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Posted by Bill

Hello fellow ostomates.

Recently, I agreed to write a few rhymes for my wife's weekly 'stroke-group' and it occurred to me that anyone with a stoma would be so much worse off if they were to suffer a stroke and be left with the typical after-effects of : 

1) Having one hand/arm useless 

2) Having one leg dysfunctional 

3) Having cognitive impairment 

4) Having speech impediment  ( 0aphasia)


The rhyme (below) tries to envisage what it might be like to be struck down with a stroke and be left with the after effects, if the sufferer was also an ostomate.

Best wishes




It should be said I have no bum

so all waste food comes from my tum,

through what is called a ‘stoma’ hole, 

which helps me try to keep control.


There’re many things I need to do 

to manage what is wayward poo,

I need my hands and arms for this 

if I am not to come amiss.


I also need a functioning brain 

to make sure poo and pee will drain 

from my stoma to the loo

without a mess from wayward poo.


In days gone by my legs were good

so, I had little doubt I could

get to the toilet in good time 

to manage all that grime and slime.


But, at a stroke, my life would change,

my mind and body became strange

and would not work the way it had 

which made my life both sad and bad. 


At a stroke, I found I landed

in a world where single-handed

seemed simply to be not enough  

to manage all my stoma stuff.


On top of that, I could not think

how I could manage not to stink 

when I could not get to the loo

to rid myself of wayward poo.


Having a stoma is no joke, 

yet there are those who, at a stroke

might find themselves in deeper shit

whilst trying hard to manage it.


Be Withers 2022



See all blogs by Bill
Aug 01, 2022 6:32 AM
Justbreathe : My worst fear!
Aug 01, 2022 7:09 AM
Bill : Hello Justbreathe.
Thanks for replying to this blog. Interesting, that one of my worst fears is not about the practical aspects of potentially dealing with the stoma if perchance I were unfortunate enough to have had a stroke. Writing the rhyme above made me think a little more deeply about what the greatest effect such a disaster might hold for me. So, below is my effort to capture that concept in rhyme:
Best wishes


It must be said, I am a bloke
who would not like to have a stroke,
for there are many things I do
that need my wits to pull me through.

I need to think and work things out
to tell myself what I'm about,
so I can feel I'm in control
of my life, my heart and soul.

I also like to think clearly,
in order to sort out what's really
going on behind the lies
and misinformation I despise.

My aim is to articulate
all those things I've come to hate,
so other's might be-with-us and
truly start to understand.

At a stroke this trend might end,
as my health and life upend
and cognitive acuity
gives way to crass vacuity.

What's left if my cognition goes?
What's left if my oration slows?
What's left if I no longer can
express myself to fellow man?

What would be left if I can't be
all those things I thought were ‘me'?
What if one day I had a stroke
to find that my whole life was broke?

When once these questions have been posed
and likely outcomes are disclosed
I hope that hope is not in vain
for hope might help me with my pain.

Be Withers 2022