Today is Ostomy Awareness Day!!!!!!
Those of you who read my blog regularly know what an ostomy is, how it rocks/sucks, what it does to you emotionally, physically, mentally…blah blah blah. Those of you who don’t read my blog but were directed here due to today’s post…I will spare you the details. But I will say this…
I had my ostomy for 15 months. I had an ileostomy, which means it was made from my small intestine. While you’re here, please read my tab at the top about ostomy myths. I was reading the UOAA’s (United Ostomy Assoc. of America) press release today and it was a bunch of jargon about nothing no one cares about and then I read this
“Every year, thousands of people with cancer, or other ailments, refuse life-saving surgery because it would result in an ostomy. It is our hope that if those people can see what life with an ostomy actually means, they will not shy away from those surgeries.”
Wow. My ostomy saved my life, and so many other people I know. Was it the most fun thing I ever did? No not even close. But did it absolutely save my life….sure as hell did. Before myself I didn’t know about ostomies or know anyone who had one. But MAN has that changed, I swear everyone I know now has had one at least once in their lives if not more. We all have stories. We all have shed tears, but damn it almost all of us are thankful for that ostomy. I could never imagine there being a CURE for my illness and giving it up because I was afraid of how it would make me look.
If there is anything I have learned from UC, it is that there is little to no awareness about IBD and ostomies. Ostomies save lives people. No one chooses them. No one wants one. Stop looking at us all like we’re freaks. At Camp Oasis, I literally heard one of the co-counselors from our camp say “Ostomies are so gross”. I almost backhanded that bitch. We had kids coming to our camp with ostomies…and all she could think of what how gross it was. Not how hard it was for a 7 year old to learn to use it and maintain it. Not that, that 7 year old has had many surgeries that were hand and painful and made them miss their friends and school. Not that, that 7 year old body would always wear those scars. Just that it was gross. THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO CHANGE.
Please ask me about my ostomy. Please ask me anything. And most of all please understand that while you may think its gross…there was a time when we did too. Everything you think, I thought. Now imagine tomorrow your doctor telling you, you have to have an ostomy or you will live in pain and likely die. Just remember we’re people. People who poop out of their stomachs. Big effing deal. Hey, at least our poop doesn’t sit inside our bodies for days. And you say we’re the gross ones?!