Tag Archives: Ostomy Chic

Turn, Turn, Turn

Life is so weird, right? It is jam-packed and can be hard to come up for air. I’m stunned at how much time has passed since my last post. I’ll spare the excuses, even though I have a terrible guilt complex and to not apologize is as foreign to me as littering or slamming the door in someone’s face.

Anyways, I hope that you all are doing well. I’m doing alright, though continuing to deal with some health issues. I’m still being treated for Crohn’s in my lungs. I’m on immunosuppressants and prednisone (along with a slew of other things). As I’ve experienced in the past with prednisone, my body is changing and puffing up. Not too much, but enough that my clothes are snug and my face is bloated. I hate that!! I’m sure many of you have dealt with that as well.

I’m fortunate since my abdomen isn’t changing so much that it causes trouble getting a good seal for my appliance. Be thankful for those little things.

But, it has made me appreciate the importance of having clothes that I can wear when I’m bloated vs. when I’m not. Or even for those days when I have a higher output or when I don’t. I don’t advocate having two wardrobes, but I do think it is important to know what you can quickly change into if you hurriedly get dressed for work only to find that you can’t get the zipper up on a pair of pants. For me, it is usually pulling on a looser dress, or putting on a suit jacket or sweater.

I need to work on the odd vanity issues that are coming up for me about my face. I  feel so self-conscious about it, and then get annoyed at myself for feeling that way. In the past I’ve been on very high doses of prednisone,  and had much more severe form of facial rounding. Even so, I feel very aware that “my face is not my own.” I’ll be ok, but a looking forward to feeling like myself sometime soon.

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Once Again, With More Cowbell

Yes, I’m thinking of that Saturday Night Live skit from way back when! Why? Well, I was thinking of embellishments on clothing and somehow ended up thinking about the embellishments with the cowbell. At any rate, I was musing over how some of my favorite clothing items are actually classic-leaning trends. These trends often include embellishments on shirts and dresses — ruffles, layers, embroidery, ruching, wild prints or other fun elements that can be our friends.

Now of course there are a ton of trends that are foes as opposed to friends. We don’t need to review all of those since the list would be too extensive. But at least it is a double-edged sword. Along with the bad can come the good!

So, what trends are we seeing now in the stores that could be friends to those of us in the ostomy chic party?

  • Peplums — Peplums often have a higher waist and are loose around the midsection. Huzzah!
  • Fit and Flare — I love that things are being labeled as “Fit and Flare.” Stores don’t want to call it an A-line? No idea why, but “Fit and Flare” is descriptive. Again, another option that is figure flattering and then usually not tight around the midriff.
  • Structured Lace — Lace adds dimension and layers to an outfit. The pattern in lace can help distract the eye. Plus it lends a softer edge when coupled with stiffer, more structured material.

That’s just a few. I’ll let you know if I think of more (and feel free to do the same). In the meantime, more cowbell!

The Rules

It seems like the only way I am able to get any clothes is via mail order, usually placed at 11:00 in the evening.  With that said, I can often glance at something and tell if there is a good chance that it could work well for me or not. I have a number of rules in my mind, and 9 times out of 10, they really are a help. Of course those rules apply to me and my above-the-waist ileostomy, so mileage may vary!

Here are my rules:

  1. Fabric — Structured fabrics are usually best! Clingy fabrics will usually reveal more of an outline of my ilesotomy than I would be comfortable with. But, it is possible for me to find something in a jersey knit or other clingy fabric if it appears that it will be looser around my waist, or the fabric is criss-crossed, wrapped or behaves in a way that gives some structure and weight. Patterns are a plus, particularly on any thing closer cut; they provide a visual distraction and make any outline of my ileostomy less obvious.  Flowy materials are great with a-line skirts or dresses, as long as they aren’t see through and don’t cling too much.
  2. Fit — For pants, I prefer a fit that sits just below or at my natural waistline.  As I’ve mentioned before, ultra-low rise usually do not work well on me. You know how stores come up with cute names for the different cuts of their pants? Anything with “modern” in the name, and I need to run the opposite direction since they are inevitably tight and oh so low! In addition, I find that pants with belt-loops work better on me, and ones that are shaped with an almost half-moon shape (I think they are called contour waistline) are not my friend.
  3. Flair — With dresses, A-line or non-body hugging sheaths are my go-to options. I do a love a high-waisted pencil skirt. Was I born in the wrong decade (or century)?
  4. Color — I find dark colors or vibrant patterns seem to work well. As much as I would like to get over my fear of wearing white pants, I doubt that will happen any time soon! I love color though, so often find that I add a pop of color through scarves, jewelry or a top layer (shrugs, sweaters, jackets).
  5. Layers — I tend to layer a tank top  under whatever I am wearing since it helps compress everything and makes me feel more confident that I will not flash the world if my shirt rides up when I am picking up one of my children. I often think about layers, and would consider wearing something tight if it could be balanced out with a bulkier layer. For example, I would wear leggings with a cute, clingy tunic/short dress as long as I could also wear a sweater on top.

That’s my list for now! What do you look for when shopping for clothes?

