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

Jan. 28, 2010

Terrifying thought

What if you woke up one day, and all the artists and intellectuals you relied on in your life were suddenly gone? Maybe they all died. You don't know. They're just gone. And you're left alone, in a society of corruption, blank stares, total acceptance of the status quo. What do you do?

I've been struck with this thought the last few days. I've found myself in a few situations where it's me that must be relied upon for the critical analysis, the groundbreaking perspective, the bursting forth of creative energy, of colour, of light.... and I have this terrifying fear that I'm not up for the challenge.


That I've spent too long riding along in total reliance of others for their brilliant contributions to life. They make my day. I sit, I take it in. I gain my sense of moral superiority for seeing a bird's eye view of it all, but I haven't been doing the work.

And this sci-fi horror has struck me. What if all the people that have been doing the work are gone?

What do you do? What would I do? What am I going to do?

This horror is too real. I have a responsibility to not ever be in that situation. I've had a good education, been given tonnes of opportunities, and I have to do something meaningful with my life.

Some simple explanations for this idea coming into my mind are the deaths of three people I have admired dying over the last several days: PK Page, Howard Zinn, and JD Salinger. That, and my beau just got on a plane for a long trip, and I am now void of the daily stimulation of hearing his thoughts.

Well, good. It'll do me good. This is the wake up call I need to start taking responsibility for my brain, and my power as a human being.

Jan. 20, 2010

To all the artificial poop shuters, and admirers.... I'm back.


So after a long, long hiatus spent doing things other than reflecting on my terd, I've decided to start writing my blog again. Thanks to everyone who has sent encouraging posts, and telling me how the blog has impacted your life. This is truly the best feedback I could possibly ever get. Very very touching. Much of this hiatus I've spent wondering how and where to apply my creative spirit, my writing talents. I've strayed pretty far from my own heart, trying to get paid for writing, trying to find my way. What really works for me I've discovered: writing frankly about my own experiences. Thanks for being an audience. And reminding me that my honesty isn't something to be ashamed of, or to hide. And in fact, it's something that others find healing. It feels very very good to know I can be of real value to others. Thank you for your comments. I'm back, regardless of who's listening.

I want to continue erupting myself on this blog, but I want open up the content to other aspects of life... it'll be more holistic, but I imagine each post will be influenced my ostomy-induced philosophy of bare-all, inside-out kind of self exposure.

I have some updates and interesting ostomy-related anecdotes to share.

1. The very first person I made out with without disclosing my ostomy status to beforehand, was totally aware of what an ostomy was anyway. He said when it came up the next day, or maybe days later, he knew exactly what it was when he felt it and saw it on my body because his dad has had an ostomy for at least three decades. How bizarre is that??

2. Said makeout partner is now my life partner, doesn't bat an eyelash at the ostomy. Though the first time I pooed on him by way of bedtime bag-leaking, he was a wee bit traumatized. When I came out of the bathroom after doing a bag-change that took me at least several minutes, he was still at the kitchen sink washing his arm, which was the primary point of contact.

3. Said dad, my boyfriend's partner, will be my father-in-law since the dude and I decided to actually tie the knot. Said dad and I have had some funny, but mostly pretty reserved talks about our ostomies. We've showed each other our supplies. Said dad doesn't talk about his ostomy with others. Said dad said he doesn't hang his identity on his ostomy, and said dad has a very active, interesting, dynamic life. I compare myself to him, and wonder what the hell holds me back from my active, interesting, dynamic life. Seriously. There've been a lot of changes in my life in the last couple years, primarily moving provinces and moving in with this guy I love. Sadly, my social and work life has become decidedly inactive, flat, and dull. I've been going through stuff. I've been shedding some things, reevaluating some things, and maybe I've shed a lot of stuff I'd outgrown. But I shed something else... forthcoming, naked honesty. Fucking shamelessness. I want it back. I wonder if, unlike said dad, my identity needs to be kind of reunited with my ostomy, my body, my self-perception, my heart and soul... my insides need to be reunited with my outsides. Body, mind, soul... I could spring off into some Buddhist talk of one-ness too here, but maybe I've made my point.

3. I'm now really non-chalant about going to public pools and getting naked in the shower. Barely barely phases me. Yeah, fucking stare why don't you.

4. The shape of my tummy has changed. I've fattened. This happens to people who are in love, I've heard. I think it's laziness and inertia brought on my the sheer comfort of being able to hang about like a slug with someone you love who loves you back. Sounds unhealthy. And like something I need to do something about. Get my life back, my spirit back, my body back. It's like I've fused with this guy I intend to marry, and in the meantime have forgotten about everything that makes me me. That's terribly unhealthy, isn't it?? I know! I don't want to give up what I have with him - unconditional love, someone I trust, and all that. But I do want to give up on this ragged, insecure, poverty-stricken mess I've become in the last two years or so. Do you know what I was doing in the course of becoming this ungrounded, ineffective weirdo?? My (potentially simplitistic) self-analysis informs I was making sure he'd still love me. I'm not going to wax on about how that may or may not be fucked up, like what a self-destructive, untrusting way to ensure unconditional love it was. But it was. And I gotta chuck that out the window and start being the righteous woman I'M in love with. haha. Anyway, with this new roundness in my tummy and all, my flanges have had some ongoing leakage problems, and I'm now experimenting with new convex flanges. They are more expensive, but if I get longer wear outta them... well, we'll see how the shape of my tummy, and the rest of my life, changes.