Friday, February 3, 2012

Accidents, Preparation, and “Friday”

After successfully putting it off for over two weeks, I finally bit the bullet today and did two loads of laundry. This had gone from a ‘running out of undies’ situation to ‘must clean poop-stained bedding’. If you’re confused, let me back up:

There’s little more to thinking ‘uh oh....’ in the middle of the night than waking up at 3 AM feeling wet and warm where your clean ostomy bag is supposed to be. Better yet, looking down and see the spreading stain of the output soaking my pajama buttons, jumping from bed and examining the bed sheets as well. And then, of course, tending to the small issue of cleaning myself up. The days of bed-wetting are a long forgotten memory - the only thing I can call to mind is being 5 or 6 and crying after an accident, totally embarrassed and disoriented in the hours of the early morning. I’m sure I will have great patience in cleaning up my future children post-accidents after my continuous experience (this week alone) of washing up and donning fresh clothes before hopping back in my (cleaned) bed. But accidents are better than no accidents - aka having a lot of output is always better than no output, or, as Shrek says, “it’s better out than in I always say”.

And that’s fine and dandy when I’m at home with my army of ostomy supplies, but it’s another story when I’m sitting in a classroom. Thankfully, I’ve always toted around a small bag of supplies with me, that came in incredible handiness this week. Preparation, preparation, preparation - the key to life. From slapping on a new bag to ripping a leaking one off, the skin around my stoma is raw and red and I cringe each time I peel it back, having found another leak. Every time I feel the stoma move, I think, is this an accident? It’s a total mind game, I try to ‘keep calm and carry on’ (or ‘yoga on’ or whatever the other variations my Dad sends me in an email). I no longer feel the embarrassment of a childhood-past, my attitude is so what, everyone poops, I just do it differently and more conveniently if you ask me. Last year when I was babysitting, the two girls were joking about someone they know who’s a baby and were saying that she probably pooped in her pants, and found this extremely entertaining. Then they turned to ask me, in between laughs, “Do you poop in your pants?” I had to grin and say no. Because an accident for me isn’t the same as it is for little kids being potty-trained. It may be inconvenient and annoying, but c’est la vie.

Finally, a daily reminder of the importance of laughing. At the end of my class this morning, after a quiz and a blur of a whole week, my professor held up his hands and asked if we wanted to see another music video (he always shows one at the beginning of class). We agreed, and he put up this video (click me to see it!) of Stephen Colbert singing Rebecca Black’s “Friday”. It was funny and everyone was laughing and it just made me think, even though the week had been filled with accidents, it had also been filled with good friends and good food and good times. 

After all, an accident is only a quick divergence or distraction on a path - but it’s being on the path that’s important to begin with. Trip gracefully, and make it part of the dance.


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