To Tell Or Not To Tell ???
Hi everyone, I just wanted to share my thoughts on when to tell and when not to tell others that you have had surgury. Ive had my ilesostomy for 30 years this year and my life has taken me into different family groups and friends several times. At first I wanted to tell friends of my ordeal and while they were sympathetic noone really got it. After a while I decided not to tell and it has been a far better outcome for me. Here's a few benefits of not sharing...
If you are wearing appropriate clothes noone can really guess what's underneath. Ive tried to explain my stoma to a few foreign massage therapists before and the language barrier make it impossible so I just say "no massage stomach", keep the towel on and they never know.
If you need to undress in a room with others, like at the gym - just keep your back to the room, put on a long top first and noone can tell.
If you have an accident and are showing stains, that's just a coffee spill to others or an accident with dropping food. If your accident is worse than that, just leave the party, work place whereever you are and tell people you have been sick and need to go home to get some important medicine. Noone would deny you that.
If you get a major major accident then just leave. Later when they see you have changed clothes, you tell them you were too hot, too cold and decided to change.
The spares that I carry are in a small toiletries bag and if ever I have to explain what's in it (like when going through customs) I just say "medical supplies". Feeling no need to go into the big long exclaimation and it's never been an issue.
It's really rare that "normal" people sit around talking about how they go to the toilet or how their sex life is these days, so why should you feel it necessary to talk about your intimate life?
The downside to not telling is that you are keeping a secret from your friends that you may wish they would share with you if the tables were reversed. But then you have no control about what they may tell your other friends and before you know it everything gets ackward.
So, I prefer to keep my mouth shut to the outside world and just have comfort knowing there are others that are going through similar and that they (you) can be found on line and via other specialised contact streams.
What do others think about tell or not tell? Happy to hear your thoughts.