A Stomas Story

Hi, I’m a stoma! My name is “billy” (Yes you should give me a name you have one).

I am great when you think about it. I must admit I have upset many people. Some people even consider me crude, rude and socially unacceptable. Well, excuse me!!

Just about everyone gets bent out of shape when their doctor says, “It may be necessary to create a stoma”. Me!! They make it sound like a dirty word. Listen, it isn’t the greatest for me either. I’m usually created from a piece of your intestines. I guess you know all about that. And then, just maybe you don’t. So I will tell you becoming a stoma wasn’t my first choice. No sirreee!! I used to just lie there in your abdomen, minding my own business. Then boom!! Some surgeon decided – let’s make a stoma. He had a nerve! Who dose he think he is! How could he consider such a thing? Well, I guess it was because you hurt so much, were very sick from a disease like Ulcerative Colitis or cancer, or from trauma like a car accident. Your surgeon knew that by putting me to work, you could be free of discomfort and problems. In truth, so you could get on with living.

If that is why I was created, then why do so many people complain about me? Did you know that I am not given to just anyone? You see, there is a lot of planning and evaluation of each of you before I am created. So I know you can say only a “chosen” million or so are lucky enough to have me. You see – my people are special. My people are not like the normal run-of-the-mill people. I must say it takes them a while to recognize that fact. And, sad to say, there are a few who never do.

It isn’t easy being a stoma! Some of you just don’t understand what a miracle I am! Listen, before creation, I just lay quiet and usually content in your abdomen.

Now I work! 24 7 It’s easy when fecial waste comes through because that’s what I’m used to. But some character decided, why not water waste as well? We then found out that character was very wise because that works too.

You think YOU have problems adjusting! Phooey. Did you realize that I am a delicate mucus membrane? Yet I am durable but some people think I am made of rubber. Thank God, I don’t have feelings. But my friend skin does. You want complaints? Give a listen to her sometime. She really gets upset because of ulcers, fungus, irritants, barriers, etc. We are a team! And a very good one. I’m moist, she is dry. I’m pink, she is natural. I’m smooth, she is a little bumpy.

One of my biggest problems is my size. I am not always the same size from one human to the next, I am not always round, I don’t always protrude nicely. Then why do some of you insist that my pouch opening is always the same? You need to check my size once in a while and fit me appropriately. Your shoes fit, don’t they?

Some of you complain because I’m not pretty. Well, your anus wasn’t Miss World! I think I am attractive. I am red like a rose. I am always moist if I am healthy. And, I don’t smell. My discharge can’t help what you put in your mouth. If you care for me with thought and keep my equipment clean, that all I need.

To finish, let me say you can live a good life, a productive life. It’s up to you. Believe me, I do not deserve a pedestal life. I am just part of you trying to do my new job. All I ask is that you be honest about me. The doctors, stoma nurses, other professionals are always ready, willing and able to help you if you struggle with me.