Quote about colostomies

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blueglass
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Date Joined Dec 2010
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   Posted 5/15/2011 1:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm reading Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese, who is a doctor. It's on the best seller list now, and I thought I'd share this quote, because you sure don't see quotes about colostomies in every novel that you read (it's on page 372 in the paperback edition). A man, Etien, has just had emergency surgery that resulted in a colostomy. He is worried that no one will every marry him, and his doctor, Ghosh, responds:

"Etien, that's not the part of your body I cut off, the marrying part. You'll find a woman who loves you, and you'll explain it to her. If she loves you for yourself, you'll both be glad that you are alive." Ghosh's facial expression brooked no argument, but then he softened. "Etien, imagine if all humans were born with their anus on the belly and that's where everyone's waste emerged. Then imagine if someone said they were going to operate on you and reroute your bowel so it opened behind you, between your buttocks cheeks, somewhere where you couldn't see it except in a mirror, and where you could hardly reach it or easily keep it clean..." It took a few seconds, but then Etien smiled. He dabbed his eyes. He ventured a glance down at his colostomy. It was a small step in the right direction.


... I guess he means looked down at his stoma, but a lot of people don't know that word.....
48 years old, female.
2004 dx indeterminate colitis. Back and forth between Crohn's and UC dx. Many drugs, minimal success.
2010-11 Crazy skin and eye complications, high fevers, bad flaring. Out of good drug options, tired of scary drugs.
Feb 2011 -- proctocolectomy with permanent ileolostomy; abscess, blood clot. Still healing, still glad for the surgery

summerstorm
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Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 5/15/2011 3:55 PM (GMT -6)   
You know I think about that sometimes too how you can't really see between your butt to make sure its clean! Esp when I see that my 5 year old has not done a good job.I think it might be a little gross at times to have a bag of poop but at least I don't have poop stuck onmy butt!
UC for 8 years, before finally kicking its butt and having a permanent ileostomy April 17 2007!
-I have gone to find myself, if i get back before i return, keep me here-
No matter what kind of day you are having, take five minutes to sing loudly and dance like a fool!

80sChick
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 1054
   Posted 5/15/2011 6:14 PM (GMT -6)   
LOL!! I love the quote, and similar to Summerstorm, I sometimes think to myself that there ARE good sides to having an ostomy...I don't ever have to go through the act of pooping, which is really kind of gross, and yeah, you can see everything! I honestly sometimes wonder what the world would be like if everyone had one and think for a quick second that it's weird that most people don't...

I sound like a nutjob. :)
Stephanie, 29 years old

March 2000-Diagnosed Crohn's Colitis
(Tried every drug imaginable, but lived 10 years with daily diarrhea)
March 18, 2010-Total Proctocolectomy and Permanent Ileostomy! :)
(Now med free, 4 subsequent procedures to correct blockages at stoma site)

Stoma named Zoe...She's my best bud!! :)

WonderTurd
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Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 5/15/2011 6:23 PM (GMT -6)   
That's a really good quote made me smile which I needed today! I'm actually looking forward to not looking for the bathroom right off the bat when I go somewhere after I have surgery.
As a side note, 80'sChick I'm glad to know I'm not the only person who would name their stoma. I've been thinking about what to call mine once I get it done!
Ulcerative Colitis since 2002
Interstitial Cystitis since 2010
Asthma since 2011

summerstorm
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Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 5/15/2011 8:28 PM (GMT -6)   
On the way to school I pass this horse and he is always pooping! Just walking around pooping! And the other day I thought how he just didn't have to stop what he was doing to poop just kept going. And I thought that would be handy! Then I realzied I don't have to stop either! Although of course I'm not doing it on the ground :-)
UC for 8 years, before finally kicking its butt and having a permanent ileostomy April 17 2007!
-I have gone to find myself, if i get back before i return, keep me here-
No matter what kind of day you are having, take five minutes to sing loudly and dance like a fool!

