Monday, July 7, 2008

Time to Get Over Myself

During my final hours of sleep today, I drempt I was in a post-production type factory or warehouse. I'm not quite sure how I got in there, but do remember that I had called Daniela and told her I would be home in 15 minutes. My motorcycle was outside waiting for me. The design of the building was quite irregular. Clearly as the business had grown, there had been numerous additions built onto the original building, because no hallway or walkway went in a straight line.

Eventually, I realized there was no order to the buildings and I clearly needed to ask for directions. However, I did not ask where the exit was, but instead I asked what how to get to a specific road - Route 5 . That was a bit peculiar since I had a band called Route 5 for a number of years. So I asked the first person I saw how to get to Route 5. She didn't know so I asked the next person I saw. He didn't know either and then I realized they both seemed a bit confused by my question. This continued as I walked through various buildings, halls, staircases, fenced in lots, etc. - it was endless. At one point a man and two women joined me in my search for a way out, but I eventually lost them and was back to the search on my own. This search was getting long. I had been trying to find my way out from 5:15 PM to 9:45 PM - I was certain Daniela was concerned about my whereabouts. Once I finally did make my way out, I caught a ride from a guy who could only drop me off a few miles from Auburn (my destination and in reality, my home town). Unfortunately, he wasn't quite sure where we were and I didn't recognize anything I saw.

When I finally woke up I was happy to realize I had only been dreaming. However, the next thought on my mind was the colostomy pouch and how I hadn't tried it on yet or more specifically, how I hadn't attempted to adhere it to various areas on my abdomen, as had been recommended, to find where would be most comfortable - either above my waste line or below. My next thought was, "Okay. It's time to "buck up" and start getting used to the thing." And then it hit me - my dream was the path I had been on thus far - infinite and without any logical direction - the exact same path I have been on in regards to the upcoming colostomy. I have done nothing to take the necessary steps to get myself more familiar with the pouch and the process of managing a colostomy. And all the while, the clock is ticking - July 16th will come whether I am ready for it or not. It's like I'm holding my breath as a threat if July 16th doesn't back off. And if I hold my breath long enough, I will wake up with the bag attached and not prepared in the slightest.

As I look at my dream, it seemed like one possible version of hell. I was lost with no direction - nothing familiar - and no one available to assist me in this endless version of chaos. And that again, is exactly where I am in regards to the colostomy pouch - no one has any directions for me because there is nothing else to tell me. Until I take the next step and watch the DVD I was given, read the pamphlet it came with and adhere the pouch to various spots on my abdomen, the entire process will be circling endlessly in a holding pattern.

So, I am going to put in the DVD right now and after breakfast I will adhere the stupid pouch to my abdomen and determine what will be the ideal location :-). And of course there has to be a gross requirement while getting comfortable with the pouch. And by "gross" I do not mean large or the total before deduction. I mean gross - disgusting - and yet another hump I have to get over. I was instructed to put applesauce or oatmeal in the bag to get an idea of how it will feel. Applesauce or oatmeal??? It has to be food??? Come on! I have to use food to mock the contents that will be excreted into my lovely little colostomy pouch? As I typed those last two sentences, I got the distinct impression they were my version of some last attempt to justify not taking this on today - some mental kicking and screaming or even worse, my pre-colostomy pouting.

And too bad, Bert. You're doin' it. So get over yourself...and break out the applesauce!!!


  1. Go get 'em Bert! I'm glad you're moving in a positive direction. As you discuss it more in posts like this, you'll gain a better understanding about what's driving any apprehension you may feel. There's nothing gross about this... It's nothing you have not done every day for your entire life. It's just more "in your face" then ever before... I guarantee you'll have improved hand washing! That's not gross at all... Gross is living in an Arab land (such as Saudi Arabia) where they wipe with only their left hand! Yea, Now that's gross!
    Love & Positivity
    J. Steig

  2. Hi Bert. Take the bull by the horns and conquer this bad Jim said it is something you have done every day of your life. Its not gross. We all do it. You will continue to do it just slightly different then you use to. Your pooh will still be brown ,alittle looser{like oatmeal/ applesauce}.You will still "toot",but you wont leave a"lingering odor".Its all contained. God for bid , if you lost your leg, you wouldn't be able to walk or run the way you use to.With determination you could learn to walk,even run again,just a little different.There many ,many people that do things a little different. There it is. I write only to give encouragement. I hope I did this.I want you to know it will be ok!!!!love to you and your family from Auburn,.Jims big sister,Kari

  3. Weird- I was just reading on Crazy Sexy Life today about the cycles that all cancer survivors have. They do well with everything for a long while, then something unexpected is introduced and they go into avoidance again. I have not had to deal with a colostomy bag, but I do follow this pattern, too. I guess what I'm trying to say is that what you're dealing with is tough and it's understanding that you're avoiding it. But what doesn't surprise me is, as always, the way that you are facing it all head on, the way you always do. I know it takes time to get through it, but you are doing it. Be gentle with yourself and try to remember how patient you would be if it were someone else. You are wonderful and we all love you.

  4. reply to anonymous:

    I appreciate all of the comments from ya'll today, but when our anonymous friend wrote,

    "Be gentle with yourself and try to remember how patient you would be if it were someone else,"

    that just stunned me. I would be patient & gentle if it were someone else. Sure I don't take any BS from myself [not that does not stand for Bert Scholl!], but it doesn't mean I can't have a little compassion now and again.

    I'll think about that. Thanks.