Not enough is written about stomas, not just on this blog, but generally. Here are five things you wouldn't know about 'having a bag' unless you've had one. 1: I now fart in a more controlled manner. No more holding in wind, clenching muscles and worrying if the person next to me is going to smell it. Having a bag means that all gas is safely collected and ready for release at my convenience. Now that's civilized. 2: I can no longer sleep face down. Not sleeping face down is so much easier than the alternative (think popped water balloon filled with gravy). 3: There are as many types of bags as there are types of abdomens. Bags come in different shapes and sizes and with different ways of attaching and being emptied. I have had to change the type of bag I use many times because my belly has changed shape. 4: Stomas change. They can get smaller, bigger or redder. They can become more raised or less raised. They can develop little features such as bumps and sores. They change and keeping an eye on these changes is important. 5: Bags can fail. I have had small leaks where adhesive has come loose or where the adhesive hasn't properly sealed around my stoma. I have also had catastrophic leaks while driving or walking around town. Everyone loves a good poo story I decided to try jogging again 7 weeks after surgery. I emptied my bag and then strapped on my fancy support belt. This is a wide stretchy belt that supports my abdominal muscles. My abdominal muscles need supporting because I have a hole in my abdomen. Thirty minute walk, 10 minute jog, 30 minute walk home. About 15 minutes into the walk home I felt warm chunky stuff running down my abdomen. It was one of the those sensations that didn't require prior knowledge to know what was happening. I was walking along a major road in one of Sydney's most alternate suburbs. I did what anyone would do and used my hands to stop the flow. I created a type of dam on the outside of my running shorts - trapping the brown flow between my thigh and man organs, preventing it from running down my legs. This worked, but I now know that my running gear is not impermeable to poo. I continued walking home, hunched over and clutching at my genitals. This inner city suburb is such that I didn't look at all out of place. The smell didn't seem out of place either. The freedom experienced by the poo outside the bag encouraged more poo to attempt escape and my stoma went into overdrive. I reinforced the dam wall, hunched over a little more and began walking with my legs together in a type of waddle. An emergency call ('But weren't your hands dirty?' Yes) to my Sister meant she was outside her apartment block waiting with wipes and cloths. She has been living in this suburb for way too long. As she rushed towards me she said not to worry: 'You're not the first person I've seen sh*tting in this street.' See the blog entry and images here
11 Comments
Contributor
You are one incredible man. Just love your sense of humour 🙂
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Frequent Contributor
Good job you had the mobile with you.
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Occasional Contributor
Ben you always give me a laugh. I have had my stoma for 9 months now, he is called Stewie (he was shaped like the head of baby in Family Guys head for a while). As far as point one goes the bag does not stop the noise but I refuse to give up eating onions for that, so Stewie gets the blame for being a rude boy. You did not mention the fun and games to be had when you have the chemo runs, a bag can fill in just over a minute, yuck. Belly bums are such fun.
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Contributor
Ben a touching experience. Best of regards Geoff
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Contributor
Oh Ben I just about fell of the couch laughing and generally I don't laugh that much these days. All power to you for handling (no pun intended) all this poo business so well. Please keep up the enlighting blog, I'm learning so much. Cheers Terese.
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Not applicable
Hey Ben, You always bring a smile to my face & that's something considering what we are all going through. Keep up the good work. Best Regards, BJS
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Occasional Contributor
Fantastically funny. It is always great when one can see the humour in things. Thank you and I too am learning more about bags 🙂
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Contributor
Good on you for having such a good sense of humour which you tend to develop when having a stoma, i know i had to make a joke of it quite a few times when finding myself in a few situations, one day i woke up in bed not long after my operation, i had gastro and the bag had exploded, there was literally poo dripping off my sheets, my poor husband!! Keep your chin up with living with a stoma!! It can be testing at times thats for sure Regards Stacey
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Contributor
Hi Ben, keep the story's coming.....geez I couldn't stop laughing. You have a way with words mate.
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Regular Contributor
Only cancer patients can laugh so much at poo stories or as my family call it - toilet talk. And I don't even have a bag! So many senses involved in the imagery!
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Frequent Contributor
Hi Ben, Guess what... I'm bored at work and thought I needed a good read/laugh. So.. I looked for your blog and this one is a good one. Sorry for laughing at your expense. Take care!
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