Keanu Reeves Isn’t the Only One Matthew Perry Offended Recently. Those With Ostomy Bags Are Upset.

It’s not every day that you see anal sacs mentioned in entertainment news stories from the likes of People and The New York Timesso imagine my surprise last weekend when I saw those stores and more (including The Daily Beast) pick a story about Matthew Perry reveals he’s been living with a temporary colectomy in nine months. “Wonderful!” I thought, “A celebrity talking about a hysterectomy? Maybe the real stars are just like us.”

But my enthusiasm waned quite quickly when I read Perry’s comments about his “monster” caesarean section experience (perhaps only the second controversial news about Perry this week, following the news. his anger. bitter feelings towards Keanu Reeves). And I’m not the only one, as his words have spread like wildfire in the abdominal dissection community, making everyone feel uncomfortable and even offended.

Like Perry tell People In a preview of his upcoming memoir, his large intestine ruptured in 2019 after years of opioid abuse. He was in a coma for two weeks before waking up to discover that he had had to have an emergency surgical removal – which involves removing a surgically created opening known as the stoma on the abdomen, which allows the excreted from the body – to save his life.

“I woke up and realized I had a colonectomy,” Friend why remember. “They said, ‘It’s a mess down there. We cannot do surgery. But in about a year, you can reverse that. ‘ It’s hellish to have one because they break all the time. “

He added that it was a hysterectomy that helped him finally break his long-standing addiction. He said People: “My therapist said, ‘Next time you think about taking OxyContin, just think about having a cholecystectomy for the rest of your life.'”

Some aggregators of Perry’s story framed it more responsibly than others. The New York Post wrote, “The terrifying experience and the sight of the colon-cutting bag finally made it up for Perry,” as if those of us with holes like Halloween decorations make sense. scared, instead of people who look normal and even realistic model. Page six accompanying: “How Matthew Perry’s ‘damn’ colonectomy helped him shake off his drug addiction.” Even People framed it questionably in its own headline, writing that Perry “recovered from a colectomy”—a strange choice of words, considering the colectomy was not is what you “recover”.

“It’s extremely inaccurate,” says Glenda Hamburg, a Los Angeles-based wound care nurse for more than 30 years. Peopleof the title. “You don’t recover from a colectomy. Colectomy is simply a procedure to save your life. You can recover from drug addiction; that’s a completely different thing. What he should have said was that he was able to stop taking drugs after nearly dying, and the colectomy saved his life.”

After Perry’s story went viral, many in the osteectomy community assumed that the actor (and his therapist) painted the osteotomy as the worst-case scenario and the last thing you should ever do. want to have. Such comments, many have argued, reinforce negative stereotypes and prejudices.

James Murray, president of the American Association of Anal Surgeons (UOAA), issue a written statement address the potentially harmful way in which Perry framed his experience.

“While it is wonderful that Perry fought to end his addiction, these words hurt for those of us who are facing the consequences of stigma about the consequences of his addiction. Despite the fact that a hysterectomy saves or improves lives, there are people who believe that death is a better option than performing this surgical procedure. People of all ages struggle with body image issues and accept life with ostomy and the persistence of these blemishes can leave deep scars,” writes Murray.

Also related to Perry’s hyperbolic remark that the anal sac “always breaks.” Sometimes bags leak, but that’s not considered normal, especially for recipients (and participants) Education and resources around stoma . care. It was clear that Perry, for whatever reason, had not been able to adapt well to the hysterectomy. Certainly some people struggle with leaks, irritated skin, hernias or blockages, all of which can leave prolapse patients traumatized – even the wealthy and wealthy. famous. But saying they “break all the time” really makes it seem like living with a bag is just a long nightmare and one can’t help but wonder if, with the right time and support, Can Perry manage better? surgery to remove his large intestine.

With that said, I certainly don’t blame anyone for feeling negative about a hysterectomy because the truth is, it can actually be very bad. I was 19 years old when I had my first ileostomy, after an emergency surgery to remove the colon for complications from Crohn’s disease. I was able to have a reverse surgery almost two years later — an option that isn’t always available to everyone — and I’m glad I did. I hated having a headache during what I thought would be my “fun college years” and my frustration with it showed in my disordered eating habits, depressive thoughts, and worried.

