Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Consider Myself Blessed

A few folks have asked how it's going with the ostomy. It's going surprisingly well. The care is pretty basic and doesn't require a lot of time. One of the questions I get about the pouch is what kind of maintenance is required. It's not much different than it was before the surgery. I discard the pouch about once a day and that's that. And no, you will likely never find me talking to someone while the pouch is in need of discarding. I don't stroll around town or at parties while the pouch is in need of attention. The pouch is actually completely empty and attached to abdomen throughout the day - more like a form of insurance, should I be surprised at some point in the day. But then I just make it to a restroom like anyone else would, do my thing, and go back to what I'm doing.

The only additional maintenance that's required is the weekly replacement of the wafer. The wafer is essentially a wax ring that adheres to my abdomen over the stoma. Once a week with the use use of a little adhesive remover, I peel off the wafer, clean off any remaining adhesive, put on a new wafer, attach a new pouch and I'm done. All that's left to do for the rest of the week is discard the pouch about once a day and that's it.

When I first realized I was going to have an ostomy, I had visions of the pouch constantly filling up while grocery shopping or visiting friends or while I'm at work in the midst of a long meeting. That's actually the exact opposite of what I experience. As I've said before, the battle is really all in my head. Maybe someday I'll lift my arms over my head and the pouch will be revealed and someone will see it and ask what it is. Or maybe they won't and I'll wonder if they noticed and what they're thinking. Hardly debilitating and only a problem if I make it one. Oh. And the only other change in my life is that I will be avoiding contact sports. I certainly don't want to take a direct hit to the stoma. No more than you would want to take a direct hit to the...well, I'm sure you can fill in the blank.

What it really comes down to is the following. This morning while I was getting dressed, Beau looked up at me, saw the pouch attached to my side and said, "Bah dat?" - his form of saying "What's that?" I looked at him and said, "This is my pouch. I was sick so my doctor put it on me to keep me alive. And now I'm all better and I'm going to live a long life with you kiddo." Tears started welling up in my eyes and I kissed him on his soft little cheek and told him I loved him. Really, if all I have to do to stay alive and watch him grow up is walk around with an empty pouch on my side, I consider myself beyond lucky. I consider myself blessed. It is good to be alive. That's all I can really say. It's good to be alive.


  1. And tears are welling up in my eyes too.

  2. He let you kiss him on the cheek?