Having spent a wonderful few days on a beach in Spain, which is very unusual for us as my husband has a pathological loathing of sand I find it even harder to comprehend an article I saw in a newspaper a few weeks ago, where a gorgeous young lady was vilely verbally abused in her local swimming pool for "scaring children" with her ileostomy bag on display. There are so many things wrong with this I don't even know where to begin!
When I first read the story was enraged, I couldn't believe anyone would be so cruel and unnecessary to anyone for literally no reason, how ridiculous. How could she possibly "scare" children? Firstly she's stunning and secondly she'd only be above water for minutes if not seconds walking from the changing room to the pool, it just wouldn't be visible for very long at all, and even if it was, it's not scary, it's a flesh coloured plastic bag for heaven's sake, I hardly think it's going to scare anyone just because she poo's in a bag rather than a toilet, unless it was a carrier bag in the middle of a busy shopping center I don't think it's anyone else's business how she goes to the loo. ;)
Having given it some considerable thought, the only conclusion I can come to is the complainant is not very well, which is terribly sad, nothing else would make sense. (Cut out of the same mould as that lady a few years back that put the cat in a wheelie bin maybe?) People don't usually approach strangers and make comments, much less nasty complaints about their appearance due to a disability. I'm sure each and everyone of us has seen seen people dressed in ways we think is inappropriate or hideous even, but would anyone of us say something to them? No, I don't think so, it's just not how people normally behave.
How very distressing for this poor girl to be going out bravely into the world and getting on with her life. Going swimming is a big deal to a lot of ostomites, there is a lot of faffing involved, but it is a very good way of getting fit post abdominal surgery. For her be to be abused like that is so doubly cruel. For those that say she could or should have worn a full costume and covered it up, I say - why should she? This is not a police state, she can wear what she likes, besides a full costume can add pressure to the stoma making it pancake and leak, I'm sure we'd all prefer it on show rather than it leaking.
As I strolled along the beach in Spain, in my bikini, yes me at 43 with a saggy old body and a colostomy bag hanging free on show I found it even harder to accept that anyone would be so unkind. Yes, people often look at my bag, they'll possibly even stare or just a passing glance, but never once have I felt judged for it. I think it's more out of curiosity that malice, we all can be a bit nosey like that, I know I would be. Lets face it, my stoma is just a tiny part of the whole of me, my little stoma bag surely can't be viewed as scary or disgusting? If it is, I've just traumatized an entire beach full of people on the Costa Calida! :0
My advice to the young lady with her bag, carry on, swim free, live life and don't look back! We all should!