every other day and the other days were usually spent dealing with pain, nausea, and major bloating. I had to schedule my life around my routine. My husband and I hadn’t taken a real vacation throughout the entire twelve years that we’d been together. After living that way for so many years, my mental health really started to suffer.

It’s hard to miss out on things because you don’t have control over your body. It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself and give in to all of your negative thoughts.

"I can’t tell you how many nights I spent crying to my husband or having a panic attack and losing sleep over my issues."

I had gotten to a point where I felt like I didn’t care about anything and just wanted to stay in bed.

Having my ostomy surgery was never really a difficult decision. After everything that I had been through I was ready to try and hopeful for the outcome. My recovery was tough, but every day since has been a blessing.

Now I have control. Now I look forward to holidays and traveling, and all the adventures that I had been skipping over the last ten years. I still have my moments; I think everyone does. But overall, I am so much happier than I was before my surgery and I am thankful each and every day that I have my new body.

The biggest lesson that I learned in all of this is that it is ok to admit when you’re having a hard time. There is no shame in asking for help or reaching out. And that’s what we as Patient Coaches are here for. To let you know that you are not alone.

Has your mental health been affected by your physical health?