Coping with a Stoma & Ileostomy

I received a product for free to try in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

When I found out I had to have a surgery that would remove my colon and create a stoma which meant I would have an ileostomy bag, I was terrified. I was worried about how to care for myself after surgery, I was worried about the procedure because I knew that without it I could have died but at the same time I knew the surgery could kill me.

As vain and self absorbed as it sounds my biggest worry was that I would be a “freak” with an ileostomy bag for the rest of my life. I was worried about embarrassing my daughter if one of her friends were to see it and I was most worried about my husband not being attracted to me anymore even though he assured me this would never happen.

I knew I needed the surgery and didn’t really have any other choices.

The nurses said that they were told my colon looked like ground beef due to the damage caused by Ulcerative Colitis. The medicines weren’t working, diet change didn’t fix me, and I was getting sicker by the day so the choice was already made for me, I had the surgery.

Ileostomy Bag for Stoma

While still recovering in the hospital I had nurses that handled my bandage changes as well as everything related to my stoma and ileostomy. I did my best to “check out” during these times so I didn’t concentrate on the pain but it also helped me escape the reality of the situation. When the time came and the ostomy nurses were trying to teach me how to change my own ileostomy bag, I was a mess. I couldn’t even look at my stoma without crying uncontrollably but thankfully my husband kept it together and was able to learn how to care for me.We are at about 12 weeks post op and he still takes great care of me.  

I guess the universe evened things out for me, I felt like I was dealt a bad hand with the UC and stoma but my husband is so amazing that I still have it better than most people. 

My daughter doesn’t seem to even notice anything different, she still expects the same things from me and tells me I am beautiful when I dress up. She has always loved fashion so on those rare days when I wear matching clothes, she makes a big deal out of it like she has always done.

I became really self conscious with a lot of my clothing because they are not cut right or the material is too thin and it exposes my ileostomy bag or makes it uncomfortable. I began searching for a belt that would help me be a little more discreet and enjoy life again without having to worry about someone seeing my bag. That’s when I found Comfortbelt.com  and read these magical words on their site “Because having a stoma shouldn’t stop you feeling like yourself again.” 

Stoma Support Belt

I couldn’t wait to try it out because the description of the product sounded like everything I was looking for to help conceal my ileostomy.

  • Discreetly conceals and encloses your ostomy bag
  • Lightweight yet durable design is fully-adjustable to hug your body’s shape
  • Easy-to-use zip allows you to empty your bag while still wearing the belt
  • Fully-lined, offering peace of mind from embarrassing leaks, and muffling noises
  • Anti-bacterial, breathable fabric which you can wear 24/7 and wash at 40 degrees
  • The belt has been designed in a way to comfortably fit a Stoma on the right or left.

Stoma Ileostomy Belt

The fabric is breathable, comfortable, and made from high quality material. I am getting the support I need while being able to disguise my bag at the same time. I can wear my favorite clothes again without any embarrassing bulges showing through.

I am starting to see that I will be able to handle this and have had moments where I feel normal again. So normal that I actually forgot for a few seconds that I have a stoma. I never thought that would happen! I am so thankful that there are products out here like this, made by people who understand the struggle and create solutions for real problems that people with a stoma go through. 

You can find out more about The Comfort Belt by clicking here and be sure to check out the video on their site to see how easy it is to use and to conceal your ileostomy bag.


  1. Wow! Thank you for sharing each step of your journey! There are so many people who I know going through the same thing and I know that this post will give them strength. You are a strong and wonderful person to share this and I will keep praying for your healing!

    • Thank you! I am always amazed by how many people are going through this same thing. So many suffer from invisible illnesses and nobody knows about their struggle. I am glad I have a platform to share my story.

  2. Being a veteran of 3 similar surgeries I can fully appreciate your feelings throughout this challenging time in your life. As your dad I literally prayed a thousand times for God to let me take your place and your pain. I figured I was an expert and would rather go through it a fourth time than see you have to know that type of pain. You were a trooper even though I had no faith in the band aid dispensers calling themselves doctors and the famous “broom jockeys” acting as nurses who were supposed to be in charge of your care…there were a few good ones mind you but the care I received was much better in my opinion. I say all this because even though I was scared to death every minute of your ordeal I knew you were a very strong person and would overcome this problem. I’m glad you have gotten to the point where you can share this in your blog and enlighten others on the seriousness of colon diseases and let people know that life can go on after the fight.I’m very proud of your progress and the strength you exhibit by sharing this with others…by the way I had no doubt you husband would be by your side no matter what…all of your family loves you dearly and we are happy you fought to stay with us.

    • HaHa the Broom Jockeys…..that gave me some laughs through the ordeal. At the time I had no idea there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I really thought the pain would be there forever and even worse I thought I was never going to move past having a stoma. Turns out it just takes some time and support from an awesome family. Your visits made me feel better even when I was deathly ill. I feel really lucky to have a dad like you, you are freakin awesome!

  3. I had a blocked colon back in 2012, and was in the hospital for 34 days. I was unconsious for most of it. I came out of my surgery with a colostomy and a permanent disability, that I think is due to the gross negligence of the doctor in charge of my care. I had no health insurance at the time. I could not find an attorney to take a case to sue them. Anyway, the first surgery happened on my 60th birthday. I am now 64, and still alive. I had severe depression and body image issues after my surgery, and saw a psychiatrist for three years. I wish I had found this belt sooner! Thanks for the review.

  4. I had my surgery in 2012 on my 60th birthday. I had a blocked intestine, the repair ruptured, I had sepsis, and four more surgeries. I came out of the hospital with a colostomy and a permanent disability which I think was due to the gross negligence of the doctor in charge of my care. I couldn’t find an attorney that would take my case though, so that was that. I was approved for disability two years later. I am now 64, and still alive. I will have my colostomy for the rest of my life. I am so glad you reviewed this because I have been looking for something like it.

    • I am sorry to hear all that you went through. I am always shocked how easily medical staff can get away with life changing errors. There needs to be more advocates out there for this kind of thing. I am glad I was able to help you find a product that would make your life easier!

  5. Mike Dixon says:

    You are the most beautiful person I have ever known inside and out! As your husband I feel privileged to be by your side through sickness and health and everything else we have experienced and will experience for many years to come. Thank you for loving me so much!

  6. I did not know that they made something like this for people with an ileostomy bag. I know several people that have had or have one and I know how much this would have been helpful for them to not be so self-conscious. Your husband and daughter sound like keepers and a real man steps up when they are needed like yours did. I am glad that you are feeling a little more secure and confident in being able to wear your clothes again. Best wishes for your recovery.

  7. Oh Melissa, You are so brave and I’m sending prayers for continued strength. It sounds like you have an amazing support system with your hubby and daughter. I am so happy you found the ComfortBelt and that it is working well for you! Feeling confident in your clothing is very important and I’m sure you will now have many, many more times where you can forget about it for awhile and enjoy good times. God bless you and your wonderful hubby and daughter as you move forward. Hugs, Nancy

  8. This is a very insightful post. It’s actually a first time that I have heard of this so it’s quite intriguing. It’s great though that you’re sharing this and I wish you the best of health and recovery!

  9. Wow, I give you some much credit for sharing your story. Although the procedure saved your life, I can still imagine how stressful it was to get used to living with the ileostomy bag, vain or not! That’s a life change and it seems to me that you’ve taken it in stride. 😉

  10. So glad you were able to find something that works for you as you adjust to your new normal. I send you well wishes for good health!

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