Friday, September 16, 2011

Cosmopolitan Magazine

Recently I had the pleasure of sharing my story with one of the editors at Cosmopolitan Magazine. Here is the link to the story:


  1. I was excited when I heard about an article by another young woman with UC in Cosmo, but was disappointed when I read it.

    I suffered with UC as a teenager and had my failing j-pouch converted to a permanent ileostomy at 19. In the eight years since then I've developed a pretty thick skin when it comes to people disparaging ostomies, but it still stings a little to see a fellow IBDer referring to their temporary ostomy as "being attached to a poop bag" and "it was the best feeling when I woke up without it". I was especially surprised to see that you were a psychologist wanting to help people with IBD- I would have hoped you would know better.

    When I was 20, there was a story about a young woman with UC in Marie Claire magazine. I was so excited about seeing a fellow UC sufferer in such a big magazine that I went to the grocery story just to buy it. But as I read it, my eyes welled up and I started crying right there in the magazine isle when I saw the things she wrote about her temporary ostomy - calling it a yucky poop bag, saying how thrilled she was to be rid of it.

    Please be careful with your words, or you may end up hurting some of the very IBDers you're trying to help. Varying statistics say that 10-15% of j-pouches fail within 10 years. Many of those people prolong their suffering unnecessarily and waste years of their life because there is such stigma surrounding "the bag" that they can't bear to consider the option. Many Crohn's patients do the same. If you're going to support IBD sufferers, you have to support life with an ostomy as well. For many of us, an ostomy is an incredible blessing that has given us our lives back.

    I'm 27 now and I've finished college and a graduate degree, built a career for myself, gotten married, and am pregnant with our first child. I assure you, life with an ostomy is not as bad as you make it out to be.


  2. Hi Kate,
    I'm sorry you were disappointed by the article. I just wanted to address a couple of things. First, I did not write the article. I told Cosmo my story and they wrote it. In regards to the "poop bag" I completely agree with you and I actually asked them not to call it that because I know it offends some people. There were two places in the article where it was referred to as that and one of them was changed but the other was not, so I think they probably just missed that. In regards to the part where it says that when I woke up without the bag and it was the best feeling - that was soley my experience. I had a very difficult time with the ostomy and was very sick while I had it. That was what that comment referred too. I know several people who have permanent ostomies who are very happy with them and fully understand that for a lot of people, having an ostomy is a blessing because it allows them to live the life they couldn't while they were sick. In addition, I have seen many clients with ostomies, whether it be from a failed pouch or Crohn's and are completely supportive of all of them. So again, I'm sorry if that came off as offensive. That was completely not the intention.


  3. Please please dont refer to an ostomy bag as a poop bag. Your article was a negative example of how not to look at an ostomy - temporary or permanent.