I’m A Young Person Who Has A Colostomy Bag: This Is My Life

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    You probably don’t worry about your butt fail, but day? She comes for us all. She came a little early for Kayleigh, who was in a car accident in college, and had to have a colostomy. We asked her what life is like when you have to spend every moment of every day thinking about your own poop. As opposed to every other moment, which is totally normal. R- right?


    You’ll Become Real Familiar With Your Insides, Real Quick

    Someone who’s had a colostomy has had their bowels surgically rerouted, from their butt to a hole in their stomach. This pit is called a stoma, over which a disposable plastic pouch, colloquially known as a colostomy purse, is fitted and secured with adhesive …

    Cancer Research UK

    … Depending on the type of pocket, you might need to change and clean your stoma a few times a day. That means you’re going to be spending a good percentage of your time face-to-face with your own bowels, and that can be jarring, to say the least.

    “If I got hungry when the bag was off and I was cleaning the area, I could actually find my intestine wiggling around, ” Kayleigh says. “It looked like it was alive. In fact, I named it Wiggles in the end.”

    “It’s funny how much you learn about your internal organ when you literally have to look at, touch, and clean your actual bowel every day, ” Kayleigh continues. “For example, I’d merely have to look at a glass of Pepsi, and the colostomy purse gets a deposit. Your bowels get to work when you’re hungry, when you watch food, and when you’re eating. It’s bizarre how immediate it is.”

    The fun doesn’t stop there. Watching yourself poop is both an alarming and inconvenient experience 😛 TAGEND

    “I got caught out in the beginning quite a lot, where I’d be out in public and then suddenly the pouch starts filling rapidly, ” Kayleigh says. “Also, it always seemed to happen to me when I was cleaning my intestine( literally, with these special wipes and you dab the actual intestine and the surrounding area ). I’d remove the colostomy container, start cleaning the site, and then bam, my exposed intestine determined on merely start pooping. You can’t put another purse on if that’s passing because you have to make sure everything is super clean beforehand, so I’d simply be lying there waiting for it to stop. I was late SO MANY TIMES for appointments — uni, etc. — because of that.”

    To be fair, if you can muster up the gallantry to throw out a “Sorry I’m late, I was uncontrollably shitting, ” people don’t tend to question you.


    There Are So Many Ways For It To Embarrass You

    Once you take your butt and its attendant muscles out of the equation, you suddenly have no control over when you poop and fart. And that pouch is flimsy.

    “If you can’t get to a restroom to empty it quickly, then you’re looking at a leak/ explosion situation, ” Kayleigh says. Although she never had to face a poop-bomb scenario( “oh thank god for that! ” ), she “did have a couple of leaks, and I can’t even begin to explain the utter anxiety! “

    Unlike the normal-butted, who always have the option of speed-walking to the restroom and throwing out their underwear when a burrito breaks bad, “there’s literally nothing you can do about that if you don’t have[ the renders you need to] change it.”

    All you can do is sit here and pray for the bowel divinities to take pity on you.

    It always seems to happen at the worst hours, too: “Once was when I was waiting for a doctor’s appointment, and I realise I could smell something not nice, and it was because I still hadn’t quite got the hang of changing the suitcase by myself, and I hadn’t procured it well enough, ” Kayleigh tells. “I was just sit there, willing my body to merely not do this to me, and trying to press the purse onto my tummy this is why it didn’t merely altogether peel off.”

    After that, she learned to carry her furnishes around with her, but “another time, I was in the middle of a university lecture when I felt the purse literally inflating with what can only be described as gas, ” she continues. “Even under a loose shirt, it was really noticeable, like you’d have guessed I was going to float away carried by the thing, so I didn’t wishes to jump up and draw attention to myself. So I only sat there praying I could get to the end of the lesson and make it to a bathroom before it popped. It actually explodes as I got into the toilet cubicle, but fortunately it was only full of air! “

    [ youtube https :// www.youtube.com/ watch? v= L6I4FdHJuwo& w= 560& h= 315]
    And even more fortunately, newer models offer a “burp” feature .

