Thank you technological advances of the 21st century for the saving grace that is our phones.

In the days and weeks after ostomy surgery, your cell phone was probably your best friend (well, that and your sweet, sweet pain killers). Staying at home because your new poop arrangement needs constant attention makes your cell phone one of the only gateways to the outside world.

The texts ostomates send during recovery highlight the unique challenges, tiresome pitfalls and amazing triumphs of bringing a stoma into the world. Of course, there’s no one way to feel after ostomy surgery—some people love their experience, feeling empowered and in control after what can be a life-saving procedure. Others hate it and feel cheated, or just stuck in a painful recovery process that’s annoying at the very least. Both feelings are completely valid.

In the name of said topic, here are 17 text messages only ostomates can truly understand about recovery:

1. Still waiting... 

TEXT 1

2. Discovering a new form of torture.

TEXT 2

3. Pondering ostomy life and basic time management.

TEXT 3

4. Newbies and long-time ostomates alike.

TEXT 4

5. Even laughter can feel like punishment.

TEXT 5

6. How many times do you think ostomy nurses get this text?

TEXT 6

7. Contemplating your tummy's new look.

TEXT 7

8. Never mind bedside manner.

9. Realizing your fragility.

OC Editors/OstomyConnection

OC Editors/OstomyConnection

10. New book title?

OC Editors/OstomyConnection

OC Editors/OstomyConnection

11. How eating has changed.

Michele Tallarita/OstomyConnection  

Michele Tallarita/OstomyConnection  

12. Every. Single. Day.

Michele Tallarita/OstomyConnection 

Michele Tallarita/OstomyConnection 

13. Stomas are terrible sleepers.

OC Editors/OstomyConnection

OC Editors/OstomyConnection

14. It's nothing personal.

Claire Webber/OstomyConnection  

Claire Webber/OstomyConnection  

15. Any progress is cause for celebration.

OC Editors/OstomyConnection

OC Editors/OstomyConnection

16. To name or not to name?

OC Editors/OstomyConnection

OC Editors/OstomyConnection

17. Strange but true.

OC Editors/OstomyConnection

OC Editors/OstomyConnection

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