I’m really struggling with accepting Gob. The bag itself is not the issue. Having a hole in my tummy where a piece of intestine pokes out does not bring me shame or make me feel less than human, but I’m starting to feel a frustrating sense of loss.
Some of the loss is towards food. The ostomy itself doesn’t prohibit me from kneeling, or bending, or folding laundry, or fucking or doing most other things that I want to do. It isn’t that I don’t eat. Of course I do. Everyone does. Even if you are tube fed, you still eat, you just eat in a different way than most. That’s the thing. Everyone with gastroparesis eats, from the very mild cases to the very severe. Not everyone can eat by mouth, though that doesn’t mean they do not eat.
Before the surgery, I had more options for eating but I still struggled. Now? I can still eat things like white bread or white pasta, things that melt in your mouth or are soft like puddings and gelatin, things that are very low fat and very low fiber. I do still eat. I eat a lot of garbage food because eating garbage food is better than eating no food and whole foods are just not my reality.
I’ve been losing more and more foods for a long time now. I lose at least one or two foods out of my diet every month, and it’s not a very large amount of foods to begin with. I feel awful. I didn’t really realize before I got this surgery that I was going to lose even more, but that’s the way it is. If I hadn’t had the surgery, I would be so much worse off than I am now. My colon is completely paralyzed; it is useless.
Two days ago I had my first blockage, and it was stupid. I thought I could get away with tortilla chips and I did not. I didn’t wind up going to the hospital, because I recognized the signs I was warned about and I right away started doing all the things I was taught to unblock it. I was lucky. A hospital trip for a blockage would have been completely terrible. So, I can’t get away with tortilla chips, and I’m sure there are other foods I can’t get away with that I don’t know about yet. The trick is to keep experimenting (staying away from complete no-no foods like seeds and nuts) and take vigorous notes.
Aside from the foods that don’t bother my stomach, but now bother Gob, there’s the fact that I only have a couple months left of anal play of any type. You can’t have anal sex without a colon. The colon is designed to stretch, and the small intestine is not. When they re-hook up my intestines to my rectum I’ll never be able to have anal sex again. If that surgery does not work, and I wind up with an end ileostomy (which would mean a permanent bag) then I will not even have a rectum. So, there’s no chance there either.
It makes me really angry, and it’s so hard to accept that something I enjoy so much will not even be physically possible in a couple of months. You could say “make the most of things now!” but that would only piss me off even more. We are making the most of things now, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not already mourning something that I won’t be able to do. I just won’t have the physical capacity to do it at all. It’s not a preference, it’s not that I’d rather not. It will not be possible.
The more I think about it, anal sex is the thing that makes me the angriest. I will likely lose more and more foods over time due to my stomach problems, but I didn’t think this would happen to me. I didn’t think I’d be losing my colon or that I’d have an ostomy. Nowhere in my past was this even marginally hinted at. As someone who took a total of maybe two or three laxatives in their entire life before she was diagnosed with gastroparesis, this is just such a shock to me.
I realize that it might seem like small potatoes to others. I realize it might seem stupid to mourn an organ that’s already dead and to mourn the loss of an activity I do purely for pleasure, but to me it is a big deal and I’m not going to pretend to be happy about it to please anyone. I’m not happy about it. I realize that acceptance will come in time, and I’ll get more and more used to things. I realize that when the time comes I will just focus on what I can do, instead of what I wish I could do. But damn, it burns.