I've actually only told a handful of people that I had a temporary ileostomy. It never crossed my mind to share this information with others, especially if they weren't in the same circles as me. Sometimes I think I'm alone in my views. Maybe I just look at it differently? Our personalities and experiences seem to shape our opinions and contribute to how we cope with things in life. My viewpoint comes from a lifelong battle with chronic illness. I've been very open about me and my family history of Familial Adenomatous Polyposis. Hindsight always seems so apparent after making it through to the other side, and sometimes it's hard for me to remember what it was like being newly diagnosed with FAP.
One of the most difficult dilemmas people face in relationships is when to tell potential partners something that could scare them away. I always followed the rule of share what's comfortable. I never had any issues, probably because the only people who've known all of the details of my medical history are my parents. I found it bizarre when told stories that a child's entire class or school were told the child had an ostomy. I never understood that, but my parents also didn't openly share my health details with anyone either. There's no right or wrong way, we all do things based on our personal philosophies. Some might find keeping my ostomy private odd, but I tend to just do things on my own.
Another sharing I've never been comfortable with is the open visibility of an ostomy bag. I don't think anyone should be ashamed of it, but it's just something I was always felt very modest about. I don't feel that others need to see me walking around with my bag hanging out. I don't see the need to show them how I go to the bathroom. That being said, I do find social awareness campaigns, like Uncover Ostomy, to be very well executed in its portrayal and ability to raise awareness. But again, each of us can choose "how" to raise awareness and educate others in different ways and approaches.
Each approach will be best received by different groups. I remind myself of this when I see ostomates doing public activities with their ostomy pouch exposed. I know the intent and I agree with the intent. I just chose a more timid route of education. It would be nice to be less inhibited, but I tend to stick to the philosophy that my health issues aren't everyone's business and not everyone needs to know everything. And those who I do share everything with, I think they probably wouldn't mind if I didn't always share everything. Ha-ha.
To each their own.
Article credit: Life's a Polyp