life with an ostomy. candid, not sugar-coated. empowered, not embarrassed.

Mar 20, 2006

#1 reading experience, gone

Previous to that four-hour surgery that displaced my digestive point of departure, from ass crack to abdomen... I used to enjoy sitting on the toilet and reading.

It was really relaxing. It was healthy. It was free from distractions.

Toilet time, for the anal pooper is simmer down time for the body and mind. It's a time for peristalsis and self-lubrication. It's a time for reflection, wandering thoughts, even epiphanies. It's a good place to read too.

Back in the day, I used to own one of those wire book/magazine baskets that hook on the lip of the toilet tank. It was filled with good material that just begging to be read. And if the circumstances were right, I'd stay on the john for as much as an hour, filtering through these books, magazines, and newspapers thoughtfully. I remember many times getting up off the toilet with a deep, red U-shape branded on my ass cheeks. It was a good place to read not only because I could really get into a book without the usual distractions, but it also gave me the time I needed to get everything out. Even though my poo was often very liquidy, it was rare that I would actually be able to expell it all in one sitting, unless I took that extra time to relax. The filling mechanism in my rectum was scarred and didn't work properly. Plus, the colon just north of that was a strictured mess. If I didn't take the extra time, this would be the order of events on many an evening:

00m:00s = sense of urgency strikes, run to toilet to avoid disaster
00m:15s = squirt out about 6 ounces of poo
00m:30s = wipe chafed bum, do pants up, wash dried-out hands, leave
04m:30s = repeat, 6-12 times

So taking my time in the toilet was very worthwhile. My favourite set-up would involve a really good article and my 20+ pound cat purring away on my naked lap. In fact, getting that big red horseshoe mark on my ass was synonymous with having been on a small vacation.

Now, I don't do that. Sitting on the toilet now is purely mechanical. I go in, I pull my pants down, I unroll the end of the back, undo the velcro strips, let it pour out, squeeze out the extra, wipe, wipe, roll up, wipe the pee, flush, pull my pants up, wash my hands, and I'm out. No romancing the bowel, no slowing-down of breathing or brainwaves, no reading!

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