To not want to see my MIL'a colostomy bag again

(94 Posts)
AQuarkTooFar Thu 05-Sep-13 21:57:27

Once was enough, the second time was just not necessary!

No reason to show me it, she just thought I might be interested. Bleurgh not close enough for that chat.

My DM is now listing everyone she knows that has had a colostomy bag including the Queen Mum! hmm

reelingintheyears Thu 05-Sep-13 23:40:18

Well I don't blame you, I would not want to see anyone's colostomy bag either.
Shame that they have to have one but that doesn't mean I want to see it.

Full credit to the OP for taking views on board. It's nice to read an AIBU where the OP is open to opinion smile

Montybojangles Fri 06-Sep-13 08:37:08

Op, you say a couple of times that you aren't that close to your MIL, perhaps this is her way of trying to get closer to you? She may think sharing something so private with you will make you feel closer, and trusted perhaps.

mrsjay Fri 06-Sep-13 08:49:31

I think you have seen it once then twice that is enough now sounds like she has no filter and needs to stop showing it , I am assuming it is a recent operation and she is adjusting to change isn't she so of course she wants to talk about it,
is it you mum or mum in law i was confused If it is your mum just tell her to put it away , if it is your mil just nod and change the subject or just tell her she needs to put it away, of course she was ill and of course this bag has probably made her life a bit easier I hope she stops showing it off soon,

mrsjay Fri 06-Sep-13 08:52:28

just read the whole thread and it is your mil glad you are just going to let her show you and all that, but i do think there is a time when she needs to stop showing you she will adjust to it though, I had my bladder removed and I have a urostomy bag I dont show anybody my pee I dont know why anybody would want to know or see it tbh

Londonderrysue Fri 06-Sep-13 08:55:03

I've got a permanent ileostomy (like a colostomy only better!) and while my mum saw my bag, my dad hasn't, and none of my friends have. I didn't show them my bum, so why would I show them my bag. They all know about it, but no one has ever said they feel left out at not seeing it.

My lovely aunt has one.

She told me she got her baptism of fire when her dad once rang her in bits as he had a problem with his, and could she come from work to help him.
She said she felt really reluctant but then thought "Heck, lets do this, one day it could be ME with a colostomy bag". How right was she!? 20 years down the line but even so.

KurriKurri Fri 06-Sep-13 09:27:42

Perhaps talking about it with others is your MIL's easy of coping with what has happened to her (a pretty traumatic thing I imagine) and normalising it, so that people don't think she is odd. Its quite common for people who have had serious illnesses or conditions to feel slightly shunned by others, because people are embarrassed, or want to distance themselves from any kind of illness.

But the reality is that all sorts of unpleasant and 'not very socially acceptable' illnesses happen to lots of people. Hard enough having to cope with all the physical and emotional stuff surrounding such things, without having people think you are 'yuk'.

And those of us who have had some sort of medical procedure that makes us different from others, shouldn't be made to feel ashamed. More people would go to the doctor and get their problems dealt with before it is too late, if society wasn't so utterly hung up on things being yuk or embarassing.

I don't mean to be harsh to you OP - because you have agreed you WBU, but I think it is important to debate these things and bring such topics out into the open and discuss them sensibly and sensitively, because ultimately it can save peoples lives.

dreamingofthefuture Fri 06-Sep-13 09:33:44

I had to have an illeostomy bag without warning, it was that or death.

I am a very modest person but all of a sudden I kept "whipping up my skirt" to friends and relatives to show them my bag.

I felt it was dirty and I struggled to come to terms with it, in fact at first I did not even realise what was coming out of my stomach.

I think I had to show everybody as a coping mechanism and also to gauge their reactions. Luckily I have fab family and friends and nobody flinched, my sister in fact had an unhealthy obsession with it.

I am one of the lucky ones who has had a reversal and now I look back I cringe at how I kept whipping it out but I would please just ask anybody in the ops position to be sympathetic and not react. It is impossible to even begin to explain how having the bag affects you and your mental state.

RevoltingPeasant Fri 06-Sep-13 09:40:12

MrsJay hello fellow kidney sufferer grin

The thing is, I think talking about something can be a way of processing the shock. My kidney disease and subsequent ops came on quite suddenly. I have always thought of myself as quite stoical about health - don't go to the GP at the drop of a hat, self-mend where possible, train through injuries etc - but I found myself unable to stop thinking about it.

Something like disease in a major organ, big op etc, can be an intimation of mortality. I am 34 but my kidney problems made me feel old. I was suddenly in a ward with people with serious diabetes complications, and...and... stuff that I just thought would never happen to me! It actually made me feel weirdly humiliated and fragile.

Your MIL might just be having an 'oh hell I'm getting old and going to die one day, possibly of a horrible disease like bowel cancer' moment. She'll get over it. Glad you have.

