He won't talk to me about it.

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/27/2009 9:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone,
I've been reading all of your threads for over 5 months now.  I've been looking for answers to a question that I have been asking myself over and over again - why would a dear friend of mine (love interest, actually) refuse to talk to me after having this kind of surgery.  All I know at this point is that he checked into a hospital shortly before Thanksgiving, 2008 for what the doctors suspected was a case of intestinal ischemia, and I haven't heard from him since.  So now I'm assuming that he ended up with an ostomy, and as a result has decided to shut himself off completely from the world.  And actually, he did something similar to this when his sister passed away the year before.  So I know that this is just his way of dealing with his grief.  He then moved to California to take care of his sister, so now I have no way of knowing if he is okay.  He will not communicate with me in any way - and we were very good friends.  He opened up to me more than his own family members.  But not now.  And I'm just beside myself.  I have tried everything that I can think of, and I wanted so much to be there for him - but to no avail.  He refuses to speak to me.  It's been over 5 months now.  So finally I wrote to him and said that as much as I care about him, I just can't go on this way, and that I thought it was best if we went our separate ways.  I tried so hard.  I could care less about his having an ostomy, if that's what happened.  It would only matter to me because it mattered to him.  but still - no response from him.  I don't think that he has passed away, as I have checked all of the obituaries.  Although, I feel like I am in mourning - and I am completely alone in it.  No one could possibly understand what this feels like.  I wonder if this is what he's feeling as well?  I had to set the limit though.  I can't go on this way.  The fact that he won't even tell me whether he is alive or dead is just selfish.  I don't understand why he would treat a friend in such a way.
Thank you for listening to my story.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 4/27/2009 10:37 PM (GMT -6)   
thats scary not knowing whats going on with him!
As for why he may not talk to you anymore, getting an ostomy is a scary thing to a person and its hard to come to grips with at first. And he may feel like you will not want to be his friend or date him now that he has this bag. Which obviously you don't care, but its hard for someone to believe that sometimes. and some people see having a bag as something that they cant deal with. you said he shut down towards you after a death in the family and that shows that when he has something happen in his life like that he woudl rather deal with it alone. Which some people are just like that, thats not something you should take personally.
Anyway, i woudl think that most likely he is just so upset about having the bag himself and finds it hard to believe, regardless of what you say, that you really dont care about it.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 498
   Posted 4/28/2009 1:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Don't worry. Some people are like that. I am also one of those kinds. Can't help. If I feel that I have been hurt, or I am becoming a burden on somebody, I would just shut myself. I have done this after my surgery. What to do??. I have become like that. I feel that people were with me only in my good times, and now since they know I am going through rough weather, they are ignoring me. So I live in my own shell. I know it is wrong. I have to have my circle of support group or else I will go bonkers.
45 years Male Attorney
Diagnosed UC October 1989
Had two stage J Pouch Surgery Nov 2005; Take Down March 2006
Complications after surgery - Incisional Hernia and Ano Fistulas
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle: Albert Einstein
"What you are aware of you are in control of; what you are not aware of is in control of you."

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1956
   Posted 4/28/2009 6:19 AM (GMT -6)   
What I discovered after having had rectal cancer (see my bio) and 2 surgeries 10 years ago and joining several medical forums, is that for each patient (and caregiver/friend/family), they have their own individual response to this surgery. Some handle it easily, have very few problems, will talk about it to anyone who will listen, and then others clam up and won't discuss it. At all. In time perhaps your friend will come around and seek you out. I would leave the door open for that possibility. You can't force him to speak up about his situation. He has to be ready to talk about it.

Your topic reminds of the day I had what I called a mini-breakdown. Post resection, temp ostomy stage. I absolutely could not stop crying. I cried all day long! For all sorts of reasons, having had cancer, having a temporary colostomy, being in so much pain, the fact that I was still on ice chips, I couldn't see my daughters (3rd and 6th graders then) but my husband had been visiting (bless his heart), my dad who had passed away 11 years prior, I wanted him to just hold my hand.

Then my ET nurse walked in to check on me. My phone rang. 5 friends I had known since high school wanted to have "lunch" with me. They wanted to come sit and visit with me. I said - but I am not eating yet! They didn't mind. My nurse looked at me, at that phone and said, hang up. I quickly got off the phone. She asked me a series of questions - do you want to answer your phone? No. Done, she had the wringer turned off (I could call out and I promptly cancelled that lunch nice gesture, they did mean well). She asked if I wanted visitors - NO! She posted a do not disturb sign.

Then she sat on my bed and held my hand. Allowing me to cry. I cried all the more when she did this!

She then explained to me that women have an outlet for all this grief and emotions. We cry. We rant. We rant, rave, shake our fist at the world. In other words, we let it out.

She said men have a much harder time adjusting to ostomies. They internalize all of their emotions and try to cover up any concerns they have. If they have trouble, they don't tell nurses about it. They fake it.

This is when I looked down at my stoma and thought - okay, I have changed a lot of messy diapers in my day (baby-sitting too, with cloth diapers, you rinsed in a toilet!), handled extremely heavy periods too, I can handle an ostomy.

I could have handled it for life, truth be known.

But I had mine reversed.

Your friend might be having a very easy time with all of this. And if so, more power to him. Horray! But if not, he is probably uncomfortable talking about it. Give him time and space.

Sometimes just holding someone else's hand and let them do all the talking, is what works. Silence. And good listening skills.

God Bless My former Ostomy Nurse! What a sweetheart she was.......one of a kind.

I wish you well. Please don't drop this friend. He may need you down the road.
Marsky/Mary's story.....
- Diagnosed with rectal cancer, April 1999 - Stage I, no treatment necessary
(5 hour colon resection: 90% sigmoid removed, 15 inches of colon removed, gall bladder removed, given temporary colostomy)
- Colostomy reversal, June 1999
- Left with IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's every day
- On a low residue diet at least 75% of the time
- Takes Colace 50 mg each evening

All in all I do okay, I just use the bathroom A LOT! But I survived and beat cancer!

Post Edited (Marsky) : 4/28/2009 5:22:15 AM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/28/2009 12:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much for all of your heart-felt responses. It's means a lot to me, as I am having a very difficult time with this. Sometimes I wonder if it would have been easier if I were the one going through all the surgeries. Atleast then I wouldn't have to wake up everyday with the pain of not knowing whether this person is even alive or dead. It's taken a lot out of me. And the waiting - day after day - hoping to hear something, anything to let me know that he's okay. So I thought if I were to just end things - that things would get easier. But all I know is that I'm miserable.
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