    That’s not the only reason you might smell bad, either. Because the adhesive comes off with water, showering becomes tricky. As a answer: “I showered every other day, ” Kayleigh says. “I’d first clean my hair and do all my soaping with the bag on, and then I’d take it off and simply rinse with water and then dry everything and set a new pouch on. Baths became out of the question, though. I tried a few cases days, but the adhesive came unstuck and the next thing I knew I was lying in a bath of … you know … liquid poo.”

    Then there’s “the noises, ” Kayleigh continues.

    “Oh god, the noises. You know the embarrassment( or not, if you don’t embarrass that easily) if you accidentally break wind in front of people? I’m one of those people who gets mortified by that, so there were hours when I was in class or whatever when my exposed intestine only starts gurgling and stimulating various mortifying sounds. It’s quite loud, and impossible to prevent or cover up. If Wiggles was stimulating noise when I was in company, I’d instinctively slap my hands over it like you would if your belly was growling, ” Kayleigh explains. “I’d usually only start coughing instead but you can’t feel when the noise is coming the majority of members of the time so it was a bit difficult. Eventually I hit a point where if it was just loud and continuous, I’d attain jokes about Wiggles being on the warpath.” For a while, though, it was so embarrassing that “it built me not want to be around people, and I aimed up losing a lot of weight because I feed a lot less to try and avoid it! “

    As people who believe farts are tools to be used for both humor and warfare, that’s some impressive is committed to polite society.


    It Affects Your Life In So Many Little Ways

    When most of us get dressed in the morning, the only question we have about our butts is whether or not they look big enough to warrant a rap sung. Kayleigh had more pressing concerns.

    “Clothes shopping is a nightmare! ” she tells. “Colostomy bags come in various sizings, but you can forget about wearing a fitted dress or a T-shirt if you don’t want everyone to see the outline.”

    They don’t attain sexy belly-thongs.

    “I didn’t even think about wardrobe at first, because I was in hospital in PJs for about a month, ” Kayleigh explains. “It was only when I got home and people were coming over, and I was trying to attain more of an attempt to not look ailment, and I went to chuck a T-shirt on, and ran ‘oh goddddddd’, because you could just see the bag, and I couldn’t get the shirt all the style over it! At that moment, I started frantically pulling everything that I owned out, and had to ditch the majority of members of it for either being too tight, or too short to cover the whole bag.”

    Her whole wardrobe had to be overhauled, “from fitted attires and shirts to looser or baggy apparel, ” she says. “I bought a loading of looser, longer shirts, and had to get some low-waisted jeans, because the high-waisted ones were just impossible.”

    As if it weren’t bad enough to be an accident victim, she became a style victim as well.

    It’s a law of the universe that, once you think you’ve get this whole life thing figured out, someone will invite you to the beach, and ruin everything.

    “I totally avoided swimwear, and never went to the beach again, sadly, though I know of other people who proudly indicated off their colostomy pouches along with their new bikinis! ” Kayleigh says. “I wasn’t that brave, though! “

    Formal occasions were a bit more workable … with a little ingenuity 😛 TAGEND

    “Instead of wearing a fitted little black dress or something, I’d wear a dress that was fitted to the waist and then flared out, ” though she notes that “I swapped to stockings instead of tights because the waistband of the tights interfered with the suitcase too much.”


    You Won’t Be Able To Feed Much Of Anything

    When a large section of bowels is taken out of the picture, the ability to digest certain foods goes with it. Diet was just one more thing Kayleigh had to completely reconfigure.

    “You’d be shocked by the amount of food you can’t eat at all, or “re going to have to” take ‘great care’ eating, ” she says. “You can’t have steak unless you literally chew the meat to a pulp before you swallow it. You have to peel fruit, especially apples, because you can’t swallow the scalp. Nuts? Absolutely not! Hazelnut caramel chocolate bars were my favorite, so I was devastated! “

    “The reason is because certain things can cause obstructions in( what you have left of) the bowel, because those are the bits that would get broken down in the bit of intestine that your food no longer reaches, ” she explains. “If you get a bowel blockage, then you could be looking at another major operation to fix it.” She notes that “this actually happened to me, but because of scar tissue and not tricky food.”