80sChick
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 1054
   Posted 5/16/2011 5:50 AM (GMT -6)   
A lot of people name their stomas! It's funny I think :) Also makes it easier to discuss your stoma/ostomy with other people who don't know the terminology.

blueglass
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Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 3332
   Posted 5/16/2011 7:18 AM (GMT -6)   
We had a problem with the plumbing a few days after I got home from surgery. My partner was on the phone with a plumber trying to get him to come over more quickly, saying that there was a sick person here who needed access to the toilet. Certainly during my flaring ibd days having the toilet break down was a tremendous nightmare, but I had to laugh -- because it's way easier for me to poop into a can or something than for anyone else in the house (and I'd been using a device so women can pee standing up, so that was covered too). Not that I wanted to go there, of course....

Definitely some advantages!
48 years old, female.
2004 dx indeterminate colitis. Back and forth between Crohn's and UC dx. Many drugs, minimal success.
2010-11 Crazy skin and eye complications, high fevers, bad flaring. Out of good drug options, tired of scary drugs.
Feb 2011 -- proctocolectomy with permanent ileolostomy; abscess, blood clot. Still healing, still glad for the surgery

stripey
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Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 1059
   Posted 5/16/2011 3:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I think best social advantage is that when someone has 'broken wind' in a room and everyone is looking at everyone else trying to decide who has done it. I can put hand on heart and proudly proclaim that it was definately not me as it is physically impossible (had rectum/anus removed as well) and they all better start looking at each other instead, thank you very much. :)
Crohn's dx 1989, loop ileo 1992, end ileo 1992. Arthritis developed 1990 Stoma abcess 1995. Azathioprine started 1995. Panprocolorectomy 1999. Stillbirth 2000, antiphospholipid syndrome dx 2000. Flare up 2004, stoma abcess and strictoplasty 2004. Low blood pressure dx with impaired kidney function 2006, fludrocortisone pres. flare up 2010, steroids, Humira, codeine.

flchurchlady
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Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 5/16/2011 6:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Blueglass, great quote! My husband occasionally deals with the pain of an anal fissure, and there are days that he wishes he had an ostomy.

WonderTurd, when is your surgery? You've got the right attitude going into it. I named my stoma Paloma, because she loves Italian food, which I wasn't able to eat before surgery. BTW, your name cracks me up! tongue
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at age 28. Proctocolectomy and permanent ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free and medicine-free since surgery and very thankful to be healthy again.

blueglass
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Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 3332
   Posted 5/16/2011 8:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh I am so enjoying Italian food now! I couldn't eat wheat or dairy and a bunch of other stuff before surgery.....
48 years old, female.
2004 dx indeterminate colitis. Back and forth between Crohn's and UC dx. Many drugs, minimal success.
2010-11 Crazy skin and eye complications, high fevers, bad flaring. Out of good drug options, tired of scary drugs.
Feb 2011 -- proctocolectomy with permanent ileolostomy; abscess, blood clot. Still healing, still glad for the surgery

Ironmum
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 776
   Posted 5/19/2011 6:25 AM (GMT -6)   
great quote.. love it! thanks for sharing..

flchruchlady - love your stoma name :-)

you're all such an inspiration and so positive! keep up the good work x
Sarah - 38 year old mum of 2 boys, competitive runner/triathlete, health and fitness writer

June 2010 - Peritonitis caused by perforated diverticulitis. Emergency surgery.
August 2010 - Sigmoid colectomy and temp ileostomy
October 2010 - Ileostomy reversal - but didn't go well and struggling since.
Currently - dx colonic dysmotility April 2011. Currently taking Prucalopride 2mg p/d

supernova
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 5/19/2011 4:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Blueglass- Love the quote! Made me smile. It's definately a different way of thinking about things.
Summerstorm- You crack me up! I also have a five year old who doesn't do such a great job too. He will yell at me to come "check" for him. haha. My one year old will look down at his belly sometimes as if he is looking for his stoma. Kids are so wonderful! I am so glad I had the surgery and can actually spend some quality time with my boys! :)
29 year old female
Ulcerative colitis- 13 years
Current meds- None anymore!! Just a multivitamin
Meds tried- suppositories, enemas, asacol, prednisone, lialda, immuran, sulfa, remicade
End ileostomy surgery- March 1, 2011
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