Welcome back to #UroStories where we have the lovely and inspiring Heather Taylor joining us who is 24 from Huddersfield.
Take it away Heather:
- Can you tell me a little about how you got your urostomy?
I had my urostomy due to sacral nerve damage and interstitial cystitis. After years of trying different treatments; strong pain relief, surgeries and self-catheterising I eventually had to have my bladder removed and a urostomy formed.
- What do you feel is the toughest thing to deal with when living with a urostomy and how do you overcome this?
The toughest thing for me is body image and self-confidence issues. I am still finding ways to overcome this but one thing I find that helps is taking a day to pamper myself by having a bath with a bath bomb and using a face mask.
- What piece of advice, hints or tips would you give to anybody who is about to have urostomy surgery and start this journey?
Join a urostomy group on facebook! It helped me get a better insight into life with a urostomy, tips and what the bags were about. It also has good advice from people living with a urostomy. I found in the hospital they only give information that is very medical.
- Are there any support groups, associations or online groups that have helped you live and accept your urostomy?
I have found the 'Urostomy Awareness Group' a great support as well as the 'Urostomy Association Members Group' Unfortunately, I have not found any local groups in my area. However, the Facebook group has put me in contact with the most wonderful supportive people who I feel are always there for me and are good friends too. I can’t put into words how valuable this has been to me.
- Do you feel there is a different level of awareness with the Healthcare Professionals regarding urostomies compared to the other stoma types?
I have found that of doctors and HCP's don’t understand urostomies, they seem to get them mixed up with other kinds of stomas. They don’t always understand how they work and I think they should be educated more about them.
- How do you feel we can raise awareness for urostomies within the general public?
I think maybe more awareness events online and in public run by people with urostomies.
- When you are having a down day what one thing do you do to keep positive that you find helps?
l try to remember all the wonderful people I have met in the group, my boyfriend and my brothers.
Thank you, Heather, for your honest account and how you have found the urostomy impacted your body image. Well done for taking part in your first photo shoot a few months ago! The pictures were amazing and you should be very proud of yourself for achieving that goal. An inspiration to many!
Please join us next week where we have the lovely Randal joining us!