If you’re someone without a stoma, but you’ve been wanting to increase your empathy and understanding for people with a stoma, this is the perfect article for you.
We recently came across an article on Ipswichstar featuring Louie Green, a comedian and his personal story on what life has been like for him with a stoma. He hopes to raise awareness for stomas after hearing that many people find them “disgusting”.
Here’s his story.
Image: Gaz de Vere, published on Ipswichstar
The Story Of Louie Green
Louie Green had been experiencing issues with his bowels for a period of time before being diagnosed with diverticular disease.
One night, he was rushed to the hospital because his bowel had perforated and he had contracted sepsis.
“I was told that the following morning, I’d be having an emergency surgery, and if I didn’t have it, I was going to die,” said Louie.
“I came out of the operating theatre, and spent two weeks in the hospital without seeing anybody, because of Covid restrictions. All that kept going through my head was, my partner’s not going to find me attractive anymore.”
But contrary to his concern, his partner had been an endless source of love and support, caring for Louie through his recovery – while taking care of a five-year-old child and being heavily pregnant with the second child.
Over time, Louie has adapted well to living with a stoma, being a new dad, and returning to performing comedy gigs.
“Stoma nurses are amazing, the support they gave me was incredible,” he said.
However, Louie had his fair share of experiences with people who were less sensitive.
“People will be like, ‘I’m so sorry you’ve gone through this, it must be disgusting.’ I’ve heard that loads of times,” said Louie.
“There are all the regular questions. Does it smell? Does it hurt?
“The answer to all of these is, no, it doesn’t. But there’s such a stigma around it.
“My partner was amazing. To start with, she’d even support me changing it. But other people have said, ‘I could never do that.’
“I actually had one person say that I was lucky my partner had stayed with me.”
In fact, Louie has found that this was a common fear among male stoma patients.
He said: “Every man that I’ve spoken to goes through the same thing. They're absolutely convinced that their partner is going to leave because they've got it.
“Through my stand-up, I’m trying to raise awareness and make people realise it’s not disgusting. Without that little bag, I wouldn’t be here, holding my daughter.
“There are actually some really funny things that happen with a stoma. It’s just part of me.”
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