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

Jan. 16, 2007

Obsess much?

What was I thinking? Was I really so upset about low-riding pants that I was going to drop $200 on couture jeans? I couldn't really even give a good definition of couture... and I don't care enough to look it up.

What, if anything, did I learn from my high school days if not damn fine pants for dirt cheap prices can be found at Value Village? All it takes is hours of rifling through granny pants, skinny capris, and weird jeans with too many pockets all over them, and then being overcome by static cling in a change stall where you can only try 5 items on at a time, a dumb rule which I broke. tee hee!

Did I find one pair of jeans I like? No! I found two! And... I found 4 more pairs of pants, about 8 shirts, and 2 cute nighties. Yay me. I love my second-hand shopping skills.

I spent $115 and am revelling in my new wardrobe.

But I had a revelation tonight when I sat down to organize the shelf I keep my pants on. I didn't count how many I have, but I can see the shelf from where I sit now, and a rough estimate is that I have 20 pairs of pants, including the new-to-me ones, but not including the other 5 or so pairs hanging in my closet, nor the stack of 5 chill pants I wear on lazy days, nor the fine pair that graces my lounging ass as I write. oh, and of course, not my PJ bottoms, or shorts.

The revelation is that I have developed an obsession with finding pants that "fit" my ostomy so much that I am never satisfied and am always on the lookout. Like I always put my self into horrid pant-shopping experiences, despite the fact I often lose self esteem and get pissy when all I see in stores are pants that would make me look ridiculous, and despite the fact I have more than 30 pants.

I asked myself what the hell am I doing when I rarely have an i-can't-find-a-pair-of-pants-to-wear day, and even better, scarcely live through an oh-my-god-i-can't-believe-i-wore-these-pants-today day.

I'm glad I had my spree and am the happy owner of lots of pants I feel okay about wearing. But for me, the out-of-control pant-shopping buck stops here.

Jan. 5, 2007

Visible ass-crack is challenging enough who wants to see an ostomy bag bulging out the top of my jeans, complimented by, say, some unruly northern pubes and on some days, a distended tummy?

Every several months I have a renewed optimism that I will venture out in the retail world and come across a pair of jeans I fall in love with. Said jeans will be high-rise without looking like they belong on my mom, they will hug my thighs and ass and keep my ostomy secure, will make me feel hot, will look good with any shoes, with any shirt, and will both suit me up for school and for a sexified night out.

Never happens. Despite year-old rumours than lowrise jeans would go out of style, the powers-that-be in the fashion world have disappointed.

Last night I got the jeans-buying bug. Convinced it was my night, I gave myself 1.5 hours at the mall to cruise the racks at Jacob, Guess, Buffalo, RW&Co, and Gap. No luck.

No jeans were found. Nothing worked. They were all low-rise, as usual.

Over the last several years, I have bought one - ONE - pair of jeans that make me feel hot. They were second-hand, and have since ripped all the way across the right knee and under my right ass-cheek. This summer I patched up the rip in the ass, and wore them a lot during this past semester at school. In December, on a day where there were respectable industry professionals visiting my class, the ass in my jeans tore open wide (i've gained weight recently too). I had to tie my sweater around my waist, which I think raised eyebrows, but only because I had chosen a t-shirt to wear underneath my sweater that had PAIN FOR PLEASURE emblazoned across the front. Of course I was more amused than embarrassed by this.

Ironically, my next two favourite pairs of jeans are ones that my boyfriend bought for himself, before he met me. He has recently relinquished ownership of the second pair to me; the first pair I had successfully claimed title to over a year ago. Possession is nine tenths of the law.

Obsessively, last night, I found myself surfing the websites of different jeans manufacturers. Mainly high-end. I have a hard time digesting the fact that I now want to find a pair of jeans that Oprah raved about 2 years ago and cost around $200. Me? But have always laughed at the concept of designer jeans! Shopping for them would violate my anti-consumerism sensibilities!

Well, apparently, my urge to overcome the challenge of finding myself an ostomy-friendly pair of jeans trumps my disdain for the high-end jeans world. High-rise jeans... here I come!

Jan. 2, 2007

Stoma Dreams

Last night I dreamt about poo, pooing, outhouses, urgency, messiness, nudity, smells, airplanes, lost luggage, glaciers, beaches, and it starts to get foggy after that.

But what sticks out the most is that which was not sticking out - my stoma! I was in some outhouse, which was on some sandbar in the ocean. I was trying to poo while standing up, out of my abdomen, without an appliance on, and no stoma! It had been sucked inside my abdomen so it really just looked like I had a kind of anus on my tummy.

I tried to push my stoma back out, successfully, but when I relaxed, it sucked backed inside. I thought it looked sexy- like a unique, misplaced bellybutton, and best of all, no bag! The pressure around the hole created by the caved-in stoma acted like a sphincter and kept all my poo inside, unless I pressed both hands on either side and pushed.

I've come a long way. Throughout the first couple of years after my ostomy surgery, I was having regular dreams that my intestines were forcing themselves down toward where my anus once was. I would often find myself in the middle of a very pleasurable dream when a hole opened up in my ass and long, windy farts or warm diarrhea would spill out.

There was actually a part of me that believed this was real, and when I woke up, I would check. Even after the disappointing realization it was just a dream, I figured it still could be possible that my intestines had a kind of memory and they wanted to create a path back toward where my anus was.

I don't really need to mention it hasn't happened. And I've let go of the belief it ever will. I think all of me gets that now, even the dark and cobwebbed corners of my subconscious have seen the light.

This doesn't mean I completely believe what my surgeon and GIs told me in the past... that my ostomy is permanent. I do believe it is possible that I will poo out of my bum again, maybe even out of a proper, healthy anus made of my own genetic material. I would certainly like that.

But for now, despite the annoying bag changes, having to wake within 6 hours of sleep to empty my bag, occasional leaks, problems wearing all the clothes I want, and all other such proverbial, and literal, pains-in-my-ass... and despite sometimes wishing it was different, I've accepted that for now anyway, it's not.