This mum with Crohn’s disease is proud of her ileostomy bag, and wants other people with bowel illnesses to feel equally empowered.
Which is why she’s sharing intimate photos of herself with it – in the hope that she’ll change people’s attitudes about the condition too.
Krystal Miller – or ‘Bag Lady Mama’ as she’s known as on social media – has used a ileostomy bag for 11 years, having been diagnosed with Crohn’s when she was 15 after having diarrhoea, constantly being sick, and sleeping for up to 22 hours a day.
But she only made the decision to have a ileostomy bag fitted just before her 22nd birthday after doctors had “tried everything to get my disease under control but nothing worked”:
“Having my surgery was the best thing that has ever happened to me,” she wrote on her blog.
“I am definitely not saying it’s been smooth sailing the whole time, but there has been a lot more good than bad.
“I’ve had bowel perforations, phantom butt pains and leaks where I’ve pretty much been cover in sh*t from head to toe! Oh the joys!
“All of these experiences have taught me to be who I am today.”
So despite the work a bag requires – including emptying it every few hours and changing it every few days – Miller has absolutely no regrets.
And to prove that it in no way makes her any less sexy, she regularly shares candid snaps of herself with it.
“I’ve never hated my Stoma. I’ve hated that I HAD to have a stoma,” she wrote on a Facebook post.
“I’ve also looked at my bag and my scars and my battered body and felt love and appreciation. I’ve appreciated how far I’ve come and how I’m not close to dying anymore.”
“I’ve had strangers find me desirable and kiss my stomach without fear! I’ve been loved beyond measure and I’ve been dumped because of my baggage!”
“But…. who the f*ck cares about them?!! Not me! Do you know why?!
“Because those douche bags don’t deserve me and I don’t owe them anything! You don’t either!”
Her posts have struck a chord with ileostomy bag wearers and non-wearers alike, her Facebook page having amassed more than 35,000 followers and and endless number of comments.
“Having such a hard time since hernia repair surgery,” wrote one fan.
“It’s great reading your inspirational post… like a shot in the arm, I really needed your words of wisdom.”
“Love this attitude,” wrote another.
“My Stoma weeds out the a**holes but then so do my tattoos! Can’t please everybody!
“Just gotta be yourself.”
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