All in a Day's Work - Uncover Ostomy
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All in a Day’s Work

This morning, as I’m getting ready for work, my blackberry buzzes with a new email, subject heading; “Time for a chat?”

I read through it and it is a brother asking for me to come visit his sister in the hospital.  She is in a position, he writes, where she may require ostomy surgery. I read through the email and as I scroll down I see that they are family friends of the news anchor who was sitting across from me reporting the news in between the taping of the Dr. Karl show. This anchor had told me I was an inspiration and asked me for my contact info to give to this girl so she could ask me some questions. I read down to the end of the email and I realize that this girl is the same girl my doctor asked me yesterday to meet. Small world.

After work, I made my way down to Mount Sinai hospital and walked up to the 14th floor. There, I walked into the room of a meek and small girl, dressed in hospital robes, sitting up in her bed. She had just finished 1st year university but looked as if she was still in high school. I knocked on the door and asked if she was who I was supposed to meet and she shook her head, yes. It was hard for her to speak because her Crohn’s had given her ulcers in her mouth. She knew I was coming so she had her laptop sitting on her lap, open to questions she had typed out for me. I walked in, dressed in hospital robe myself, as all visitors had to cover themselves to go into her room. Of course, my talks never work unless I show off how hard it is to see my ostomy, so as I walked in, I took off my robe and asked her if she could see where my ostomy was under my tight white tanktop and tight black lululemon pants. Nope, she couldn’t see it.

I sat down and she began to read off her questions. To my surprise, she was more concerned with how she would be able to adapt with an ostomy then how others would perceive her. She said she wasn’t worried what others thought. Wow, she was one step ahead.

She asked me her questions and I answered them like normal. She smiled at my jokes and I could tell her face brightening when I gave her positive answers. After all of her questions were answered, we talked about other potential treatments, and who knew, but she had mentioned the offering of a bone marrow transplant; another patient with that opportunity! Again, I said my piece about how I was against bone marrow transplants and that it’s in her best interest to take the risk with an ostomy than a risk with a bone marrow drive, again, as I’ve experienced what can happen. She told me about some other potential treatments, ones I had never been offered, such as a radiation treatment that would prevent her from having kids in the future. I told her that with an ostomy, she’d still be able to have kids.

She seemed very open to everything I was saying and we continued to chat here and there. She asked about dating, but not much because, again, she didn’t seem worried. I told her my ostomy has never gotten in the way of my dating, especially since my facebook profile picture is a picture from the campaign so guys who have added me clearly know I have one and still ask me out. We chatted a bit more until she was all out of things to say. I didn’t want to stay too long as I knew the ulcers in her mouth made it painful to talk. So I said my goodbyes and I wished her luck. I told her to contact me when she was healthy and was released from jail…I mean… the hospital. haha

Hopefully today did her some good and she will make the right choice for her.

Wonder who the next patient I’ll talk to will be…

Jessica Grossman
  • Serina again:)
    Posted at 03:17h, 23 June

    That girl sounds alot like me in the beginning, the docters had mis-diagnosed me with Chromes, and I had the same deal. Ulsurs in my mouth, pen and paper in my hand, anyone who entered the room put this funny plastic gown on so they wouldnt get sick! You are doing a good thing, I feel comforted just reading that…