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I Think My Life Changed Today!!

Posted by moonperro

I was at my dentist today getting a new crown. As he was injecting me with the anesthetic, I started to feel something warm on my side. My first thought was that the assistant had spilled some water on me but very quickly realized my bag was leaking, and leaking bad. My very first public spill and I had two people hovering over me very closely as it was happening!! I lifted my hand and told them to stop and said what was going on. My dentist, whom I like a lot, jumped out of his chair and sped to the door, standing there watching apprehensively. I thought that was kind of odd. His assistant was very sympathetic and asked what he could do to help. I asked for a towel and cleaned myself off as best I could and told them I would make another appointment. The assistant followed me out and opened the door for me saying that they will call to make another appointment.


Driving home I thought about what had just happened and more importantly, what was my reaction. Obviously, my dentist was not very sensitive but his assistant definitely was. Thinking further I was VERY surprised that I was NOT embarrassed, mortified or ashamed!! I felt absolutely fine and then I realized that this feeling was a first for me since my surgery to have the colostomy.


I fought like hell against having a colostomy. I had had a nasty bout with anal cancer in 2005. Before treatment, my oncologist told me that there is a 50% chance of me ending up with a colostomy. I said not me!! I have a good friend who had the same cancer and 15 years later he was fine. So he was my role model. But unfortunately for the next 7 years I had ongoing incontinence and debilitating and very painful constipation and it was not getting any better. In Jan 2012, I finally said “enough” and had the surgery. From that first day forward I have not had any physical problems, no pain or anything so the surgery was really beneficial for me. But I did feel shame and embarrassment about living with the pouch in spite of feeling so much better. It affected me deeply, isolating me and keeping me from some of the joys of life. As time has gone by those feelings have lessened somewhat but with the incident today, I can say conclusively, I have finally accepted my situation and it will no longer keep me down, isolated, embarrassed or anything!! And I *still* have the rest of my life!! Today was a very important day for me. Thanks for listening. Terence

