I took a bunch of personal photos when I still had a stoma. It helped me accept the fact that I looked differently from the way I was born. It's not that the stoma ever really bothered me; it helped to keep me alive when my born-with gut couldn't. It was survival, and I was grateful. Honestly. Even with the scars that come with the emergency bowel resection, I was grateful.
I deleted those pictures. I thought that I didn't need them.
I was wrong.
For those new to the blog, I'm currently recovering from an ostomy reversal. It's major surgery, but the end result is "normal" bowel function. No more stoma. I spent over a year collecting faeces in a pouch attached to my waist, but that's done now. Life will be more or less back to normal in a few weeks. That's a good thing.
But man, I wish that I had those photos.
I might have helped people, you see. I could have shown that an ostomy pouch is nothing to be ashamed of (why on earth be ashamed anyway?). I could have shown curious online searchers that a stoma wasn't weird or gross.
The pictures are gone, though.
Tonight I took a series of shots --just with the phone -- showing how to apply an ostomy pouch. It was with supplies I won't use now, and I put it over the dressing that still covers my slightly-weepy former stoma site. It was partly out of guilt, yes, but partly because I think that I have some help to give even without a stoma. I may post them on instagram tomorrow if a night's reflection doesn't make them too cringe-worthy, but even if they are I think that I'll save them for a while this time. Just as well.
I don't really want another Damn just now, if that's ok with everyone.