So it happened. I read about it and thought, “no way; that will NEVER be me.” Like many other things in life, I was wrong. The other night, I was sleeping soundly in bed…a little too soundly…when I was awakened by an odd sensation–a rippling against my belly if you will–and pulled back the sheets to discover my ostomy bag inflated to the size of a whoopie cushion and stool pooling beneath my wafer and onto my skin, my sheets, my pajamas. In a horrifically amusing fit of tears and rage, I waddled to the bathroom and turned on the shower. I pulled off my leaking bag and thoroughly cleaned myself head to toe thrice over wondering how I could have possibly allowed such a thing to occur. Honestly, it was out of my control. For my own personal reasons, I hadn’t been sleeping well in the last week. Exhaustion overcame me and just like that my nightly “empty bag alarm” took a snooze along with me. Let me say this: allowing yourself to hit the snooze button on that alarm has disasterous consequences! After I had put on a new bag and new pajamas, I snuck back into my bedroom and ripped the fouled sheets and pillowcases off my bed. As I tiptoed down the stairs, stinky bundle in hand, I hoped no one in my house was awake. It was embarrassing enough waking up in my own feces, but to have my family find out about it would be mortifying! Of course, I am writing it on my blog so I suppose it really doesn’t matter. Then again, I don’t have to live with my readers…family I do…for now anyway. I put everything in the washer and overloaded it with detergent. I thought I was home free as I slid upstairs only to find my mother standing in the hallway by my bedroom door. “What are you doing? It’s 4:30 in the morning?” she whispered. “Laundry,” I whispered, waving my arm and struggling to hide the bottle of febreeze I’d smuggled under my arm. “What happened? I heard the shower running.” “Ummm…I had an accident.” At this point I burst into another barrage of tears. My mother wrapped her arms around my shaking shoulders and chuckled. “Hey, shit happens.”
I love my mother.
Ever since then though, it’s been even harder to sleep because I fear a repeat. I’m trying to eat earlier to avoid increased activity in the evening. I also empty before bed no matter what (which I’ve always made a part of my nightly routine). Still doesn’t put me at ease. I’m sure over time, I’ll forget about it and everything will return to its original state.
In other news, a good friend of mine, Sean J, just had his ileostomy take down yesterday with success thus far! Keep him in your thoughts for a speedy recovery and congrats on his FINAL step! Yay!