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

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...


Blogger sublimeade said...

I found your site after looking at a story on after looking up what a colostomy is after looking up Clyde from South Park (he had one). You're the same age as me, yet I was reading about your college experiences today. I guess that makes me feel better, knowing there are still people @ age 26-27 in college, and I'm not the only one. Oh and your stories ... well you definitely have more strength and integrity than most people, I think most suckers would have given up. I didn't think those bags leaked, or maybe they'd be double bagged. Good luck with your thing.

1:32 p.m., February 07, 2007

Blogger frylime said...

ha, i found your site from too! i'm a med student in limbo at the moment, and i'm really enjoying your blog. there's just certain things they can't teach us in schools...

have a great day!

9:39 p.m., February 08, 2007

Blogger Whisky said...

I just wanted to pop by and commend you on you blog. I found you, ermmmmmm I can't remember how LOL. But I too have an ileostomy and am 35. "Borris" as I call my stoma was formed fifteen years ago on July 12th, and yes he will have a birthday cake :)

You go girl.....make people aware, make people realise it's normal!!

Hugs to you



5:56 p.m., February 10, 2007

Blogger Christine D. said...

I have never heard of ileostomies or colostomies before, until my aunt was diagnosed this past weekend with stage IV colon cancer and was given a "poo bag."

I've read your 2 latest posts, and it has opened up a new world to me. Thank you for sharing your experiences, and I'm sorry that you got poo on yourself! :O

3:36 a.m., February 14, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks you for sharing your experince: you're so brave and a few of your photos made me want to cry

12:55 a.m., July 08, 2008

Anonymous jackets said...

So I get called for Jury Duty. Now for the past 15 years I got out of it because of accidents. Now I get the notice and I think no brainer I'm going. About one week before, I had two bad leaks in three days.
We get called before the judge and he says if there is something you want to share in private I will take you into a conference room. I walk into the room thinking it will be just the two of us. No way. There is everyone from the defense and prosecution and the court stinographer. I sat down, smiled, and told all these people that I wore a bag and if it leaked I would have to immediately go to the bathroom. Would that disrupt the trail? I never got picked, but I did face reality.

2:39 p.m., December 16, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well never heard of the condition you have until now. Everyone has embarrasing experiences, one day i did shat myself at school when i was like 10 LoL. Blamed it on the girl behind me for 3 hours.

5:19 a.m., January 21, 2011


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