Let’s talk stomas. I recently read an article where someone talked about her experiences using facilities meant for people with disabilities. So I have some questions. Do you see yourself as disabled? Do you use the disabled seating on public transit? Do you use the disabled toilet, when you are in public restroom? Do you still carry around a large bag full of ostomy supplies?

I know my own answers to this, but I’m curious about others. Part of me wants to reach out this woman and get her into as many support groups as possible online and in person, because I feel like she’s taking on a lot of stress she doesn’t need. She’s currently campaigning to get stomas added to disabled stickers and signs. There are a lot of hidden diseases out there, and I just don’t feel there is enough room on a sign or sticker to cover all of them.

Why are we any more special than someone with MS? I believe (don’t cite me, I’m not positive) the universal symbol for disability is that stick figure in a wheelchair. That doesn’t matter what kind of disability you have, that’s just the symbol of disability(ies).

Anyway, I think this movement is a little silly, but that’s my personal opinion. I’m still curious to hear other stories. Particularly; have you ever used the disabled toilet in a public restroom and been chastised for it? I don’t subscribe to a lot of groups and I don’t have a lot of experience with being treated poorly, but I’ve heard some other stories. I’ve heard of people being rammed with wheelchairs or scooters, people getting yelled at or at the very least, the stink eye, when they use the disabled toilet or facilities.

Have you ever felt the need to use the disabled seating on public transit, because of your ostomy? This one confused me. I’ve used public transit before. I can’t say I’ve ever felt the need to use the disabled or priority seating because of my ostomy. There have been times I’ve used my bag to help block my ostomy, so no one bumps into me. I’ve also found myself hyper-aware of where people are, just in case I need to use my arms to stiff-arm someone who gets too close. I also find myself anxious about someone bumping into me and “bursting” my bag (popping the seal off). I’ve had my seal break before, but usually it’s after I’ve worn the bag for too long, or it’s a super hot day and the seal is compromised. And almost never because someone put pressure on it. I have no rational reason to be anxious, I just usually am.

So those are my curiosities. What are your experiences of being “bullied” or “abused” because you have an ostomy? Please reply either on the my original post on FB or on wordpress, so I get the updates. I think it would be good for some of us to share with each other.


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