Ostomy Bags…Truth and Fiction

This week has been good for me losing friends that I really didn’t consider friends in the first place. One that thought that “trading lives” was a good status while she whined about just how bad it is taking care of her child. Hm…but she wouldn’t trade me, I’m sure. The other was a woman that constantly aired her dirty laundry on Facebook… I’m a blogger, but you rarely see me posting anything about my marriage online. When we fight/argue (never any fisticuffs), that’s our business, not that of Facebook.  Today, however, after the last person blocked me, she decided to say some things about me that made me a bit mad, and since this is my blog, and it’s called Mel’s Thoughts…I’m putting mine here…Part of it will be about Ostomy bags.

 

 

Ostomy bags, colostomy, ileostomy, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's
You can just barely see my bag sticking out here… This picture was taken today lol

If you’ve read about my health issues at all, you know that I have had diverticulitis, and after the surgery that I had to fix the infections, I found out that I also have cancer. The surgery to correct my diverticulitis was an ileostomy . Now, there are two forms of ostomies (that I know of lol). One is the one that EVERYONE and their mother has heard of…The Colostomy. That would be when everything goes mostly amazingly, not many leaks, and helps your intestines to rest, but gets the waste out a few times a day. Then there’s what I have, the ileostomy, where it doesn’t stop coming out. Is it gross? Hell yeah. No one wants to dump their poop into the toilet! Accordingly, no one wants to carry a bag attached to their stomach with their poop in it for the world to see (thankful for LONG shirts!).

In her post claiming that I’d blocked her (I don’t block people anymore, I let them do my dirty work),  she said that I smell…. Um, no, I don’t? I’m going to assume (I hate that word lol) that the only thing she could have been referring to would be my bag, as I’d never even met this woman in real life before, so how would she even know?

Ostomy Bags Stink…

In case you’re wondering…Ostomy bags don’t stink. I mean, sometimes I can smell it, but my surgeon, all of the nurses who have ever taken care of me (that’s a TON, mind you), my husband, and my kids (and the youngest will tell you if you smell at ALL!) have all said they don’t smell anything, and that it’s most likely in my head. I mean, think about it…You know your waste is releasing into a bag, in your head you just KNOW that it has to smell, right? But it doesn’t. There are also other bags out there with charcoal filters that can help stop any smell that might get out of some bags.

They NEVER, EVER Leak…

This one is a big hahahahahahahahaha! Um, yes, they do. The colostomy bags don’t seem to leak as much, from what I’ve heard from other ostomy patients. Some patients have more issues than others, but mostly, they’re pretty leak free. With an ileostomy, however, from the day your bowels wake back up from their surgery nap, you’re on the lookout for a bag that will not leak. Good luck. It took a ton of bags before I found the right one for me.

Ostomy Bags Are For Only Cancer Patients

Not true. In fact, there are a ton of different diseases that require temporary or even permanent ostomy. IBS, Crohn’s, and more. Mine was going to be just for my diverticulitis, but in the end, it found a cancer that could have lay dormant until it ended my life. As much as I hated that disease, I’m forever grateful for it.

Ostomies are Permanent…

Again, not true. Not now, at least. They used to be permanent, until medical science found a way to put the colon/intestines back together safely. It’s now more of a chance to allow your intestines to heal, so that you can go back to what is “normal.”

Only Old People Need Ostomies

Again, wrong. I’m  37. There are children out there with ostomies, as well. And while I already said that cancer is NOT the only reason people have ostomies, they are a part of the reason, and cancer doesn’t discriminate, as well as diseases like ulcerative colitis.

Everyone Can See/Know That You Have An Ostomy

Wrong again. If you don’t want people to see your bag, you can wear long shirts (as I do), tuck your bag into your pants, buy a cover for your bag (hello, Etsy!), they even make special underwear that will hold your bag inside of it so it doesn’t bother your legs! So many different ways to hide your bag if you so choose.

These are just a few different myths about ostomies. There are tons more… If you have questions, ask! I’ll gladly answer any of them. But please, don’t assume that because someone has an ostomy, that they smell… That’s rude, and doesn’t help anyone!

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