Counting my blessings and ostomy supplies

Hello Again. It's been too long since I've posted. I've been struggling since my last post back in October. Haven't felt very inspired to write or do much of anything.

Winter blues have set in I guess.

My pain level is always worse during this time too which doesn't help my ever worsening attitude. December through March seem to be the hardest months for me. The weather sucks, especially January and February. These are the coldest, ugliest and shortest days. Groundhog day just makes me wanna cuss. Punxsutawney Phil, stupid animal. I really can't blame him though, I'd do exactly the same thing in his...fur.

It's snowing today. Expecting up to 5 inches too. Not helping.

It is pretty though, I'll give it that.

I'm going to stop my negative train of thought here. After all, it is not productive and only proceeds to worsen my attitude.

So, what's the best way to change my thought pattern? It's not hard really, I just need to step outside of myself and look at all the blessings in my life.
Shelter? Check.
Food/Water? Check.
Clothing? Check.
Transportation? Check.
Income? Check.
People who love and support me? Double Check.
Yep, my basics and so much more are covered with out much thought honestly. It doesn't take much to realize that things are pretty good. When I do this I feel very foolish and selfish for wallowing in my own pittifulness. (yes, I made that word up.)

OK, time to move forward and out of this stupid holding pattern I've been in.

This week I will be 41. This is another thing that gets me when I realize how ridiculous I'm being. Birthdays have never bothered me. I'm not too worried about getting older in fact, I'm quite the opposite. I actually love that I am able to celebrate another year! The number is truly inconsequential to me. I almost didn't see 38 so 41 looks pretty damn good. I have several friends who have not seen this side of 40 and their families would love to celebrate another birthday with them.

I find it quite ironic that my birthday is during the worst time of the year for me. Maybe, it's to give me something to look forward to. An opportunity to meet up with the people I love and celebrate. A reason to drag my rear out of bed.

It's now been 2 years since my ostomy surgery. Hard to believe. It's taken every single day of these 2 years to feel like I've finally got this thing down. The times where I've had an issue I seem to take it in stride. I've got my emergency stashes in my purse and my car. My last "bagcident" (bag + accident = bagcident) happened just before Christmas while I was headed in to town to meet a friend for lunch and shopping. I was wearing black leggings and a tunic shirt thank goodness and you'll see why in a minute.

So here's the story: I could tell something wasn't right as I drove in. We live about 10 miles outside the city limits so there's not much I could do until I got to my destination. Anyway, I pull into the parking lot and sneak a peak inside my leggings to see what was going on. What I discovered was that I had a bit of a leak. I grabbed my wipes from my car kit and threw them in my purse along with another bag just in case and headed in the store to the bathroom.  As I pull my leggings down, I realize that this is not going to be an easy clean up. It wasn't just a little leak, it was massive! My undies are covered in poo! (I tuck my bag inside my underwear to keep it close and secure to my body.) This presents quite a problem as I do not have spare undies with me. I also come to the conclusion that I need to strip in order to protect my other clothes.
This is not my idea of a great start to a fun day. Here I am in a public restroom taking off all my clothes including my socks so I don't risk getting more poo anywhere else. I will say there's one thing that worked in my favor here, the restroom is a single and not a multi stall so I was able to lock the door and have plenty of room and privacy. However my joy is short lived when I realize there are exactly 3 paper towels left and less than a quarter of a roll of toilet paper which, of course, is single ply. At least I had the travel sized wet wipes from the car.
Now I'm concerned about what I'm going to stand on once I remove my boots. The floor is somewhat clean but nothing I want my bare feet on. I can't afford to put paper towels down to stand on, there's a good chance I will need those for clean up duty. I decide the only option is to lay my boots on their sides and stand on them that way.
As I remove my clothing, including my tunic because I can't get poo on that, I notice that my leggings are in pretty good shape. There is only a little spot at the top that's soiled. It's a miracle and I say that because they should have looked just like my undies.
Well, there's no point in trying to save the underwear so in the trash they go. Now, I need to figure out why my bag leaked. In my investigation, I find that it is properly sealed both to my wafer and at the bottom where it empties. So where is the leak from? I decide to remove it and replace it with a new one and as I'm doing so, I find the source of the leak. There is a hole in the underside of the bag near the top where it connects to the wafer. It's not a big hole but enough so that about 1/2 of my output can find it's way out. This is a factory default and it makes me mad!
Ostomy supplies are not cheap! Our insurance will cover 3 boxes a month which is awesome. It allows me to wear a new bag every day. Not many people have this luxury. I know several who are only allowed 1 box a month. The bags that I use come 20 to a box. If I only got 1 box a month and then found a defect in a bag, it would be a serious issue. As it is, I am able to stock pile my supplies. I always get the maximum amount I'm allowed just in case of an emergency. I have to mail order my supplies since they are not carried by pharmacies around here. There's no midnight run to Walmart like when you run out of toilet paper!
I should add ostomy supplies to the above listing of my blessings...
Ooops, I got on a soap box there, sorry. Back to my story now.
Let's see, where was I? Oh right,just threw the bag and the undies away. Now, I'm standing on my boots, stark naked holding wet wipes and 3 paper towels. Time to start the clean up process.
I'm finally clean after basically taking a sponge bath in a public restroom so I start in on cleaning my leggings. I decide the only option I have to get them clean is to run the waistband under the tap and of course, there is no hot water. At least it's a real faucet and not one of those you have to push the knob down for a 5 second high pressured blast of water.
Did I mention it's like 30 degrees outside? Well, it is and now I'll be wearing leggings that are wet at the top. Bonus.
I finally resurface from the bathroom 20 minutes later and apologize to my sweet friend who proceeds to make poop jokes. I love her for that! That folks, is when you know you have a good friend.







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