09 Dec I’m All For Mutual Awareness, But Not In This Case
Today, an article by Cosmo magazine was brought to my attention.
The girl who shared it with me shared it on my Facebook wall was extremely excited that the article was promoting Ulcerative Colitis and the Ostomy.
I was extremely excited too- about time!
I was excited, that is, until I read it.
If you read through this article, you will see some great awareness about the difficulty that Ulcerative Colitis patients face. Jennifer Martin, the subject of this article, goes into great detail about her symptoms and paints a very real picture of living with the disease. It was a great way to spread awareness about this terrible disease.
While this was great awareness for Ulcerative Colitis, it was definitely not great awareness for the ostomy. In fact, it was the opposite.
If you read a little further in, you’ll realize that she refers to her “poopbag,” or temporary ostomy before her J-Pouch, in an extremely negative light.
“…I couldn’t enjoy food and was attached to a poopbag.”
“When I woke up from the last surgery and wasn’t attached to the bag, it was the best feeling in the world.”
Sounds like she couldn’t get rid of it fast enough. Which, in her case, might not have been the best option, because if you read on, she continued to have issues post J-Pouch surgery.
I’m all for awareness for IBD, don’t get me wrong, but not when it’s anti-awareness for one of its helpful, if not necessary remedies.
I think what I find most disturbing about this article is that Jenn is not just a random girl with the disease. No, Jenn actually runs support website for those with Crohns and Colitis. She has a voice.
According to Cosmo, a very large voice.
I am deeply saddened by this article and have written a message to cosmo about it here. In my letter, I applaud them for discussing the much needed topic of IBD, but I insist that the article painted the ostomy in a negative light. I suggested that a supplementary article be written to combat this and gave them this website as a resource. I encourage you to do the same.
Thanks guys <3
Edit: I would like to clarify that I, in no way, am referring to having J-Pouch surgery as a bad thing, nor am I trying to offend those who opted to have it. If you can successfully have the surgery, all the power to you. What I have merely tried to state here is just because someone can have the J Pouch surgery and no longer have to have an ostomy, it does not make it ok to say negative things about it in an article with an enormous audience. Speaking as representative of those with IBD and as a past ostomy patient, she should not have painted the ostomy so negatively. As I commented on the Facebook link, if a homeless man won the lottery, is it ok for him to insult those who are still on the streets? What do you think?