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

Feb. 9, 2007

This Just Leaked!! ...a photo story

Feb. 5, 2007

I shat myself at school

...and all was fine.

I knew it was bound to happen sooner or later.

It happened on the same day I had all-you-can-eat sushi for lunch, and always after I have all-you-can-eat sushi, I have all-you-can-smell poo. The humdinger is tuna sashimi... any raw tuna in my system comes out smelling P-U-TRID.

I had class in the lab, and it was one of the most boring, long classes ever, and I actually had to ask the instructor to let us take a fine minute break because she just kept talking and talking and I was really starting to bulge uncomfortably.

In the washroom, I suddenly got super self-conscious about the forthcoming stench, especially when I thought it was somebody from my class in the stall next to me.

So I tried to do the perfectly-sealed-vacuum-chamber thing with my legs and the toilet, and when I had to open my legs to pull out the bag's end to wipe it, I did it quickly to let as little stink escape as possible. Well... I thought all was fine. But I was wrong.

It didn't take me long to notice, because when I stood up and began buttoning my pants up, I looked down and noticed a splash of poop on my shoe! ewww!

Panic set in. Oh my god, where else did poo splatter? I wondered. After wiping my shoe clean, I looked all over myself to see if I could see some more poo. Quasi-satisfied the shoe poo was a lone-stray poo drip, I left the stall to wash my hands. In the mirror, I double-checked my body for random poo.

Semi-confidently, I walked back into class. The boring instructor was back at it, and I sat obediently. After a few minutes, I got a hint a of rotten tuna stench and wondered if I was leaking. Nah, I thought. Then I smelled it again, and I looked to my left to see if my classmate was noticing anything. Nope. I crossed my legs tightly and said a little prayer while trying to remain as inconspicuous as possible. Although I could smell little wafts of tuna-fied poo once in awhile, I convinced myself by the end of class I was just being paranoid.

Like I often do, I offered a ride home to a couple classmates. Today, of all days, lots of people wanted a ride!

So I was walking down the hallway with one passenger-to-be, with four others trailing behind us. I felt wet and gasped, and instinctively put my hand where the leak was. My classmate, and thank god, friend, who knows about my ostomy, said "what? do you have your period?"

I grabbed him and ran ahead of everyone else. In the stairwell I told him what was going on and to keep everyone at the bottom of the stairs while I ran to the bathroom to assess the damage.

The problem was a torn bag at the opening, a gaping hole about the size of a dime. The problem was more of a problem given my ultra-watery, ultra-rankin output. Brave face, brave face.

Back at the bottom of the stairs, I got a couple (what I perceive to be) strange looks, and all six of us eventually headed out to my five-passenger vehicle.

It was on my my mind for nearly all of the 10-minute walk out to the car. On one hand, it was a good opportunity to come out to my classmates, on the other maybe no one had any clue anything was up. On the other hand, maybe the car would reek!! On the other hand, I wasn't sure I wanted to bring the attention to myself. On the other hand, people really ought to know more about ostomies. Needless to say, I wasn't quite comfortable with coming out, but I did anyway.


Does everyone here know I have an ileostomy? Only two people didn't. I summarized what it was for them in record speed. Then I told everyone I have a leak, and I had sushi for lunch, and it really stinks, and the car ride might stink. A disclaimer of sorts. No one really had much to say about it after that, no, nothing if I remember correctly.

No one said anything about it in the car; it was all small talk. Were people concerned about my comfort in discussing it? Were they being polite? Was everyone stunned into silence at broaching such a taboo subject? Or was it really just not a big deal at all? I can't tell. I'm too wrapped up in my own poo to really understand if it is or isn't a big deal to anyone else.

Anyway, if you thought that was a good leak story, just wait til I tell the one about camping this summer. Wow. I knew it would take some time before I was ready to make that experience public information... I think it's just about ripe for the telling...