Wait… don’t we do that every day?? Yes, it’s true, every day at The Stolen Colon is Ostomy Awareness Day, but the first Saturday of October is the official World Ostomy Day. While I obviously don’t need such a date to get me talking about it, I’m glad that there is a day where we can put that name on it.
Talking about having an ostomy is not as easy as it may seem. It’s hard for me some days to sit here and talk about all of the things that I do. Some times I’ll even type things out and wonder if I really want to put that out there for all of the world to see. It’s those moments that I just close my eyes and hit the “publish” button before I have enough time to really think about what I’ve just done.
But then I remember How I felt when I was first faced with the idea of having surgery. I was so scared and hardly knew anything about ostomies. I had this totally skewed idea that it was this cylindrical kind of pouch that hung off to your side and could not be hidden under clothes. Little did I know, that it’s likely I’ve run into some people in my past who have had ostomy bags and I didn’t even know it. But at that time, I really needed someone else who could understand. I needed someone who could tell me that it would be alright.
So I hit the internet and found out that I was not alone. There were several other beautiful women who were living amazing lives with their ostomy bags. And even though I will be forever grateful to those women who helped me through a very difficult time, I saw that there wasn’t enough information out there. There weren’t enough people standing up and saying, “I have an ostomy. And that’s OK.”
That’s when I decided to start writing on here. I simply hoped that I could be that person to even one other person who was scared and in desperate need of someone who could honestly tell them that it was going to be alright. And that’s what keeps pushing me to this day. That’s why I keep typing out words like “poop” and “bag leak,” even though those are not things that I would usually talk about. I do it because this world is so in the dark on what having an ostomy really means (or even what it is, in most cases.)
So on World Ostomy Day this Saturday, let’s talk about it. Let’s show the world who we are and what we can do. Let’s show them again that an ostomy is not a tragedy, but for people like me and for many of you, it is a beautiful thing.