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Friendships can be slightly different when you rock an ostomy. Don’t worry, the basics haven’t changed. But you’ll probably experience one of these awkward relationships at some point or another, courtesy of your new appliance.

1) The friend who’s a little too fascinated.

This guy’s got a thing for bruises and scars, so naturally he’s a bit fixated on the whole “intestines outside the body” concept. Also, can he please see the stoma? Now? Later? Tomorrow?

The curiosity is endearing, and it’s nice that he’s not weird about it, but still… fending off constant questions about your body’s method of disposing waste does wear on one.

2) The friend who found out about your ostomy when you had a leak.

The topic of ostomies just never came up. And now you’re not sure if you should tell her?

Never mind, she just found out! The bag was being annoying and you had to make an adjustment and whoomp, there it is! LEAKAGE!!! NOT THE SUBTLE KIND!!!!

Thankfully, this friend was a total champion as you declared your immediate need for a bathroom. Furthermore, her unquestioning acceptance of your ostomy earns her big humanity points.

Still, you’re not sure if you will ever speak of this again.

3) The friend who can’t stop laughing when your stoma decides to be noisy.

This friend knows about the stoma and its games. Like how it enjoys being chatty when you’re out in public.

At moments like this, locking eyes with this friend leads to laughing/crying into weird silent laughter. You’re both basically nine years old.

4) The friend you tell WAY TOO MUCH information.

Possibly the same awkward friendship as the one above.

You and this friend have been through everything together, so she knows the intimate details of your ostomy story. If your stoma has a name, you both call it that and talk about its antics regularly. 

Given that you casually refer to the texture of your output while dining with this person, you should probably go out and buy her a gift immediately.

Then again, you valiantly endured a relationship with her annoying ex, so maybe you’re even.

5) The friend who tries to be cool, but looks like they’re going to pass out when you mention it.

This friend gets squeamish around any mention of bodily humors and cannot handle your ostomy.

He does try to stay cool, and for that you give him credit. But you notice all of the color drains out of his face if you happen to unveil your bag, or even talk about it, so you do your best to pretend it doesn’t exist when you’re around him.

Kind of awkward, but the power to make someone faint if you wanted is the smallest bit intoxicating.

6) The friend whose food you keep having to reject.

Sorry, can’t do popcorn. Thanks, though.

Beets. Nuff said.

Nope to almonds.

Uncooked broccoli? Heh. Can’t chance it today.

Why does this friend eat nothing but fiber?

7) The friend who also has an ostomy.

They call our group “ostomates” for a reason, right? Wearing a bag means gaining a giant network of new mates. They might be in person, online, over the phone, via Instagram, or whatever, but these friends get you in a way that’s hard to match.

And the jokes... oh, the jokes. Outsiders, listen at your peril. You never imagined life taking you down this road, but it’s nice to know you’re not alone for the ride.