I debated for sometime whether to advertise the fact I had a permanent colostomy. I don't have any privacy issues about it that made me feel uncomfortable, but I thought it might be a case of my readers learning "more then they want to know".
What changed my mind was a discussion with a UAS staff person about their spouse who was dealing with serious intestinal medical issues that could lead to a colostomy. The spouse's view was they rather die then have a colostomy. I don't know what the issue was with a colostomy that made them react so radically, so all I can do is tell you what the effect wearing a colostomy bag has had on me. I do so in hope that others who may have loved ones facing such a decision can understand some of the issues.
Ones viewpoint is dramatically impacted by where you are in life. It is important to keep in mind that I am 63, single and don't date. I am years past the time where I worrying about how other people view me. My views of self and my life are stable. While I don't see any reason for a colostomy to be viewed as a life changing event, (unless you're porn star, professional wrestler or belly dancer) getting cancer certainly can be.
So here's the quick summary of my views about wearing a colostomy bag: it's annoying!
Yep, that pretty much sums it up. Not much else I can say. It does not prevent me from hiking, running (ran 7 miles Saturday) or lifting weights.
But it is annoying. I have to wear suspenders because my stoma (opening where the intestine exits the abdomen) is located at my belt line. It seems most people have theirs below the belt line which prevents this hassle. So now I have to buy larger pants so they fit loosely over the bag. Annoying.
I am rebuilding my deck, digging out large stumps, cutting, splitting and packing heavy, wet firewood.
Sometimes it itches. Sometimes it itches a lot. Annoying, definitely annoying.
I am currently searching for a sailboat to do extensive cruising of Southeast Alaska in the years to come. This has been my plan for many years. Can't think of any reason to change it.
If I am wearing a bag without a filter for the gases it will inflate like a balloon. Nothing like a couple bowls of chili to test out the seams! Did I mention that it can be annoying?
I am hoping next year to run the Klondike (110 mile 10 team relay foot race) with a team of guys all over the age of 60. (I've got a name "Over 60, not the Hill")
In the process of cleaning out the bag last week my hand slipped and the bag emptied itself on my bathroom floor. (Fortunately, my roommate doesn't read this blog!) Funny now, now so funny then.... Annoying, very annoying.
Life is full of annoyances. This one allows me to stay alive and does not radically impact my life's activities. That makes it a lot easier to deal with. There is also a huge market with many styles of bags to deal with every sort of issue one may have. I have been trying different solutions and will continue to do so until I find the one that works best.
Remember, it is just an annoyance and you have considerable control over it: scratch it when it itches (lot better scratching my belly, then where I use to scratch), get bags with filters, start a new fad with everyone wearing suspenders (how about suspender Fridays at work! How cool..... ) or buy support underwear that is crotchless for those of you who want to keep flashing, but don't want to make anyone ill! See, there is equipment to work around every problem!