Thank you to all brave sufferers of faecal incontinence who have shared their story. I am an author – not a very famous one, but a published one – and I am a nurse, as well as a sufferer of FI since giving birth 24 years ago. One day I would like to seek everyone’s permission and write stories. I want the world to know what we go through because why should we feel guilty, dirty and live with a dirty secret? (I have published one short story by that name, and although anonymous it wasn’t an easy story to see on the printed page).
I have decided to have a permanent colostomy and the hospital called me today and it is booked for 2 weeks time. This doesn’t give me a lot of time to adjust, but as my husband said, it was a decision I made a long time ago – now it’s a matter of going through the process and dealing with a new lifestyle after. I have had two anal sphincter repairs, one temporary colostomy, the sacral nerve stimulator and physio. All to no avail. When the anal area is on fire, I use Panadeine because the codeine kills two problems. I try to avoid the latter for reasons of potential addiction, but when I’m desperate I resort to that.
When I had the temporary colostomy I actually managed quite well. Perhaps being a nurse helped – I had seen many stomas and had helped patients change them over the years, although was by no means an expert. The first few months were tough, but, unless I’ve conveniently forgotten the difficulties, from memory, once I got used to it my life was so much better that suffering from FI. I’m saying this here because if there is any way you have the option to go down this track please don’t disregard exploring it as an option. In fact, as far as ‘disabilities’ go, I found having a stoma more socially acceptable than IC.