Update

So, hello! Despite writing many blog posts in my mind over this embarrassingly long absence, I never actually wrote those posts. Yeah…lame, I know! At any rate, here I am. Lots has happened since my last post which was, golly, almost exactly a year ago. Being a working mommy to three is challenging! It is great, but challenging. Also, I received a promotion at work that is very exciting, but it really has me jumping.

On top of all of that, I’ve been dealing with some health issues. Although my Crohn’s has been very calm for quite a long time, like over 15+ year, I’ve had some serious respiratory problems for the last five years. After bouncing from doctor to doctor, I am finally seeing some doctors who are trying to get to the bottom of it. Guess what they have found? It looks like Crohn’s disease in my lungs. Yes, you heard me right. I had no idea that was possible.

So, those are my excuses for not staying in touch with this blog. But, I’m back and hope to be better about it. I really like Ostomy Chic and appreciate knowing that there are some people out there interested in the same things as me!

One thing I have done over the past year was pin items I think are “ostomy friendly” on Pinterest. I should say that these are items that I think would work on me. I’m not trying to be prescriptive or anything! Just thought it would be fun to track items in this way. Feel free to visit my Pinterest boards if you are interested.

Ok, bye for now, my fellow friends in the blogosphere! See you soon, I hope.

Mommy Mojo & Odd Questions

Wow….I’ve been so bad about checking in! But, I hope you understand and I do appreciate those of you who have contacted me to see if I’m okay. The very good news is that our baby boy and girl were born in early February. They are doing great, and our 4-year-old son is also adjusting to life as a big brother. We are so lucky that all went smoothly and the twins are both healthy and growing well. Plus, they are so darned cute. 🙂

It’s pretty busy and hectic though. Don’t get me wrong…I know how incredibly lucky we are to have this gorgeous family and I am eternally grateful. But, I am finding it a challenge to maintain my mommy mojo all the time! The lack of sleep of course is potent and it is very challenging to not really have a moment to myself. But we are doing well and it’s incredibly exciting. I will attempt to return to this blog….but please forgive any delays.

And now for a tangent……

As you know, we worked with a surrogate who helped to carry our (they are genetically ours) babies into the world.  She is such an amazing person. Throughout this process I found people would ask the oddest and also very personal questions about surrogacy. It reminds me of when I first had the ileostomy surgery and the bizarre and very personal questions that I would be asked by co-workers and acquaintances. I usually just try to respond as honestly as possible, but I never cease to be amazed at the chutzpah people have to ask these questions! Sometimes you just have to laugh! I bet we’ve all endured those odd questions.

 

Times are a Changin’

So, I started this with the best of intentions to post on a somewhat normal basis. Clearly that has not been the case. I’ve got some exciting things brewing, and they are clearly occupying my mental space! Maybe I should let you know so you don’t think I totally disappeared.

We are expecting twins in a few weeks! Yes, twins! You are probably wondering why I never posted about being pregnant with an ileostomy. Funny you should ask. Since I’m not able to safely carry a pregnancy, we are working with a surrogate who is carrying our genetic children. It’s amazing. And sort of like the Twilight Zone. But amazing! The surrogate is such a giving, loving, wonderful person…this is the ultimate thing to do for someone. We are so blessed to be at this point. It’s been a pretty long road to get here.

So, that’s what is going on. We expect the babies in February, and I’m hopeful they don’t make an early debut. We are frantically trying to get things ready, but are no where close. In the end though, I know how very lucky we are. So, I’m sure you understand if my mind is elsewhere? Thank you. 🙂

Let’s Get Physical….or How Lycra Can be Your Friend

Knowing that I’ve considered joining a gym for some time now, my wonderful husband got me a one month gym membership for my birthday so I could try a “test run.” He knows me well enough to sense I would freak out if he bought a year membership as a surprise.  I would have said things like “But I’m not sure” and “Do I have time?” Yet, for a month, well….I would give it a shot.

I’m totally digging it, and have since joined for good. Of course there is the ever-present issue of when I will go. But at least for now I am trying to go once a week, usually on the weekend. Also, as a bonus for new members, I get two free sessions with a personal trainer. I’m still achy from the session four days ago.

Being a total novice to the gym I had to figure out what the heck to wear. I wanted something comfortable, non-restricting, and also not super tight against my ileostomy. The first time I went to take a class, I had NOTHING appropriate to wear and ended up wearing loose fitting lounge/sweat pants and a tee shirt. It worked but wasn’t quite right.

I tried on some different pants, and ended up getting some Adidas capris (like these, but not plus size…not that there is anything wrong with being plus size). I got them at an outlet, so the price was right. I liked these since they are not super low rise and they are loose enough. It’s really amazing how low-rise some of these work out pants are!

These pants worked well, but I needed at least one other pair of, well, something. I then stepped into Lucy and splurged on some training pants. The sales person encouraged me to try these on (regardless of my fear of the tight fit), and wow! They are super comfortable and, despite being form fitting, they are high enough that I didn’t feel self conscious about my ileostomy as long as I have a longer shirt on top. I ended up buying a shirt from them too. The actual shirt is longer than pictured here. It worked out great! And I love the feeling of lycra holding in my ileostomy. I don’t even think about it while I’m working out, or taking a class (Zumba, anyone?)

Anyways, I’m optimistic I can stick to it and start feeling stronger. Having clothes that I feel confident in certainly make going to the gym more appealing. What do you work out in?