When I had an ileostomy in August 2021 at the age of 30 — this time due to a painful and uncomfortable vaginal fistula — I was able to see things from a different perspective; one that I think is simply bigger and more mature. I realized what many ostriches already know: that you can live a wonderful, fulfilling life with an ostrich. In the past year, I have run two marathons, including the Boston Marathon, with my bag. Other ostriches I know have given birth and gone scuba diving. We are not as limited as you think; many of us can hike, swim, surf, have sex, wear bikinis, and play sports just like anyone else.

I realized what many ostriches already know: that you can live a wonderful, fulfilling life with an ostrich. In the past year, I have run two marathons, including the Boston Marathon, with my bag.

However, those reading Perry’s comments may not realize those are possible, and may instead equate the surgery with a death sentence. I worry about someone who might face a hysterectomy one day and think it will ruin their life because the only thing they know about it is Chandler from Friend had one and said People What a “damn” magazine. It’s a disturbing message, and one that’s particularly frustrating when you consider that Perry could have honestly described his experience while also admitting that the thing he absolutely hated was the same thing that saved his life.

“That alone is enough to make people think twice about whether or not they should have their colon removed, if they have a choice in this matter. They will have a very negative attitude towards it, even though it could save their lives,” Hamburg told The Daily Beast of Perry and his therapist’s comment. “He didn’t consider the fact that he was lucky because they were able to do something like this in a temporary situation so that he could survive, so that his body could heal, so that he he can recover. He interpreted it in a very negative way, including actually claiming that he was sober because he had to have his colon removed. It casts a very negative light on the concept of a colectomy and the fact that it was not done to make him see that he needed to change his ways. It was done to save his life.”

At the same time, this is a nuanced issue for many reasons, including that Perry’s negative experience with his colonectomy can be combined with feelings of shame. As he said People, his large intestine ruptured from years of opioid use, and he clearly has some regrets about his past drug addiction. I don’t pretend to understand the emotional and physical issues surrounding his battle with addiction and subsequent recovery, and I’m glad he feels sober in whatever way possible. body. But I do wish his framing of the story had been different, because his comments perpetuate the myth that gibberish is all and only a negative ending. In fact, flaunting can dramatically improve the quality of life for people like me, who are hunched over because a disease like Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis leaves us feeling chained to the toilet for a while. flare-ups of pain. Surely no one wants to face these kinds of serious health problems — or birth defects, cancer, trauma, or any other reason a person might need a hysterectomy — but when and if you must face them, it is a relief to know that there are effective surgical interventions that can give you some sense of normalcy.

Close-up of the anus on the abdomen of Jessica Grossman, 25, who suffered from Crohn’s disease as a child.

Chris So / Getty

In the end, I think the displeasure against Perry from the dissection community stems from the simple fact that ostriches are not widely discussed in the media, and this is an opportunity. rare assembly to get it right and Not ingrained in most people’s poor perception of them. According to the UOAA, up to 1 million people in the United States are living with blocked or uncontrolled fallopian tubes, but many still don’t know what tubal occlusion is. Thus, the notion that stomata are the worst that anyone can endure has more to do with the public stigma surrounding ostentatiousness as disgusting and something to be avoided at all costs. price, as Perry’s therapist apparently suggested. I know from experience that people make up all sorts of horrible and gross things about tummy tuck bags (alluding to all those “damn bag” jokes) because there isn’t much education around. surname. Not to mention, having a hysterectomy sets you apart from most people, and no one wants to be seen as abnormal or “flawed” by society’s standards. It’s hardly a glamorous image; definitely not “Hollywood”.

In that sense, it would be nice if a celebrity with a large background helped erase the stigma about hysterectomy instead of pushing it forward, like Perry unfortunately (and, I can imagine, inadvertently. ) did here. And not just him; News agencies that object to his quotes are also complicit. The way we frame stories about disability issues, and in this case, it should have been handled with more care and with less eye for sensationalism.

At the very least, hopefully this will spur more conversation and education about the splurge — which, I assure you, isn’t as “hell” as you might believe.


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