Rachel Green has had her ileostomy since October 2016 and says “Nothing that having a stoma presents me is harder than the life I had before, in fact it has liberated me on so many levels. Knowing that I have a full life in front of me now is unspeakably exciting.”
Rachel was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2001 which over the years tended to be either pretty well controlled or terribly difficult to get under control. “2016 was not a good year, I was unable to work for most of it and my weight plummeted from illness and then rocketed from steroids. I was put on Humira but each time I came off steroids I relapsed again severely. I was in denial for months as to how unwell I was, returning to work part time and enjoying the temporary gift of wellness thanks to the steroids.”
For Rachel, the choice to have a stoma was not an easy one but, she says, “it was the only choice that gave me a life and I have no regrets. Having a stoma isn’t always easy, but what in life is? You have to learn to live your life in a new way.”
Rachel lives in Kent with her cat Harvey and works as Operations Director for a Design Institution. She is also studying for a MSc Management. When she’s not working or studying, Rachel enjoys fitness, including discovering a love of cycling since having surgery.
It’s a gift that gives opportunity, quality of life and freedom from the painful, isolating and restrictive life I had before