I’ve noticed recently that one of the blogs I follow has really turned into a series of various product endorsements. And although I can appreciate the effort in earning some money from a blog, I have lost respect for this writer, as quickly as she has lost her authenticity. I know this person personally and believe she has real, interesting content. Yet through the excessive advertisements it’s become very unclear what her intention is with this outlet.
Which lead me to reflect on my own writing. I believe I’ve stayed true to my goal in providing a glimpse into what life looks like with an ostomy. But I wonder if I’ve been as raw and authentic as possible. Have I slightly glamourized being an ostomate though positivity and pretty pictures? Or have I reflected too much on emotions rather than focusing on the logistics? In an attempt to give a full perspective I’ve been inspired to write a post about the nitty-gritty. The dirty details. The TMI. The borderline “I didn’t need to know that…” So here ya go.
They happen. More often than you think. Stool will seep under my Eakin ring and onto my skin and it burns and itches and I am instantly thrown into panic mode. I always carry extra supplies with me, but the process of changing an appliance at work, or in a public bathroom stall is uncomfortable and takes too long. Sometimes if I don’t even have access to that washroom, the stool will leak ALL the way out under the flange and onto my clothes, or down my legs. Those kinds of leaks don’t happen often but I’ve been there. It’s horrific and disgusting and embarrassing and all I can do is hope to get to the bathroom soon. They’ve happened in the car, at work, in a store, during my sleep and at a restaurant. And it sucks.
One time I put on a new appliance before bed that was a defect and had a small rip in it between the plastic connecting piece and the actual pouch. And at no fault of my own, or my application, I woke up in the middle of the night covered in shit. And at 1:00am on a weeknight needed to strip my bed, shower, apply a new appliance, and makeup a new bed. And then the next day I went to the mall to feel better, indulged in retail therapy all because I LITERALLY shit the bed
Yes, I have had sex with an ostomy. It takes a special kind of man to look past my extra baggage but I have been fortunate. I make sure I’m empty, and seal proof which somewhat takes away from the heat of the moment, but it puts my mind at ease during. Nothing really changes except perhaps my own confidence, which may limit my mobility a bit. However I take pride in my honesty and openness with this whole process so there have been no surprises going into any intimate situation. And I’m not going to let an ostomy stop me from living the best part of life.
Since my body weight has fluctuated so much from being sick, I‘ve probably put on 20 lbs since last year. And there’s a few reasons for this: 1.) I like donuts. 2.) When your body drops weight so quickly, you crave those high calorie, high fat foods. And when your body is given them, it holds onto them in fear of getting sick again. It’s a defensive mechanism as my body prepares for getting sick again, by storing as much fat as possible. 3.) I haven’t exercised.
My output ranges from straight up water to a thick “paste.” It’s usually one meal a head and if I eat a salad or fruit I can literally see it again. Gross, I know. If I eat sugary food (donuts) or fried foods that’s when things get too watery, and it’s the healthier foods, or potatoes that really thicken things up. It’s a constant balancing act that I have not yet mastered. Hence the weight gain.
I also experience gas in the pouch and there have been times when I’ve woken up to an actual balloon. The pouch fills with air and if I don’t relieve the pressure I run the risk of a leak, or possibly an explosion….a shit explosion (that’s never actually happened to me before).
I’m a scatter brain filled with anxiety, sadness, ambition, positivity, excitement and calmness. I’ve written about that and I have a very real fear that even with my JPouch I will never be the same, emotionally or physically. I probably need therapy.
I’m constantly looking for inspiration to write so if there are any suggestions, please send them my way. I hope this was authentic enough for you though. I giggled a lot at how outrageous this is all going to sound so kudos to you for still liking me after reading this.