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I can’t seem to find a word count function so I’m just going to guess on the 500 words…  

Today life seems a little unfair. I’ve recently had some medical problems and now have a bag attached to me. This bag serves a very important purpose, but one that doesn’t always smell so great or make for polite conversation.

You see, they stole part of my colon. Just cut me right open and took a chunk out of me and then rerouted what was left to a hole they cut in my stomach. They came at me with a bunch of “oh we saved your life” BS, but the only BS I cared about was the stuff coming out a hole in my stomach into a beige bag glued to my skin and held shut with velcro.

Do you know what it’s like to wake up in the ICU no longer having the ability to poop like a normal human being?

Of course, there was still plenty of blood spewing out of my butt, but poop? That goes into a bag I have to empty when it gets full. And did they ask me if I wanted it? No. They just told me I might wake up with one. So I passed out from the chemicals I was inhaling through a mask while staring at the ceiling naked in a stark white room praying I’d wake up still being able to rid my body of solid waste through the normal means.

But, no. I woke up with an 8-inch incision from just under my chest to just below my waist. They mutilated my belly button! The thought of getting my belly button pierced always made my skin crawl and here I am with it cut completely in half amid a jagged, bloody, fleshy fault line held together with shiny staples.

Did I mention it was Christmas Day?

Thankfully I woke up to my family in the room. My brother left his family on Christmas and flew in from North Carolina. My other brother left his family at home and came to be there for me. Of course, my parents were there too. And I can’t forget about the doctor who canceled his plans to perform the emergency, life-saving surgery.

Over the course of the next 30 days, nurses became my favorite people. No matter what came out of my body or when or how often, they arrived like angels with warm washcloths and new gowns. Nurses are a different breed of people. We’re talking bloody explosive diarrhea more than 10 times a day. We’re talking overfilled ostomy bags coming loose and spilling all over me and the floor. Never once did they make me feel bad or like it was a burden. Some even smiled and made light of cleaning up a stranger covered in a rank mixture of their own body fluids.

I think that’s 500 words. Anyway, that’s probably more than you wanted to know.  

Article credit: Robin Glover on