Let me introduce you to TOMIE, my ostomy

In my last article about sexuality, I mentioned that the announcement of the ostomy to a new person was a subject in itself that I wanted to talk to you about. As promised, it’s finally time to talk about this challenging subject.

I say it’s a challenging subject because it can be very stressful to announce our ostomy each time. People don’t always understand what an ostomy is and even the new ostomates don’t know what to say.

-     "They removed my colon..."
-     "I have a part of my intestine which is coming out of my stomach..."
-     "Poop doesn’t come out of my butt..."
-     "I have a poop bag on my stomach..."

What are the best words to say to make sure we don’t express ourselves badly and that our announcement doesn’t seem strange? Extremely strange... I will try my best to answer that question. Nevertheless, know that I don’t always announce my ostomy in a very elegant way despite my expertise as a nurse. Unfortunately, I still can’t find the right words to explain what is happening in my stomach. If only a perfect audio recording on which we could press play existed when these moments arise.

First of all, I always explain the disease before talking about my ostomy. In my case, I explain that Crohn's disease is an autoimmune disease which attacks my digestive system. However, everyone has their own story and own obstacles that lead to surgery. Later, I realized that it was easier to name the ostomy and then explain how it works. I did the opposite several times and I can tell you it was catastrophic. Saying at the beginning that you no longer have a colon, that your rectum is no longer connected to the rest of your digestive system and that you don’t poop from your butt ... you can imagine it! Every time people look at me like I’m weird.

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Some people might be upset and won’t want to talk too much about it. Others will be curious and will want to know more about your ostomy. Others will be very curious, will want to know too much and will want to see your ostomy to understand. Just respect yourself in answering people’s questions and only show your ostomy to people you feel comfortable with.

Last thing, it’s important to talk about it with a certain tone. For sure, the person who is listening to you will have a negative perception of your ostomy if you announce it in a negative way. Usually, ostomies save lives and people are very understanding. Personally, I like to talk about Tomie, my ostomy, in a humorous way to avoid discomfort. In fact, I think it’s better to laugh about it than to cry about it.

For a long time, I have been afraid about what people would think of me. I was afraid to talk about my ostomy. I was ashamed of my body and of the little red thing which was coming out of my stomach. Today, I’m totally happy with my poop bag. I don’t care about what others think. I love myself as I am and people just have to think what they want.

Hoping this article will help you one of these days. ♥


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