MollyOllyOstomy

Patient Leader

Hi there - I'm Molly! In June 2017 I underwent ileostomy surgery and met my new best friend: my stoma, Olly. I'd say we're joined at (well actually, near!) the hip. I have Generalized Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder which caused constant GI issues for my whole life, namely chronic constipation that wouldn't respond to any other treatments. When I learned that I was going to be a twenty-something with an ostomy, I needed a way to process all of the crazy thoughts that were coursing through my mind. And when I couldn't find anyone else talking about getting an ostomy because of chronic constipation, I knew that I needed to be that voice. I turned to Instagram as my megaphone to spread this message: ostomies are life sentences, not death sentences. I started my account "MollyOllyOstomy" ten days before my surgery, and since then, I've chronicled my health journey through the good, the bad, and the messy. Sharing my experiences has been incredibly helpful for me in accepting my ostomy, but the most rewarding part is receiving messages from others and helping them through what is arguably one of the biggest life-altering events in their lives. I always try to stay honest, but when it comes to the less-than-desirable situations, I'm all about finding the humor in the chaos. And I'm known for smiling through almost everything, from symptom-free days to emergency hospital stays! Along with my ostomy, my Generalized Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder has given me Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and dysautonomia. So in addition to helping those with ostomies, I also serve as a resource for patients dealing with these issues. I'm a jack of all trades! But my main passion really is serving the ostomate community. A quick story about the name "MollyOllyOstomy" - when you're little and you're playing hide-and-seek, the searcher traditionally calls out "Olly Olly Oxen-Free" to let those in hiding know that it's safe to come out. And that's what I'm trying to do, too. By sharing my story, I'm showing the world that it's OK to have an ostomy, and that as ostomates, we shouldn't have to hide something that has given us a new lease on life!

Location

Vienna, VA

Nominations

Best Kept Secret