‘Coping’ with a stoma

I got fed up with typing so thought I’d try dictation
You’re coping very well with having a stoma though said my mother
We’d been talking about my decision to have reversal surgery
In the grand context of things yes
I’m not sure exactly how you know this what with living in a different country but
Yes I cope
Yes, I cope.
I figured out how to get my dictation software to use punctuation.
Clever or what?
I feel like Liesel dictating a telegram in the sound of music.
Yes, I’ve had sex with a stoma, I have gone swimming with a stoma, I go to work every day with my stoma.
Except when I don’t go to work like this week.
I think part of the reason I cope is because I know it’s temporary.
It’s just that what comes out of it is disgusting, it affects what I eat, it affects the way I think about food, it prevents me enjoying food in the way that I used to.
When I’m eating I see what it’s going to come out as.
Sometimes I avoid eating altogether.
I can’t wait for the day when I wake up in the morning and my first thought isn’t that I don’t want to get out of bed because my stoma bag is full to bursting.
It is the whole chunks and bits of undigested food that are the worst. Sliding them out of my stoma bag into the toilet always reminds me of the two penny arcade machines.
I’m used to seeing my stoma there, but every now and then I come outside of myself and see it with fresh eyes as a new person would, and get horrified.
It dangles down, it tickles irritatingly when faeces is passing through.
Sometimes the area blisters and itches.
When I’m in work and I haven’t been to the toilet in a while, and my bag is getting full, I get irritated and grumpy.
Because I can just feel it there, pulling on me.
Bulging.
. I want it gone.
My mother saw the agony I was in after my first operation.
I remember the agony quite vividly.
I am just thinking about all this now really, because earlier this week I ended up having to go to A&E with pains. Stomach pains. Rolling around on the floor type stomach pains.
It was a urine infection, but both a reminder and a flash forward of what might be to come.

6 thoughts on “‘Coping’ with a stoma

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