Ostomy Memories on Aging

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Aging with an ostomy isn't much different than aging without one, but that doesn’t make it any easier. You have to pay attention to your diet, but for slightly different reasons than before. Clothing choices, you discover quickly, take into account something other than “Does it make my butt look good?” Staying in shape takes on a whole new level of factor consideration. And travel…that can get even more complicated than usual. I once had an airport security guard confiscate from my carry-on the scissors that I’d been using for hair clipping around my stoma. I shouldn’t have packed it there. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that I ease into the little life style changes that accompany the process. I like animals more and dislike children less. I watch the gray whiskers push out with a philosophical shrug and only cut it about once a week. [The beard is long gone.] I still find it irritating that I have more hair growing in my ears than on my head. There’s always going to be those choices over which you anguish regularly. Should I do it, or not? Should I eat it, or pass it up? Should I say something, or let it go? “You can live to be a hundred,” said Woody Allen, “if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.” I’m sure there’s a country music song somewhere with a line advising the down-to-earth, blue collar staple: you gotta keep on keeping on (even after you’ve been flushed from the bathroom of her heart).


Hello HenryM.

I find that, in my old age, I contemplate mortality more often, especially having had a couple of near misses. Every now and then I write a rhyme on the subject and in 2018 a few of those formed part of a book. However, for me, the concept of living and dying are merged into one, and I dislike the idea of someone or something else dictating how or when I live or die. The present pandemic has made me contemplate this subject matter even more closely but I still feel just as strongly that 'I' would like to be in control of the processes when the time comes. Thus, the rhyme below still has relevance to my perspective on life and death. 

Best wishes


Self -Organised Living And Reflecting- SOLAR
Self -Organised Dying - SOD.

Self-Organised is how I am
throughout my life ad nauseam.
So as my time for death draws near,
why should others interfere?

Euthanasia’s another name
to wit, a concept I acclaim.
To some, the concept may seem odd
Self-Organised Dying - in short, is SOD.

SOLAR in my recollection
is Self-Organised Living And Reflection.
All my life this was my creed
so in death, it’s what I need.

SOLAR’s for life and SOD’s for dying
so when at last I give up trying.
Upon my grave, I hope it says
under this SOD, another lays.

                               B. Withers 2008

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Absolutely wonderful verse, Bill.  I concur wholeheartedly.


Hi Bill,

  I'm right there with you, brother... but don't get me started on this stuff.   I guess the theory is... you had no say or choice about coming into this world... so you get neither when it's time to go out.   Luckily, it's all fairly irrelevant, but it sure doesn't make any sense.   The good news is that if you are able... you can indeed determine how and when it's time to go.   I just feel bad for those who are ready but are not physically able.   THAT must be hell!



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