Oh, what to do? All these people bringing us food. All these people visiting. Eat, drink and make merry as it where.

Janet tells me the freezer is fuller. The fridge is fuller. We have nowhere to put all this food. Kali and David brought dinner and themselves over. He is an amazing cook and the food was as great as expected. I cannot eat much which is a shame.

Brenda brings food for us. Diana brings food. Janet starts turning people away. There really is nowhere to put the stuff, and we cannot eat it fast enough.

My brother calls me from Atlanta. He is going to Washington to visit our one remaining Aunt (father’s side). All the family there is concerned about and already have started sending their love. He wants to visit but does not want to be in the way. Visit away, I say. He should be up on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, we eat and visit. And sleep. I get tired very quickly and excuse myself regularly from visitors to go lie down.

We also go for walks, not long ones but they are very valuable. The weather is holding up which makes for amazing times. We walk to the corner and sit on the park bench to watch life. Just sit and watch. Joy, oh bliss. Who would have ever thought that just sitting and watching would bring such pleasure. Janet is my most regular companion. Devin and Leslie join me on occasion. I try to take two walks a day but am happy if I take one.

What a life. Sleep, eat, poo and empty the bag. The nurse comes every day to take a look see. Four of my sutures have not held and I have a big gash in my stomach. The colostomy bag is about 2 inches to the left of my navel. The gash is right above my navel. The nurse puts a bandage over the gash which includes some liquid solutions to help the healing process.

The problem is that the liquids make the area a bit wetter than the colostomy bag likes, The tapes holding the bag come lose, and the liquid poo starts leaking toward the gash. You can imagine the many levels of unpleasantness that the situation creates. First is the danger of infection, and second is the embarrassment of the pungent aroma that starts to emanate from my body. Every fart adds a nuance to the conversation that I could do without.

And so the nurse comes in every day to change the bandages, clean out the area and re-tape everything hoping for the best. The home care nurses finally called in the heavy guns. Annmarie the wound nurse is called in. A bubbly blond shows up at the house, removes all the tapes and exclaims with great joy: What a great wound! So red and beautiful. You are in great shape. And she is not talking about my new physique either. She is in love with my injuries. With great efficiency and using some products I have not seen before, she cleans the stomach, places the new magical products in the right places, and tapes the whole thing down using Opsite Flexifix. The bandages hold for three days. What a relief. She is truly a GODDESS.

My usual nurse, Barbara Moffatt comes on a regular basis. She calls ahead to make sure I need her. She is fantastic and we have great conversations. She is a veteran at this and has seen it all. Calls everyone My Dear which is so endearing and also means she does not have to remember names. It took a couple of weeks for her to start calling me by my name. We get along just famously.

I have had a few nurses: Natalie, Barb, Sue, Annmarie, Lynn and Annie. Characters, one and all. They all have a different piece of advice to offer. Each brings their experience to the table. It is really fun to have them around.

There are three types of colostomy bags. The first one inflates whenever you fart, forcing you to eventually “burp the bag”. This releases a stench into the air. I usually burp the bag outside. The second type looks like the first one, except it has carbon filters and expels the farts right away. It works reasonably well, until either the bag has some content, or the filters get wet. The latter happens whenever you clean the bag, while the former happens, well all the time. Both these bags come with instructions on how to clean their contents. The third bag is the most expensive. It comes with the filters but is disposable. No cleaning, no muss, no fuss.

The real question is, are you ready? How do you have sex with a bag hanging around your waist? A bag with poo in it. A bag that collects poo while you are having sex. A bag into which you are farting while you are having sex. Not that the energy level is there for anything close to sex, but the questions are there and bug the hell out of me.

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