Dreams still lay heavy on my eyelids as he woke me.
“My bag broke. We need to strip the bed.” He was calm but I could sense his frustration by the tone in his voice. I wanted to reassure him that I didn’t mind the earliness or the situation. This was not the first time and it wouldn’t be the last. The routine was simple; wash the sheets and move on with your life.
Some would consider the previous situation gag-worthy. Luckily I am unphased by pooptastrophies after 15+ years of working in an industry where poop on your scrubs is a daily occurrence. I understand that I may be biased since I am in the medical field, but a stoma has made no difference in our relationship or sex life.
Three years out from surgery and I am more in love with this man and his stoma than ever. Mind you, it was not a walk in the park. There were plenty of moments of awkwardness, frustration, and fear that we would not make it through. The start of our relationship involved over a year of conversations and energy focused on Ulcerative Colitis treatments, microwaving heating pads at 1 o’clock in the morning, and eventually surgery.
Once we got through the muck of recovery things improved dramatically. He has begun to flourish in a new company and I think our lives are exactly the same as any other couple. We have been long distance for the past 3 years, which makes any times we spend together precious. Sure, we need to make extra bathroom stops on roadtrips and I need to chop up red bell peppers extra small when we make breakfast. Sometimes the stoma “talks.” This likely embarrasses him since it almost always happens during sex or when we’re on a date somewhere, but I think it’s endearing. On the same note, our intimacy has only increased since his colostomy surgery. He always wears his Stealth Belt so he can be unhindered and comfortable - I honestly forget it is there until the occasional gurgle. We laugh about it. It doesn’t matter and has just become a part of our daily routine.
I urge anyone who is uncomfortable with their ostomy bags while being intimate, being social, going to the beach, looking down at their belly, or at any other time that insecurity might come up, to realize that (from the point of view of an osto-soul-mate) it does not change who you are as a person. My boyfriend is just as sexy with his Stealth Belt on or off. Getting that nasty, unhelpful, and unhealthy colon out of his body was the best thing to happen to our relationship. Rather than spending time taste-testing hospital menus, we now travel the world, try new yoga classes, and spend time cooking and snuggled up on the couch.
Thanks to his stoma, my boyfriend has No Colon, but is Still Rollin’, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.