Category Archives: Life with an ostomy

Sleek and Smooth

In October, I said good-bye to my bladder and hello to my urostomy.  We’ve spent the last several months getting acquainted with each other, and I must say, it’s going quite well.  In the beginning, I was concerned that because I’m such a slender person, it would be difficult to conceal my new addition and that everyone would always know I had a pee bag.  To be clear, I realize that I’m blogging about said pee bag right here and that I’ve spoken openly about it on national television. I obviously don’t mind if people know I have a urostomy, but they certainly don’t need to see it all the time. So I began exploring my options.

On a day to day basis, if I’m going nowhere in particular, and because it’s cold outside and I have layering on my team, I generally just wear a tight cami under my shirt.  That seems to do the trick well enough. I have also taken full advantage of the legging craze that’s sweeping the nation.  I pull those suckers right on up over my bag, and poof- the bag disappears (my stoma – which is the opening where the urine comes out of my body and goes into the bag-  is situated to the right of and just slightly below my belly button).  My shirt covers the top of the pants so no one can see that I’m in full Urkel mode under there.

The hospital gave me some sort of compression band that is white and stretchy, and while it does smooth out my profile, it gets super itchy after an hour or so. I wear it from time to time, usually with jeans (because I absolutely refuse to give up my low rise jeans I wore before this surgery, and the bag bulges with air over the top of my jeans as it fills with urine if I don’t use some sort of compression garment).  I’ve also taken to simply tucking the top of the bag down into my jeans. Bottom line: I have to empty the bag more often if I’m wearing jeans than if I’m wearing something with more give regardless which method of smoothing I choose.

I also recently decided to try out Spanx because I had a party to which I wanted to wear a dress.  OK, to be fair, I didn’t want to spend $80 on my first pair so I went to Kohl’s and got Flexees. They were about half the price and worked great!  I went with the style that has shorts that hit mid thigh and the top comes up to just under my boobs.  I wanted the versatility to wear them with skirts or pants. Even I couldn’t tell that I had a urostomy. This was amazing! It was as I stared at my sexy self in my new dress in the mirror that I felt alright about my body for the first time since surgery. These things are a god send where self esteem is concerned.

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It’s Different When You Stand

Guys will never truly understand what women do in the bathroom. Questions arise like,

“What takes you so long??” or “Why do you always have to go in groups??” or “Why do we go through so much toilet paper?!”

Guys, I’m not here to put your minds at ease. Rather, ladies, I plan to unravel some of the mystery that surrounds what happens when guys take to the toilets. My girl friends and I have a collective 4,682 years of dating under our belts (so to speak… er… well…), and in all those years we’ve noticed a thing or two about how disgusting men are when they pee. Things like:

  • Not washing their hands after they pee. Only when they poo.
  • Drops of pee landing on the floor… and not cleaning it up.
  • Pee crusting out the rim of the toilet.
  • Forgetting to flush (really?).
  • Not putting the seat down. Ever.

Recently I’ve gained some perspective in this department. While the plastic surgeon did NOT fashion a new penis for me, the urologist DID give me a fancy bag that hangs from my stomach and collects my urine. And while I think that at some point in the future we will all look back on this barbaric procedure with utter disbelief that humans were actually this stupid, the fact remains that today my bag and I pee standing up.

Let me outframe for a second to highlight some of the perks here- no longer do I have to put my bare butt on a public toilet seat… or hover above it. Gone are the days of fearing for my socks when peeing in the woods. And when it finally snows, you’d better believe I’m at least attempting to write my name.

Ok, back to unraveling this mystery.

Not washing their hands when they pee. This is inexcusable, and I have nothing further to say on the matter.

Drops of pee landing on the floor. We used to think that guys were just lazy in the bathroom. That at the end of the pee, somehow the last few drops did not end up in their pants but rather on the floor near the toilet, like little wet targets for our nice dry socks. It suffices to say, this may be true for some poor bastards, but generally there’s another evil at play here- It splashes. It hits me in the legs, it lands on the rim, on the floor. There’s really no way to be sure where it is. So trying to find the pee droplets to clean them up would prove to be a laborious task. And one that I’m not willing to take on. If I see the drops, of course I wipe them up, but I’m certainly not busting out the flashlight to search for them, and no guy should either.

Pee crusting the rim. Please see above explanation about splashing. All I can say is that sometimes I honestly don’t see it.

Forgetting to flush. Yes. This really happens. It has happened to me on more than one occasion in the few short months since I’ve been a stander. I’m tempted to say that I forget because I’m used to the routine of having to wipe, stand up, pull up my pants, turn around and then flush. And now I’m not doing any of that. I get it. Guys have no such excuse. They’ve been standing their entire house broken lives. But, there’s something about the fact that I’m already standing that makes walking over to the sink, albeit prematurely, easy.

Not putting the seat down. Please see above comment about not flushing. If I don’t remember to flush, it stands to reason that I’m not going to remember to put the seat down. But in the event that I do flush… My brain believes that the next time (or seven) that I use this toilet will be to pee and I’m just going to have to raise the seat again, so why bother? Let me follow up by saying that I’m a firm believer that the toilet seat should be closed at all times when not in use. Having an open bowl is just an invitation for the toilet devil to throw my make-up and my iphone right in there. Nope… close it. So I want to kick my own ass when I forget to put the seat down. But it happens.

Ok, there it is. I hope this shines some light on the subject matter for you, ladies. And I feel like I might have a few apologetic calls to make to an ex-boyfriend or two after I post this.

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