6 weeks ago if you told me that I would get used to having a stoma bag I would have dismissed you from my hospital bedside with your tail firmly planted between your legs. ‘Never in a million years’ would have been the retort.
Oh how things have changed, 6 weeks on, well, ummmm, I’m getting used to Little Simon.
Something that used to define my day, is now simply part of my day. It no loner defines it.
As humans we are very adept at adjustment, granted some people are better than others, and with regard to the stoma it would seem that I am thankfully the former. My life has adjusted to accommodate the stoma, whether that is through my diet, its day to day management or overcoming and adjusting to the challenges it presents.
I am now able to predict when little Simon will need ‘decanting’ based on what I eat, what I drink, and when I consume it. In many respects almost like an autonomic reflex.
The fear and loathing of changing the bag has been overcome, ‘practice makes perfect’ being the mantra for this particular chore. As with most things in life your learn from your mistakes, and Little Simon is no different. Top tip is not to change the bag prior to physical excercise….like riding your bike. We all learn.
Speak to any ‘Ostomate’ yes that right, we are called ‘Ostomates’ seriously that is the term. At first my thoughts were it sounded like some rare species identified by Richard Attenborough on the Galápagos Islands – “And here we see the lumbering Ostamates…”
Any way, speak to any Ostimate and they will tell you that that moment when the bag is removed for replacement and you are free from any incumbrance is just divine. Like a prisoner allowed out of his cell for a fleeting moment into the yard, knowing that in an few moments they will be locked back in.
I am know different. I want to make the most of this time but what to do? How do I capitalise on this time when the flesh can breath naturally and not be covered by a piece of ‘Breathable’ plastic.
Many people removed their bag and then shower ‘au naturel’ with the logic that if the little blighter decides to be ‘active’ then so what, thats not for me I’m afraid. Shower or no shower, it kind of defeats the objective if excrement is involved.
Not being quite that bold I did however shower prior to the ‘bag change’ with my 80’s Spotify playlist blasting out of my Bose speaker. I exited the shower to the tune of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just wanna have fun”.
Before Cyndie had belted out the line “oh daddy dear you know your still No.1” the bag was off, frantically cleaning Little Simon whilst singing in my bestest soprano come Baritone I dried off so by the time she got to “I want to be the one that walks in the sun” I was in fact ‘the one that was dancing in the buff’ .. hold on, unfettered, Little Simon out in the open.
I didn’t care if he decided to let me know of his arrival, for the rest of the song I was free!.
He behaved in a spirit of bodily ‘glasnost’ , as if knowing that this was my brief moment of freedom from the prison cell.
As the new bag was applied to the tune of ‘London Calling’ by the Clash, my mood was still good, and, reluctantly I got dressed again savouring my brief moment of ‘no bag’ .
I had remembered what feeling good felt like. I like it. I want more.