I’m Not Complaining, But Sometimes I Wonder…

I’ve had an ostomy for 10 years now.  When I was told I’d have to have one due to colon cancer I had the normal, “Well that sounds pretty terrible” reaction. It was hard to imagine ever returning to normal life with part of my bowel poking out of me and a pouch hanging off my abdomen.

But, as is often the case, I discovered that life does go on. That having an ostomy is not really a big deal unless I make it a big deal. Before too long most things were nearly back to normal…relationships, work, travel, exercise including marathons and the Ironman.

Basically an ostomy is a medical technology that fixes a defect. I wear glasses too…another thing that fixes a medical defect. And that got me thinking about the “coolness” rankings of medical technology. 

Let’s keep it simple and rate just three devices:

Ostomy - Uncool. OK, let’s face it, decidedly not cool. No need to be ashamed of it but don’t expect any compliments.

Glasses - Depends. There was a time when wearing glasses was not cool at all…back in the day when you had your choice of either black or brown plastic frames. Now, of course, glasses are a fashion accessory. So I would say glasses are fashionable, but not especially cool.

Artificial Leg - Cool. Yes, a shame you lost your leg but that carbon fiber blade is a real conversation starter. Oh, and it may actually let you run faster?  The main benefit of my ostomy is that I can poop in a meeting without having to leave the conference room.

So, while I’m grateful to my ostomy for saving my life, I must admit that I sometimes whisper: “But why couldn’t you be just a little cooler?”


  1. Chris, I absolutely love the idea of being able to poop in a meeting. Especially if it were to be a Trump cabinet meeting. Great stuff. Kind regards, Patrick.


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