Human Stuffed Animal - Uncover Ostomy
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Human Stuffed Animal

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed me mention that today was another battle between me and the scalpel. Surprise surprise- I had to have yet one more surgery done today for the same issues I’ve been having for months.

Luckily, this time was the most minor of all the surgeries I have had done and there doesn’t seem to be any residual side effects.

Since it was so minor, I was only given a local anesthetic in the area. I was nervous because I hate the feeling of those numbing needles. They sting much stronger than a regular needle, and the area was already sensitive. With the doctor’s gentle touch, thankfully, I hardly felt a thing.

That’s the beauty of a local anesthetic; you know the doctor is doing his thing because of the pressure you feel on the area, but it doesn’t hurt. I was pretty calm throughout the whole process because I couldn’t feel it, and I expected not to feel anything at all. I was relaxed. It was nice.

That was until I felt a strange tugging sensation. Not that it hurt, but it felt like my skin was being moved in a weird motion.. almost like… I was being sewn up.

Now I don’t know if you’ve ever had stitches done (or stitches done while you were awake) but this was the first time I’ve had them done (awake). It was, by far, the most awkward and strange feeling I’ve ever felt. Not only did I feel uncomfortable, but mentally, I felt a little violated. There I was, just lying on the table, like a human stuffed animal being sewn back together after a bratty two-year old has ripped my arm off. I could feel myself being repaired.

Now, that is a very strange feeling.

Currently, I am in no pain. Am I still numb? Probably. I don’t anticipate it being that bad later tonight.

I just can’t shake  the feeling of me lying on the table like a broken object being sewn back together. It’s weird.


Is it crazy?

Am I crazy?


I don’t like stitches.


Got any crazy stories about that one time you had to get stitches? How did you get them? What did it feel like to be stitched up? Did you feel like me? (Or am I really, actually crazy?)

Jessica Grossman
  • Joy M
    Posted at 01:44h, 24 April Reply

    I had 3 ft. of my lower intestines removed as a child…I was all doped up on morphine, so I remember almost nothing. But for years and years, I wanted nothing more then to get to the inside of the long scar that snaked lengthwise around my navel. Lucky enough to dodge the c-bag…..but was 6 inches away from having one forever. I used to hate the scar, it was a major hinderance in high school to discover that scar tissue prohibited the chiseling of my abs like other girls had. But Eating well and exercising has fit me at an acceptable body type, something i can not cry about. I will always loathe the scar, its about 5.5 inches, and is the ever-forever obstacle in whether I buy a one piece bathing suit or not. But, I have family with the c-bag, and work as a nurse… I know I have less to complain about then others. Getting cut open is one F-ed up experience, especially after you watch a few surgeries. they work fast and furious, but alway in your best interest and always to show off their good skills. {Girls only like guys with good skills!, lol} I can’t imagine having to have been conscious for it. Good luck with your recovery, and be sure to keep all of your wound care or post op office appointments! and don’t refuse those pain meds if you need them, they are a tool to be used….I know I don’t need to tell you that….You’ll be back up and running in no time!

    Joy {29/F- Arcata, CA}

    Ps: Love your blog and your whole campaign!

    • Jess
      Posted at 02:44h, 25 April Reply

      Thank you so much, Joy!

  • Christina R
    Posted at 01:51h, 24 April Reply

    A few times I woke up while I was getting a colonoscopy…that was horrible. It hurt so bad. The doctor noticed that I was awake and instantly gave me more medication to knock me out!

    I have a permanent ileostomy and I had to go back into the hospital about a month afterwards due to unknown reasons but as it turns out I was having an adrenal crisis from lowering prednisone too quickly. Anyway, they thought I had an abscess and put drains back in. I was awake for that and it was the worse pain that I’d ever felt. I was so sick that I could barely talk and I don’t know if they realized that I was awake. I cried the whole time….worse feeling EVER.

    Glad that’s over and I haven’t had any problems since!

    • Jess
      Posted at 02:45h, 25 April Reply

      I have never woken up during those and I hope I never do! (Obviously, I don’t get colonoscopies, but I get the stoma versions of them!)
      Glad you aren’t having any problems now!

  • Carol Mac
    Posted at 05:49h, 24 April Reply

    I actually watched the doc sew me up once. I’d had an emergency surgery and the incision had gotten infected, so after it cleared up he stitched me back together during an office visit. My belly was numb, so it didn’t hurt, but I could feel it. Definitely a weird experience, but it was also fascinating. Totally shocked the nurses that I was watching and asking questions – that part was funny. But yes, it’s an odd thing to see. Almost an out-of-body experience, like you’re watching someone else.

