What I like about having a "portable toilet"
When I woke up after surgery with this little "portable toilet" on my abdomen, I simply felt released from the disease. I no longer needed to waste my time in the bathroom and I felt alive again!
With or without a "portable toilet", a healthy digestive system is often associated with a routine. We need to go to the bathroom at specific times of the day and what I like about having a "portable toilet" is that I can control this routine, with some limits of course. As I don’t feel the activities of my digestive system, it’s never a sense of urgency for me to go to the bathroom.
Here's what our contributors think about the subject:
Having my "portable toilet" made sure I didn’t have to worry about where the bathrooms were when I was going out, if ever I had an urgent need to visit them. With ulcerative colitis, I couldn’t wait for long when Lady BM was suddenly knocking on the back door. I admit that my "portable toilet" reduced my level of anxiety and embarrassment.
Cindy (Ileoanal anastomosis)
For sure, I don’t need to go to the bathroom during the night since I’m wearing a night bag. Furthermore, I’m never in a hurry to go to the bathroom since I don’t need to hold it in.
Hahaha!!! A question that really makes me laugh; the kind of humor I like. Sometimes, in a fairly serious social situation, I involuntary pass gas. When it happens, I seize the opportunity to open the subject and even to laugh about it, especially if I’m with people who don’t know anything about it! I find it even funnier, but also instructive, because those people regularly ask many good questions. On a practical side, having my "portable toilet" simply eliminates my stress of having to find bathrooms quickly. Considering the years I lived with Crohn's disease, I know what it's like to always think about finding toilets. Well, that period of my life is over now, so it’s time to be positive and live my after-cancer life.
Having an ostomy bag before, acting like a "portable toilet", was really useful at work. Working in child care, I don’t always have an immediate access to a bathroom, so this allowed me to work without being in a constant state of panic. I went from not being able to work because of my instantaneous urges, to needing to use a bathroom less often than my colleagues. Thus, for me, it made a big difference in my job!
For me, having a "portable toilet" is synonymous with freedom and quality of life. I can go where I want, when I want, with the peace of mind to know that I won’t have stomachaches or diarrhea. It's no longer a problem for me to have to hold it in during embarrassing moments like a first date, an oral presentation or a meeting!
Of course, an ostomy can make us feel negative sometimes, but everyone here has revealed that it also brings benefits. It can help us feel freer and in control, and even reduce our stress level! Bringing out the positive in a trial we experience can really help in facing it. It's sometimes hard to do, but it's worth a try!
In the next Alternative Section, the contributors answer the questions they’re most often asked when others first learn about their ostomy.