    When you cut out meat, fruit, nuts, and seeds, you’re left with … salad? Better hope you don’t run into a renegade raisin. Bread? Not the healthy kind, with thick crust and seeds.

    “You don’t realize how many things have seeds and/ or nuts until you’re absolutely not allowed them, and then suddenly you see that they’re in loads of things, ” Kayleigh says. That likely didn’t help her weight loss — you can’t eat much if, well, you can’t eat much — but the embarrassment factor was a key consideration here, too, turning every dinner into dietary calculus.

    “I became very aware of what foods tends to get digested faster, ” Kayleigh says. “For me, if I was feeing out anywhere, I wholly avoided anything with gravy and most sauces, because otherwise the colostomy suitcase was prone to only abruptly ballooning.”

    She’s only full of interesting food facts like that. Invite her to your parties!


    Your Sex Life Becomes … Complicated

    Most of us won’t even turd in the same home as a new sexual partner, from anywhere between the first several weeks to ever. Imagine having to do it in their face, depending on the position.

    “I was lucky enough to have a serious, long-term partner when I first had the colostomy, ” Kayleigh says. “I felt genuinely self-conscious about it for ages and wouldn’t let him near me because I wasn’t feeling sexy and I was worried about how it appeared, and even though if all is sealed and done properly, you can’t smell anything from it, I was still worried about his face being anywhere near it, so I wouldn’t let him near it.”

    Once she got over that, these restrictions were more technical, but by no means unworkable.

    “After a few months of him insisting he didn’t care and pointing out that were he the one with it, I wouldn’t care, we had a go at some things! ” she continues. “Missionary is a bit awkward because you can’t really have someone’s weight just lying on it, but then anything that involves going from behind on all fours is also risky because then the purse is sort of hang and being affected by the … erm … motion! I found that me being on top was the most practical option.”

    When that relationship aimed, Kayleigh had a whole new problem. You guess Tinder is a drag now? Try putting “Just so you know, I poop from the front” on your profile.

    However, Kayleigh found that new partners were shockingly cool with it: “In general, it was a lack of confidence that caused me both problems and not the colostomy, ” she tells. “I pretended to be super confident with everything with the next person I got involved with, and he couldn’t get enough of me, and that was transformed into real confidence over time.”


    You Might Be Able To Poop Again Someday. It Will Be Weird .

    Did you know colostomies can be reversed?

    “Basically, I needed the colostomy in the first place because it was my big bowel that was damaged, so they fitted the stoma while it was mending, to take all pressure off digestion in that area, ” Kayleigh explains. “I was lucky that I wasn’t so injury that I healed well enough to have the reversal, otherwise it would have been permanent.”

    So now she’s back to her normal-poopin’ self. Well, mostly.

    “That very first turd, after not pooping at all for like six months or something, that was really, really weird, ” she tells. “Those poops were like teeny and white. They did advise me that might be the case, because it would be likely that there had just been some sitting in there the entire time, just waiting to come out and they’d like, I don’t know, kind of crystallized? “

    But it’s one thing to be told that and quite another to see it staring out at you from the toilet.

    Once she got over that initial shock, there was a new problem to contend with: “It was quite hard to go at all, for a couple of months, because I hadn’t exercised those particular muscles in months, and had no abdominal strength because I was still retrieving from all the surgery, so the fight was something akin to Thor fighting Loki every time I went to bathroom.”

    “The only real change that I’ve noticed since the reversal — and I have absolutely no explain for this — is that I now have zero tolerance for alcohol, ” Kayleigh tells. Before and after she had the colostomy, she drank like any other student — that is to say, extremely well — but since the reversal, she gets “absolutely smashed after half a glass of wine now, or if I stop drinking before even being drunk, I’m hungover for about three days after, so I just don’t drink at all anymore — because it’s not worth it! I’m not assured that I can medically prove that’s the reason, but I’m 100 percent sure that it’s something to do with it, because this wasn’t the lawsuit before! “

    If we needed another reason to continue pooping from the designated hole, there it is.

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