    • Jess
      Posted at 02:45h, 25 April Reply

      I wasn’t able to watch from the angle I was at, but I think it would have hurt if I watched it!

  • sam
    Posted at 08:43h, 24 April Reply

    The weirdest feeling ever was having a giant stitch taken out! There was a super long one taken out of my midline wound when I had my ostomy formed. Yeeeouch!

    • Jess
      Posted at 02:46h, 25 April Reply

      Ouch, that must have been awful. I had a whole bunch taken out of my PIC line back in the day and I wouldn’t stop screaming… But that was a whole different experience.

  • Chloe
    Posted at 19:42h, 25 April Reply

    i think i was awake for my last surgery when i was 4 1/2. they were just closing up the hole from my G-tube, so they might as well ahve kept me awake. i bet i would have felt like a teddy bear being fixed, if i had stopped screaming!

  • Donna
    Posted at 23:34h, 25 April Reply


    I admire you so much for your courage to do the Uncover campaign. I am much older than you, 57. I just found out that my ostomy is permanent. I cried on and off for a week and a half. Seeing your courage helps me be strong. You are a beautiful lady. God bless you in all you do. I will keep up with you. Thank you again. Your work helps me feel not quite as alone.


    Donna F.

    • Jess
      Posted at 04:04h, 28 April Reply


      I am so glad I can help you! No need to be sad- mines permanent too! Welcome to the club :]

      Take care!

  • Vickie White
    Posted at 14:14h, 26 April Reply

    Hi Jess, I love your blog and your uncover ostomy site. It is so wonderful to see another person like me being vocal & positive about Ostomy surgery, I was the face & voice for years behind the BCIR campaign in Florida. I’ve had my ileostomy since 1981 and it is just a part of me-no big deal, what the heck is normal, LOL. I started with a Brooke, went to the bcir and am back to my Brooke-full circle. I hate cutting, sewing and pasting on me too-my brother always lovingly told me I was a science project and I truly think he was right. Keep up your great work and continue to share your challenges, both up and down-you are a huge inspiration to so many.

    • Jess
      Posted at 04:05h, 28 April Reply

      Thanks Vickie!

  • Bottled Time Tosha
    Posted at 22:29h, 27 April Reply

    I’ve gotten stitches a few times, and it is a very odd feeling. Especially while you’re watching and your brain is telling you, “That should really hurt! And Holy Moley, I have string through my skin!”

    I love your stitched up Teddy Bear anaology. I kept picturing you as the doll from The Land of Misfit Toys.

    My most odd or painful tests, were not actually the stitches. Luckily the numbing worked during those! I did do one colonscopy while awake before my total colectomy, and quickly decided that I was not going to repeat that – ever! I did wind up repeating the stoma version awake though. Anyone else on here with a stoma or j-pouch always wind up with about 50 (slight exaggeration – it’s probably closer to 49) people in the room so that they can see your procedure, as many have never seen one done before?

    I have also done several barium studies with the tube up my bum – fully conscious. Again with numerous people in the room. These are actually very uncomfortable for me (beyond the cramping) as I have some dysfunction in my j-booty. Which brings us to probably the worse test I had. I forget it’s name, but part of it was to test my control. A device is inserted into the bum and you have to squeeze and release several times in different locations. A balloon also fills up while it is in there. My tech was unaware that I had a j-pouch (and completely unaware that it had a type of blockage), and had never performed the test on anyone with a j-pouch. The rod was stuck and through my tears he kept telling me that I was just uncomfortable and needed to relax. Eventually he got frustrated and forced the rod in, ripping my pouch. There were some parts of him that I wanted to make “uncomfortable.”

    Now for my most embarrassing. The defecation study. This doesn’t really cause any pain except to your pride. True to its name, you have to defecate – into a bucket, on top of a platform, while people watch (and hold your hand to help you balance) and take x-rays. Can a girl get a little privacy please?

    Very glad I found your blog! Looking forward to exploring the archives!

    • Jess
      Posted at 04:06h, 28 April Reply

      Haha I would have never considered myself a misfit toy, but thaaaanks 😉

      Word of advice- always always always get put to sleep when they can do it!

      You’ve had way crazier experiences than I have, that’s insane. Keep up the pride, though!

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