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 painkillers). 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.

TEXT 8

9. Realizing your fragility.

TEXT 9

10. New book title?

TEXT 10

11. How eating has changed.

TEXT 11

12. Every. Single. Day.

TEXT 12

13. Stomas are terrible sleepers.

TEXT 13

14. It's nothing personal.

TEXT 14

15. Any progress is a celebration.

TEXT 15

16. To name or not to name?

TEXT 16

17. Strange but true.

TEXT 17

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