The Case Of The Raging Toilet

An ostomates life can seem a bit silly at times, especially when we have to leave treasures all over our community. Percy and I went out to run a number of errands the other morning. Percy (my enigmatic spirited stoma), decided to overact as I drove the car to the Passport Office. As we traveled each kilometer after another, well, what can I say, instead of our cup runneth over, our bag was just about there and it seemed to me, we hit every red light cosmically possible.

Finally we arrived at our destination with not more than a moment to spare. First stop, was to the bathroom to take care of Percy’s business, before we addressed my business. Up one hall, nope no bathroom, down another hall, nope no bathroom. With frankly no time left, I found a commissionaire, who gave me directions. “Oh, for Pete’s sake, I must have passed it at least twice”.

With a great deal of relief I dealt with Percy, and to make life easy and efficient for me, I simply went into my “Percy’s spare equipment stash”, that I keep in my purse for a fresh bag, and deposited Percy’s old treasure bag well packaged into the washroom trashcan.

With everything in order it was now time to go back down the hall to the Passport office. When this task was completed it was time to head off to the grocery store. As the life of an ostomate would have it, Percy once again thought this was quite exciting, as I suddenly became aware of number two of the final act of digestion quickly filling Percy’s bag. Upon arriving at the grocery store, it was off to the washroom, we headed. I changed once again to a new bag, and deposited Percy’s not so old treasure bag in the trashcan.

Groceries purchased, it was off to our final stop – the Pharmacy. Wouldn’t you know it, Percy wasn’t finished yet, silly little pooper. Well, history had to repeat itself. It was straight home from there, and I wearily stepped through the door. From the moment I entered all was quiet, nothing was moving, not even a mouse.

Figuring that with 1 bag, 2 bags, 3 bags I had already filled and almost overflowed, I thought all would be quiet and uneventful for the evening. Hmm….best laid plans of mice and men. Before I go on with the story, know that the whole ordeal has worked out well, and my husband has seen his Physician. Now back to the case of raging toilet.

Our day had not ended, at 11:30 p.m. it was off to the Emergency Care Unit of our local hospital for a medical issue for my husband Mark. By 1:00 a.m., pungent Percy (stoma), kicked into high gear yet again. The toilet facility was adjacent to Mark’s room. I went in to deal with Percy, all went well, until I flushed the toilet. Well, a tornadic fury began, then a counterclockwise rotation of speed and noise I have never witnessed before in the water closet raged, and would not stop. Around, around and around, like a tempest in a tea pot it raged. Then as I danced about jiggling the toilet handle in an attempt to stop the torrent, a small geyser erupted in the middle of the rotation, and a fine spray of water filled the air above the toilet, and a mist began to fill the area.

It was at this time I escaped the washroom as a nurse heard the roar of the toilet, and came over to the door to peer in with me. No sooner had he witnessed the raging toilet, it began to slow down and it eventually stopped. It had stopped as mysteriously as it had started. He then turned to me and said, “well, that must have been some log you deposited”.



Jo-Ann L. Tremblay


“Everyone one you meet has a story to tell.”


4 comments on “The Case Of The Raging Toilet

  1. cmbrancale says:

    Oh, Jo-Ann…I love that story. Yes, everyone DOES have a story, and the stories generated through the life of the ostomate..some poignant, many outrageously funny (especially to US,) always left of center. Thank you for sharing yours..for some reason, my GUT reaction/remembrance was my first week back at work as an RN after a protracted recovery and lots of doomsayers whispering,”what a shame they couldn’t find me a desk job. Pooooor thing! ” Well, I was a newbie, but gutsy with little gut left (and a disinterested ostomy nurse, ) trying to work a 30 bed psych unit with an ill fitting appliance and lumps and bumps on a post-op tummy in major weight flux. I was also very nervous. And naive. No ostomate groups, friends, support then. The appliance was awkward, I fumbled with the clip, and like you that morning, I was making frequent trips to take care of my nameless pal (actually a foe until my first obstruction, when I rallied for him with all my soul..) when the clip flew through my fingers BEFORE I had a chance to empty the contents of the bag attached. It was all a blur, standing in the nurses station bathroom, the sounds of the day on the other side of the door…and I, trapped, standing in shock in a pool of effluent. Totally still. Hardly breathing. All the paper towel in that room would not fix this. Call it mercy, call it luck, call it God..I soon heard the familiar voice of the unit houskeeper, and called out as if from a stalled elevator, ” help! help! I’m in here!” She went above and beyond the call of duty that day and never made me feel badly. I no longer work as a floor nurse…NOT because I am an ostomate, but because complications, hernias that prohibit lifting ( parastomal hernia) and the little known Addison’s disease. I have been through hell. And it’s time for a break. Life looks different after near-death, I have been told and now I know. I have stories, we all have stories. Your story helps me, and the cycle continues. Am a BIG believer in the healing power of humor and shared experience. Thanks for listening! You are remarkable.

  2. Miss P with a Z says:

    that’s hysterical…hope Mark is well.

  3. Sherrill says:

    omg, ya gotta laugh. Enjoyed this, Jo-Ann.
    (How’s Mark, btw?)

  4. Okay, that was interesting…

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