Ripley & Me

Well, I’m finally giving Ripley her own page. It’s only been over four years since she was created but I figure, she’s been pretty darn good these last few years and if it wasn’t for her, I’d not even be here anymore so even though I didn’t have a choice but to bring her in on my walk through this crazy life, we’ve got a good thing going on & she needs a space on this journal! I figure, if God allowed me to walk this road, He wants to do something in and through me with it so this is the next chapter.

Ripley’s existence is a direct result of my struggle with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. My final battle (that I lost) with my colon, took place on 11/8/2017 when IBD & C.diff duked it out for the hostile takeover of territory that they had no rights to, but destroyed beyond recognition (and redemption) anyway. On that day, my colon ended up in a Petrie dish. I ended up with an ileostomy. I named her Ripley. After the character heroine in the series “Alien”, Lieutenant Ellen Louise Ripley. My mom’s middle name was Louise. A stoma reminded me of Ellen’s little friend…(no spoilers here) so I had to name mine after her – so to speak.

It’s not like I’ve been ignoring Ripley – to the contrary, she does share her journey through me on YouTube. Her channel is dedicated to helping others on the same journey.

My ostomy tips channel

This page will be like a journal; as I update, the most recent will be on the top.

Stay tuned…

3.8.2022: Introducing “Info for Spoonies & More” page specifically for IBD, ostomy, resources for various chronic illnesses, and additional details related to the videos on my “The Karah Life – Ostomy Plus” YouTube channel. This page will be live shortly!

2.13.2022: Sorry I’m late with this! Last week’s video on the frustration we (almost) all know and don’t love, “pancaking“…

2.4.2022: Ripley wants to share how we manage “bathroom” fragrances…New video up!

2.2.2022 😳: Well that’s wild…😜

So hey – I guess this is a thing! 100+ YouTube subscribers! 🙌🏻🎉

Around this time last year I thought I’d start a YouTube channel as I decided to “no-build, build” a microcamper out of our minivan. Being locked down and access to Amazon and Home Depot helped 😁.

My initial videos for that channel started out in Canva as some audio by me but mostly no-face PowerPoint types. See “KarahVan Chronicles” (or the KV Chronicles page here)

I’ve watched a lot of videos… And I feel like I’ve even made a couple of new friends that I still hope to see out there one day! 😎

But I kept feeling like God was telling me to share my health journey; by “how to” videos of my life – specifically as an ostomate.

“There’s plenty of others out there doing it already – and very well”, I said.

And then I felt like He was saying to me, “yes, but I’m asking you”. And trust me God used my husband to confirm. After all, I’d be showing my belly and my girl Ripley to the world. Not to mention eventually having some new expenses as my skills grew and requiring him to be the first person that watches a video before it publishes 😎.

So the ostomy channel was born.

I’ve called it a few different names trying to really hone in on the mission and still be focused where people that just needed information could find it.

I can’t really separate my Inflammatory Bowel Disease, my ileostomy, my other autoimmune issues nor my 30 years of recovery. There’s so much that overlaps.

So, my goal has been to provide my experience strength and hope to anyone looking for the information I provide. It’s not medical advice – it’s just documenting my journey but honestly if some of these things are working for me, they could work for anyone.

They may not, but at least I’m sharing something for the community of ostomates (primarily colostomy and ileostomy but urostomates may find some similarities too) and caregivers.

I’m not trying to be a professional YouTuber – I’m only trying to make efficient high-quality videos giving it my best shot like I would do anything else so if that happens it would be organically for sure; God‘s will be done. But, I’m humbled by the support of all my friends, followers, watchers & subscribers 💜