Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Little Freedom with Irrigation

This evening I finally got the courage up to take my shirt off and submerge myself in the creek. The last time I floated in water was two years ago in the pool at the Gerson Clinic in Mexico. (For those of you wondering how a chlorinated pool could possibly be okay for someone on Gerson Therapy, you are on the right track - the clinic has a hydrogen peroxide pool.)

So, why would I need courage to take my shirt off? It's just where I am with my body right now. I am happy to tell anyone in the world I have a colostomy, but having people see a pouch hanging from my abdomen has been difficult for me, especially during the days when I was not regular and there was never a moment of certainty. I also folded up the pouch and taped it up so it occurred less as a pouch and more as "cover" of some sort. I have always known I would eventually not care if people saw it, but I didn't know when that day would be. It seems to be on its way. No, no. It's not here yet. It was after dusk when I went to the swimming hole. I played it safe.

And another factor that has helped is that I have been successfully irrigating for the last two weeks. And in case you forgot, irrigation is nothing more than a daily water enema that literally flushes me out for the day. Once I am certain my large intestine is trained, I will be able to wear something along the lines of a wax band aid over my stoma. It will cover the stoma since I can't find a small enough party hat.

Anyway, since I began irrigating I have had no need for a pouch. I still wear one as an "insurance policy." My surgeon made it clear there is no guarantee my pouch will remain empty throughout the day for quite some time. Just because it has remained empty thus far doesn't mean things won't change. Apparently certain foods can cause irregularity as well as...well...we all know what beer can do, should I begin to drink beer again. So, we'll see. But the bottom line [he-he] is that today was a good day.

I think I'll get back into the water tomorrow.


  1. That's sooooo great. I really hope to do some floating with you during my visit. Dusk/evening floats are fine with me!

  2. Congratulations on your swim, Bert! These seemingly little steps can really help us feel more normal, whatever normal turns out to be after all of this.

    I still struggle with body issues myself after the mastectomy - it's part of my personal history to have body issues in general, so all of this contributed to it and has taken some time to work though.

    We will both get there eventually!