Comments:
Thank you for sharing your story, Terrence. What an epiphany! I agree there's no need for shame or embarrassment when you do whatever it takes to live a good and productive life. May we all be so accepting of our human conditions. PB
Proud of the way you handled the situation but I do have one question.....did you change dentist? LOL It is funny how a professional person can act isn't it.
So glad you have reached this milestone, Terence! I fought having my ileostomy for years. Diagnosed with UC 20 some odd years ago, I thought I would rather lose a leg than have the dreaded surgery. I did quite well with the UC for a number of years until I finally contracted C. diff (which I'm convinced was introduced into me through unclean equipment during a routine colonoscopy) that went undiagnosed for 4 weeks. Doctor kept telling me just another flair-up. Long story short, I ended up at the Mayo Clinic after losing 70 lbs. to have an emergency, life saving ileostomy. But what I saw while at the Mayo Clinic really helps me in my day-to-day woe is me feelings. I saw hundreds of little kids dying of cancer. This made such a profound impact on me that as soon as I start feeling a little down or self conscious, I see the faces of those poor kids that haven't even had a chance to start life yet. Immediately, I realize there is NOTHING wrong with me!Doug
Past Member
Thank you so much for sharing! I'm on the verge of getting a colostomy after ten years of debilitating incontinence from a partial spinal injury and horrible diarrhea (gallbladder or pancreas plus systemic candida). Anyway, I hardly ever leave the house and feel like I'm sitting on the sidelines of life. I can't get the surgery until my diarrhea is better as my surgeon said it's better not to have liquid stools shooting into the bag. But even in preparing my GI for it, I've been getting more and more depressed...to the point of turning nasty on my loved ones. So again, thank you for sharing. I guess none of us want to be here but stories like yours give hope that there's a way to adapt. I hope your dentist has matured from the experience...thanks again for sharing!
Moonperro,I also had my surgery in 2012 (ileostomy). I've had one blowout in the cellphone store that I was able to get home and take care of but of course unsettling. No one really knew except me and my unruffled boyfriend.But Monday this week I was almost through with my acupuncture treatment when I suddenly blew. I was so glad I had my emergency pouch with me. It was my first changeout while out and about. Being an hour from my home I was grateful for the kit. My acupuncturist's mom had a colostomy so she wasn't unfamiliar, but she quickly left the room after removing the needles. :)
what I hate is when you tell a friend and they say. I COULD NEVER DO THAT. I tell them if they had to then they would.
wow I think you can say you changed the life of your dentist also..........could have been funny......I do not know why but when I read your blog I kept thinking of the Carole Burnet show..where Tim Conway and Harvey what is his name ....were in the hilarious Dentist sketch.......Anyone remember that....well maybe I am too old...lol.....it was hilarious......But I could see you there..in the dentist chair .your mouth frozen unable to speak...your bag explodes..you tried to speak but it was.jibberish..............and the poor dentist was covered in shit........it could have been funny........I would have loved to seen the look on your dentist face.......it could have been funny.....
I want to thank all those who commented on my post. Your reactions were just what I needed and I so much appreciate it. I do want to respond directly to a couple of you. GraphX12- Your story really moved me. I can see so easily where you are coming from with that experience you had in the Mayo Clinic. Your story can be important for anyone facing a physical challenge. I appreciate your writing.Hikergirl - I wish you so much luck in your journey. I know that during those years after my cancer treatment but before my ostomy surgery, I was not the easiest to be around. I hope you can give yourself a break and not be too hard on yourself. Your feelings are very understandable.with love, Terence.
Terence, if you have a colostomy as you say, my advice would be to find out as much as you can about irrigation. Something you should have been told about a long time ago. Doesn't work with ileostomy. Once you have mastered irrigation you will never have another dentist chair episode ever again. P.S. I do admire your handling of an awkward situation.VJ.
Terrence..............I agree with Veejay....is time you check out irrigation...as you have a colostomy....and if you irrigate you will never have another episode again and it will set you free......I have been doing it for 13 years ......Believe me .....it will set you free....and you will not notice you are wearing a bag.....is simple to do....the kits are available....from Coloplast ........I can go 3 days and not pass any stool......your intestines will get used to irrigating and wait for it....Please check it out......What I find strange is doctors and stoma nurses do not tell you about irrigation.........I had to do the research myself to find out about it.......
Hello veejay and WAB,Thanks so much for the encouragement to look into irrigation. I was told about it at the time of surgery and they also said I was a very good candidate for irrigation. But, I am sure that all of you know when this all happens to you, your head is spinning and you don't know which way is up for quite a while. At least that was how it was for me. So for some reason, irrigation sort of faded away for me. But I will call my stoma nurse and make an appt to really talk about. Thanks again to everyone who has commented.
Ho Terrence..Good for you go snd check.......if you need an info I can give you some tips.......I travel..take cruises...travel in my motor home...go restaurants and do not worry about it............plus there is sex.....lol...it is going to set you free...if you are a candidate for it........If you need some tips ...just ask....I have it down pat and there are ways to do it.....Good luck to you.......
Terrence,I know exactly what you mean about the head spinning! My ileostomy surgery was exactly 1 week from my 1st exam at the Mayo Clinic. What I thought would be a day or two of exams turned into a week because of the seriousness of my situation. Talk about a head spin! I couldn't begin to absorb everything that was going on around me. Thank goodness my wife was there to document everything.I don't know anything about irrigation - I'm going to have to research this (just for my own curiosity). I had a complete, irreversible ileostomy and didn't really have any other options. Best of luck to you, Terrence. I KNOW things will work out for you.Doug
Good for you Moon. I had my almost identical epiphany and and an almost identical reaction. My eye-opener came at San Francisco Airport in the TSA security line. Surrounded by hundreds of people and the few standing beside me, the entire contents poured down the leg of my pants !!! I stuffed my pants in my socks, grabbed my Go Bag ( always present in my backpack.) and ran to the toilet. I was fully changed , all clothes in the bin !! in about 15 minutes. That was when I realized that I could handle this thing in public. I have almost never worried about leaks again and had almost none. I had seen the worst and survived. I tape my wafer a little more before flying , I tape the Velcro opening at the bottom, just in case !! I eat as little as possible in a potential leaky situation but I do eat airline food, in a pinch it's not really that bad. On my recent flight from SF to DC I ate a wonderful toasted Pastrami cheese sandwich from the airport joint, opened the top buttons of my pants and waited for the toilet rush to end. Had a middle seat but that was ok too. Stay calm when many would not...that is the secret to a stress free Ostomy life.....and of course the item that prevents leaks before they happen..Micropore surgical tape, the 3M brand works best for me....it gives you time to react to a potential leak and stop it before it starts. Not worrying anymore provides an enormous sense of relief and comfort while traveling ....or while sitting in my dentists chair...no panic, just fix it and continue.
Moonperro, Thanks for sharing. Perhaps the fear of this incident was worse than it actually occuring? Congrats, my friend. You are free once more!


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