The prompt for day 24 of National Health Blog Post Month is to write a TV episode of our favorite show that features someone with our condition and share what we would want others to know about it. I am going to model this post after that but do it a bit differently. I want to talk about an episode of Sex and the City where Charlotte, Carrie, Miranda and Samantha go to a purse party. The purses were created by a friend of theirs after going through a bad break up and were pretty hideous. Samantha’s reaction was “I’d rather carry a colostomy bag.”
Kim Cattrall’s facial expression when saying this made it even more obvious that she and the writers looked at colostomies in a negative light. Now, I know it isn’t her personally who looks at it like that and I know that in general, the term “colostomy bag” is the universal term for any type of ostomy (I still have IBDers say they have a colostomy when they don’t, or doctors insist that I have one). I remember watching this episode when I had my first ileostomy and was very taken aback by it. I had true hatred for this wretched thing on my stomach and when I heard someone from one of my favorite shows make that type of remark, I was floored. I just couldn’t help but think how unnecessary it was. The episode would have been just as great and just as funny if that comment hadn’t been made. It simply didn’t need to be in there to make a point that the bags were ugly.
There are some things in a television show or movie that I find so offensive and so inexcusable that it will literally stop me from ever watching it again. This situation isn’t one of them. I just wanted to talk about it a little bit because I think little things like that shouldn’t go unnoticed. These types of things need to be acknowledged. Yes, making fun of certain circumstances is funny. I get it. And I am not someone who is such a serious person. I just feel like if you can make the exact same point without belittling a situation that a lot of people have to deal with, then why not go that route? Why not take the high road and choose to not make fun of it even if it gets you a few more laughs? You never know who is watching and what impressions you will leave on viewers. Ileostomies, colostomies, urostomies, and whatever other kind of ostomies there are out there that I may not be aware of are not something that most of us choose to live with. It is either something that is forced upon us as a way to escape death or the only way we can have some quality of life. Everyone who is in the position to do so should help to raise awareness and educate others about various life altering surgeries so that those of us living with them can live a in a world where people understand better.