Why talking pre-stoma surgery empowers you massively post-surgery.

The term “warrior” is bandied around a lot these days, but I genuinely feel the women I have the honour to meet through Bags of Calm are such incredible warrior women. I am continuously in awe of what you have had to process, battle and survive to get to this point.  For some, you have battled living with a chronic illness, potentially in and out of hospital with symptoms that adversely impact your day-to -day quality of life. For others you may have received a sudden health diagnosis that has turned your world upside down, or perhaps survived severe injury (caused for example by a car accident or traumatic childbirth) and are living with symptoms, side effects and chronic pain that demand so much of your time and attention. So, at the point of having stoma surgery – unless it is of course emergency surgery that gets decided upon when you are unconscious (like my first stoma surgery) – you will not only be dealing with natural worries of how surgery may go, and how life is going to be for you post surgery. Your brain, consciously or not, will be sifting through previous experiences of medical procedures, appointments, surgery and recovery and most likely recalling all the negative experiences. In other words, knowing you will be having surgery can be massively triggering. Even if you haven’t had surgery before you may be reminded of a time where you felt unsafe, had to manage a massive life change, or felt completely out of control in a situation. Suddenly we feel helpless and as our trauma response is triggered (think fight, flight, freeze response) and you may feel strong emotions such as anger, fear, anxiety, sadness, or numbness that completely overwhelm you.Being triggered is also likely to show up in our behaviour. You may find yourself  isolating from others, becoming argumentative, shutting down emotionally or being physically aggressive. In your body you may feel more pain or muscle tension and notice heart palpitations, breathlessness & dizzy spells. Since learning about your surgery you may have been unable to sleep, feel panicked just thinking of driving to the hospital, and have stopped enjoying the things you normally love to do. Many of my clients talk about losing their temper or feeling agitated with family or friends.  While none of these responses feel good it is important to remember that what you are experiencing is a very normal trauma response. It is also helpful to know that while we can’t change what has happened in the past, we can learn techniques to change our psychological and physiological responses to those experiences. This can have a hugely beneficial effect on how we then respond to future events; like stoma surgery.This is why I am SO passionate about supporting women pre-stoma surgery. 
Together we can work through your triggers so that you can be more in the present moment, thinking clearly about what you need in the here and now, and developing the tools you need to support your emotional wellbeing through surgery and beyond. 
By accessing support pre-stoma you will go into surgery feeling calmer and more resourced, helping you take on the next steps of your journey with greater confidence. You will feel far more in control and truly embrace the warrior woman you already are!  For more info on pre-stoma surgery support message me at [email protected] quoting “pre-surgery” to sign up to my time limited pre surgery discounted package. Image credit: unsplash.comBack to Blog