Category : Caitlin

Caitlin: Most days I think of the positives but can have bad days too

I have been struggling with the fact that I will have an ostomy for the rest of my life. When I initially had surgery in 2011, the plan was always to use my j-pouch. Not once did anyone ever mention that I may have an ostomy forever. When these finicky fistulas got in the way, it became clear that I may never be able to use my j-pouch. Here I am, 7 years later with my ostomy. Most days, I […]

The emotional side of an ostomy

How do we control our emotions while living with an ostomy? We don’t. Just like anything else in our lives, we need to let ourselves feel the emotion. Any traumatic event can leave a lasting effect on someone. I remember when I was diagnosed with UC, I didn’t think much about it. I knew I was sick but I was taking medication and didn’t have much control. When I spent a month in the hospital and had emergency surgery to […]

Common questions from family and friends about my ostomy

Does it hurt? I think the most common question I get is “Does it hurt?” and the answer is no! I can only feel it when it’s being really active and moving around. The only part that hurts is if I get irritation on my skin around the stoma OR if I eat something I shouldn’t have and get a stomachache. Otherwise, I am pain free. Are you embarrassed by it? A lot of my friends and people I meet […]

Going to the gym with an ostomy

When I was younger, I was a dancer. I did tap, jazz, ballet, and lyrical. I danced from childhood up until my senior year of high school. I also played lacrosse for my four years of high school. Being active was a big part of my life. When I went to college, I joined the dance team and started hip-hop and step. After college, I continued to dance salsa, bachata, and merengue. When I was diagnosed with UC, I became […]

Finding love with an ostomy

I’ve written a few articles in the past on dating. This one is a little different because after many years of being single, I am dating someone who is really special. Dating with an ostomy can definitely be a challenge. Finding a way to tell that person for the first time is my biggest challenge. I’ve realized over the years that there isn’t a specific time when you tell someone, it’s whenever feels right. When I first had my surgery, […]

A Dad’s perspective

My wife Candy and I were sitting in our family room when my daughter, Caitlin, came home early from work. It was immediately clear that she was in great distress. While sobbing and brushing away the tears she shared how her pain had become unbearable at work. Caitlin had been diagnosed several years earlier with Ulcerative Colitis. Her doctors had tried numerous medications with varying degrees of success. Some worked for a while but eventually became ineffective or produced negative […]

Hot climate and the affects it can have on your ostomy

I think most people agree with me that summer is the worst season to be in when you have an ostomy. I’m from the northeastern part of the United States and we have hot summers but it has been nothing compared to the summers in the southeast! I’ve lived in Nashville, Tennessee for one summer so far, heading into my second and let me tell you, it was rough. It gets so hot and humid here; it’s almost unbearable. The […]

Staying hydrated

If you have an ostomy or any type of IBD, you know what it feels like to be dehydrated. Unfortunately, having these diseases prevents our bodies from absorbing all the nutrients and electrolytes that we need. With an ostomy, it’s that much harder. Without your colon, your body doesn’t absorb as much anymore since that was the colon’s function. Dehydration is my worst enemy. It’s a daily battle for me. I was never a big liquid drinker before I became […]

Travelling on a plane and airport security

I absolutely love to travel and wish I could do it more often. I have travelled to the Bahamas, throughout the United States, and to Europe with my ostomy. Can you imagine sitting on a plane for more than eight hours with an ostomy? It’s possible! In fact, I am travelling back home next week and have no concerns about flying. Some tips that I have about travelling: 1) Bring your supplies on the plane with you! A plane is […]

Caitlin shares her thoughts on dating

I was debating writing this article as a young single woman but decided to share my thoughts on dating…with an ostomy. I am 28 years old and have been single since I was 21 years old. I have dated throughout the years but never had a serious relationship since my early twenties. I was diagnosed with UC when I was 22 years old. I dated a little bit with my illness but that was a challenging time. I was trying […]