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Posted by Bill


Prior to my colostomy
it never did occur to me
that people differed in this way
as stomas are not on display.

So, you’re not likely to behold,
and stoma stories are untold,
because it seems embarrassing
to be talking about this thing.

But should stomas have the effect
of making people circumspect
about the problems they have had
that’s made their lives seem pretty bad?

Should some simple substitution
for a bum, as a solution
to the problems of their waste
be hidden as if in bad taste?

Since my poo comes from my tum
instead of from my ailing bum,
I’ve pondered on this difference
and wondered about consequence.

I had to have a stoma so,
I found it comforting to know
that it improved my sufferance
and I have much more tolerance.

I’ve got lots of benignity
but I’ve not lost my dignity,
and just because the stoma’s there
it doesn’t mean that I don’t care.

My empathy has risen too
for all people who need to poo
through a stoma, into a bag
as that can be an extra drag.

But we can hold our heads up high
and rise above it if we try.

                                       B. Withers 2019

See all blogs by Bill
delgrl525 : Hi Bill, I love this verse! I remember how I felt in my pre-stoma days, the years of enduring the endless pain and discomfort, not to mention the disruption to my daily routine. I tried to envision what a colostomy would be like as it had been discussed as an option for me for some time. I was repulsed by the idea and thought I would be a freak and that I would not even be able to live with myself, let alone be around other people. It saddens me to realize there are probably lots of people out there who would view me that way, as I felt that way myself. Living with the colostomy has given me such a different perspective and much more empathy for others, whether their "disability" is related to their means of eliminating waste or anything else. This forum, the platform that allows me to speak to others who share my physical "attribute", and the ability to make light of our shared condition through clever and thoughtful verse, is such a powerful way of validating who we are as people. Thanks, and keep doing what you do.

All the best,
Nov 02, 2020
Bill : Thanks Terry.
I'm so glad you liked this rhyme. Prior to my own stoma, I went through the same feelings and agonising as you did. After the operation, I chastised myself for a while for being so ignorant and stubborn. If only I had known what relief and 'convenience' the stoma would give, I probably would have had it done many years earlier.
I do find that sometimes rhymes are a more acceptable way to communicate these sorts of concepts than 'normal' conversation, as their composition allows time and focus to communicate the concepts more effectively in the way that I prefer, rather than relying on my (not always) verbal skills.

Best wishes
Dec 01, 2020

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