THIS HAPPENED is an ongoing series where readers share firsthand experiences living with an ostomy.
'Twas the night before Christmas and inside the Square One shopping mall,
Rasheed empties his ostomy bag into the toilet of a men’s room stall.
He wraps his Stealth Belt back around his midriff with care,
In hopes it will support his ostomy flange and bag right there.
He remembers what happened back on December 21st,
A day that will forever stand out as one of his worst.
While out in public dining on pasta and bread,
A feeling of wetness around his belly filled him with dread.
Streaks of feces had stained his white polo shirt,
His ostomy appliance unable to contain each squirt.
Rasheed rushed to the bathroom with his backup supplies,
As tears began to pool in his large brown eyes.
He took off his shirt and Stealth Belt with haste,
And stared at the explosion of dark brown waste.
His clothes ruined, his Stealth Belt utterly messed,
Rasheed simultaneously felt angry and depressed.
Through much struggle he puts on a new flange and bag,
And he felt compelled to just wave a white flag.
But let’s now return to Christmas Eve last night,
A time that’s supposed to bring so much delight.
From Square One Rasheed and his lady friend,
Head over to her cousin’s house in Toronto’s east end.
Food and drinks and laughs are shared,
But late in the evening Rasheed again feels scared.
He senses something wet around his midsection,
And he runs to the bathroom for a closer inspection.
Stool spews from the side of his flange once more,
And Rasheed falls to a knee on the bathroom floor.
He tears sheets off the toilet paper spool,
And wipes away blobs of his cursed stool.
He packs more tissue near his belly button to hold the sludge,
Then he finds his girlfriend and gives her a nudge.
“It’s leaking again, I have to go,” he says to her,
And she kindly helps him leave the party in a blur.
“Drive safely,” she says after giving him a goodnight kiss,
And Rasheed drives home as his mind falls into an abyss.
“How much more of this damn bullsh*t do I have to take?”
Rasheed can’t help but feel his choice to have surgery was a huge mistake.
He drives home swiftly and readies more ostomy supplies,
And he wonders if this horrid disease will soon be his demise.
He showers and puts on the new appliance with a grimace,
Then he scowls in the mirror and whispers, Merry f***ing Christmas.
This poem appeared on RasheedClarke.com.