Jelly15 Fri 06-Sep-13 09:40:18

My DM has one and she was traumatized by the whole illness, operation and coming to terms with the bag. She showed me and my sisters and described the contents regularly. It turned my stomach but I hid my feelings as she was so fragile mentally. Eventually she got use to it and she never mentions it.

wannabestressfree Fri 06-Sep-13 10:13:33

Revolting peasant you put how I feel so eloquently. I spend a lot of time in hospital and its predominantly older people. I was so blasé about my illness but suddenly it's hit me that I may die prematurely. I am due another op to resite my stoma which is flat and I know how an ever growing hernia behind it.....
All of a sudden I don't want it done. It's so liberating to write this as I haven't discussed it in real life. I am petrified of dying whilst in surgery as I have has other problems and don't heal well (due to crohns)
Thank you again for saying so eloquently what I have been struggling to say for so long....

NappyHappy Fri 06-Sep-13 13:13:30

Hi Wanna. DH was on the ward with the older folk too. We went through alot of fobbing off then only when he nearly died on me (the first time) did anyone take notice. Bag or die. It got put in 3yrs later that herniated then he had a left hemicolectomy (2nd time of nearly dying on me). We used to get followed round ASDA as the security thought he had a chicken up his top!!

SummerRain Fri 06-Sep-13 13:20:21

Sil had one for 5 years after a horrendous accident. I can't imagine having to live like that for 5 years, she was 20 at the time of the accident sad

I never saw it but she and mil talked about it pretty matter of factly. Because it was part of her life at the time and an inescapable and limiting part at that.

No it's not pleasant. So can you imagine living with it attached to you?

mrsjay Fri 06-Sep-13 13:39:44

MrsJay hello fellow kidney sufferer

Hi lovey grin you did put it well these things take a lot of acceptance, and it can take a while to realise that your body is ill and your body is changing and you have an extra bit attached to you still wouldn't show anybody

Talking about being on a ward I was 17 and on a ward with old dearies with problems down there and men with prostrate problems also ^down there^grin

wannabestressfree Fri 06-Sep-13 13:51:11

Nappy that made me laugh and I needed it today. My worst so far was a very unsympathetic virgin worker asking if I minded removing it whilst on flight with them as it poses a security risk (I rang them to inform them I wear a bag)...... I asked to be put through to someone who wasn't an idiot......

Even my own grandmother screwed up her nose and asked how my partner felt about it when I told her I had to have it put in. I responded he didn't have one so I assumed he was fine!!! That still makes my mum laugh.

I am not saying you have to have it out all the time. Mine is opaque so not really noticeable. You can buy underwear and swimwear so life carries on. It's just not that easy sometimes

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 06-Sep-13 13:55:35

my sister has had a colostomy bag for years and we are very close. I would still not like to see it and she has certainly never offered!

Theas18 Fri 06-Sep-13 14:02:34

OP good on you for listening. THis come under the category of " stuff that should be talked about more but isn't" y'know, like ...whispers.... periods... 20yrs ago.

My teenage DD texts her dad if she needs sanitary supplies and I'm stuck at work and neither of them bats an eyelid.

Taking about stomas and other slightly icky medical stuff helps them get accepted - the person on the end of the " poo bag" hasn't changed after all. The son of a very good friend (and close mate of DS) had a hell of a time recently and ended up with a stoma. The lads have been very accepting of all his paraphernalia, "belly farts" and the occasional leak at school. Poor guy would have had an even more miserable time than he did if his mates hadn't coped fine ( though they don't like him getting drunk, apparently that IS stinky!).

BadSeedsAddict Fri 06-Sep-13 14:08:14

Don't think you are being unreasonable at all, talking about how it affects you is one thing but if my MIL took me to the toilet to see something that had been round her gut I would find it very weird. It's possible to have sympathy with someone about something without having to look at their waste. Fair enough if they are concerned about it, but having emptied colostomy bags for people in residential care I certainly wouldn't be getting mine out to show to relatives.

BadSeedsAddict Fri 06-Sep-13 14:09:01

Agree that talking about it more is good though grin

NappyHappy Fri 06-Sep-13 15:46:06

Chest farts in inappropriate places too winkwink

The chicken was the prolapse, it was funny seeing the look on the guards face when explaining what it was. shock

A friend of ours has a stoma, again life or death situation and she has had a hell of a time with hers hmm but shes said talking has helped her but she doesn't show 'Harry' to anyone.

mrsjay Fri 06-Sep-13 16:25:30

I agree with BadSeedsAddicts we wouldnt go in and have a look at our mother in laws poop every day would we, of course talking about it is good she is coming to terms with it but she needs to keep it under cover imo

wannabestressfree Fri 06-Sep-13 16:29:20

Why does she need to keep it under cover. She clearly wants to wipe it out and talk about it. Good for her I say......

mrsjay Fri 06-Sep-13 16:33:28

you know there has to come a time when MIl needs to see this as a part of her and by not whipping it out to show people is what she needs to do eventually

ITCouldBeWorse Fri 06-Sep-13 16:37:45

I think most people would view a bag in a Matter of fact way - a bit like any visit to the loo. Mostly people would not call you to have a look before flushing and I think op responded like that.

I'm sure her mil is processing this new thing and talking about it is part of this.

Necessary evil I guess, like so much in life!

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