My funny colostomy bag phobias

Yesterday I explained all about the adjustment to learning to live with a colostomy bag.  Today I share some of the funny scenarios a creative imagination along with a little worry and doubt can only create in your mind.  I’ll start with the simple and move to the more complex.

Phobia #1

Well, the first phobia on practically everyone’s mind dealing with an ostomy is “What if it springs a leak?”  And even worse, “What if I’m not carrying any spare bags when it happens?”

Not along ago my wife was about to put on a new bag and noticed it had a hole or slice in it … phobia #1 averted!

Phobia #2

As I shared yesterday, your gas does not release into the atmosphere (ostomy patients do their part to save the ozone layer) but is captured in the bag.  And sometime it gets REALLY inflated … TAUTLY inflated … I mean what would happen if it popped from overinflation?  Or worse, I begin to feel my feet leave the ground …

Just to show you what a warped mind I have, I told my wife if I could just control this, she could rent me out to birthday parties … she didn’t think it was funny either.

Phobia #3

“What if the bag gets so full before I can drain it, that it pulls away from my skin and the stoma?”  Oh wait a minute … that has already happened.

Phobia #4

OK, so when I use a public restroom, I go in and sit on the toilet without pulling my pants down (I pull my shirt up with a colostomy).  And then I proceed to put on my rubber gloves … and they can be both noisy and snappy.  “What does the guy in the stall next to me think I’m doing?” and even worse … “What if he calls security?”  or even doubly worse … sorry I can’t repeat that one.

Phobia #5 (the finale)

Last week we were on the way home from running some errands and needed to stop at the local grocery store.  I was carrying a full load as I ran in to pick up two items.

I got my two items and was headed to the checkout.

“Why is that guy stocking shelves studying me so closely?”

“What if he thinks that the bulge under my shirt is something that I’m shoplifting?”

“What was that code they just announced over the PA system?”

So I hurried to the checkout and of course at this point phobia is transforming into paranoia.

“Why is the bag boy watching me so closely?”

“Why is the cashier studying me so carefully and sternly?”

And then of course I lean against the counter and my bag makes a crinkling sound … under my shirt … just like a bag full of Dove Dark Chocolate Almond Promises.

“Tell me this isn’t happening.”

I have paid for my two items and am just about out the sliding doors. Then my imagination runs wild like the bulls through the streets of Pamplona, Spain.

“Could you come with me sir?”, demands the manager.

“What’s the problem?” I ask.

“We would really rather do this in private sir.”

“No, right here is just fine” I insist.

“You need to show us what is under your shirt, sir.”

“You really don’t want to see what’s under my shirt.” I say knowing this is going to get worse before it gets better.

“Do we need to call the police?” he asks.

“The police really don’t want to see what’s under my shirt either.”  I said it a bit too quickly realizing a moment too late I had just lit a fuse … as I saw the police office coming through the front door.

In a voice and a manner that seemed to suggest ‘Don’t mess with me old man’, the young police officer told me to, “Show us what’s under your shirt.”

So just like a good cop in a TV drama, I flashed him my badge … ummm, I mean bag … to a chorus of ‘Oh, cr..!’ and faces that suddenly lost all their color.

And of course my imagination rewards me for having such a vivid paranoia.  Being so falsely accused earns me a free and full cart of groceries as well as a police escort home … No, none of this really happened … but its nice for a nightmare to have a happy ending!

That’s why its called a phobia … yes, I have faith … but there are times I allow fear to push its foot in the door … if only momentarily.

Hope I didn’t offend anyone with this … sometimes I find humor to be the best way to put the challenges I am faced with into a proper perspective.

Better leave Jesus out of this post … the blame is all mine!


About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
This entry was posted in Cancer & Medicine, Humor, Reflections and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to My funny colostomy bag phobias

  1. Ray White says:

    My wife has a bag and we can really laugh at and identify with all you said.

    • bwebbjr says:

      Hi Ray – nice to meet you. Only one who has a bag can probably appreciate how real these phobias can seem. Glad to hear it prompted laughter … May God bless you and your wife and may these phobias never become reality in her life!


  2. lindylu44 says:

    I had all of those phobias as well. My advice: stay away from saurkraut…trust me on this.

    • bwebbjr says:

      Believe me … staying away from sauerkraut will not be an issue … and I will trust you on that. This is probably one of those posts that only a person with a bag can appreciate … thanks for sharing the fact that you encountered them as well.


  3. Arif says:

    Hi bernie

    I just had an ileostomy and have a ouch now and have some of your phobias too.

    Thank you for making me smile 🙂

    • bwebbjr says:

      Hi Arif,

      Nice to meet you. I hope your adjustment to the ileostomy goes smoothly and without any problems. I have been living with a colostomy bag for nearly a year now and it has become second nature … I can’t imagine life any other way and it helps improve my odds in the battle against colon cancer.

      Glad to hear it made you smile … may God bless you my new friend!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s