120 Ostomates

I am now an Ostomate! I have compatriots, friends in the experience, members in my club. They know what all of this is about, and it’s exclusive. You can’t be an Ostomate without an ostomy.

Avoid searching the internet.  It’s my medical motto.  There is nothing to be gained, and everything to be lost.  Surely that hangnail will progress into gangrene.  And that zit, the zit will grow into a goiter at record speed!  Or not.

The controversy:  Sometimes I actually need information or insight.  Or the plethora of options available in the universal department store.  The internet search begins.

I was thinking about my medical staff.  Not every aspect of my care is intertwined with the colostomy.  Maybe, just maybe, some of the staff doesn’t want to work on my wound, for example, while staring at the contents of my ostomy bag.  It’s a concept.  And it required some searching (and I haven’t chosen or purchased a thing).

Yes, I slid down the rabbit hole in Youtube.  I am grateful that people post their ostomy experiences and even show their devices there.  It means I will never be called to do that.  It is done.

I learned things I did not know.  There are more options for bag styles.  If I feel done with the clear exterior, I can just get the bag in an opaque option.  

Also, many etsy stores have covers.  The advantage of a cover is that it could protect me from the sharp edges of the drain.  Some have quippy words across them.  “My other bag is a Gucci.”  “Shit happens.”  Prints, there are lots of prints with cats and flowers, motorcycles, forest scenes…

Some members of the United Ostomy Association of America

While I looked at pictures and listened to videos, I discovered that I had joined a club.  That day in the hospital.  No paperwork.  No entry fees.  No one told me.  

I am now an Ostomate!  I have compatriots, friends in the experience, members in my club.  They know what all of this is about, and it’s exclusive.  You can’t be an Ostomate without an ostomy.  And there are t-shirts.  Imagine wearing “Ostomy Survivor”, “It’s in the bag” or “Ostomy Warrior”.  Difficult to fathom the popularity there.

Moral:  Everyone has someone.  What club are you in?

Author: Michele Plumb Stowell

Michele Stowell was a teacher, a hand holder, and encouraging voice. Born an early Gen Xer, she has lived in Western Washington for the duration. Her children, two spectacular genetic daughters and an uncountable number of marvelous scout and school sons and daughters, shine as her biggest impact and her greatest blessing. Just before her 54th birthday, Michele was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Her writing and art work are expressions of the drama and the joy of living earth bound. On October 24, 2021, Michele was released from her physical body, transported to continue her work on other realms.

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