From Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) Ostomy Outlook August 1997:

The Bionic Woman

by Beth Wagner, Editor, Cincinnati (OH) Newsletter, via South Brevard (FL) OSTOMY NEWSLETTER

Recently a co-worker (who is aware I'm an ostomate) and I were at a casual work function. During some down time, we started talking about how, if we could, we would sculpt our bodies. It was fun talk, nothing serious. Just a couple of women lamenting about our aging bodies.

She wanted to trim her thighs and hips. Not too much, just enough to give her body a different shape.

I, in response, said I would like to shave some baggage off my hips and flatten my stomach. As I patted my abdomen, I realized my pouch was rather full. I looked up at her and shrugged and said, "Of course, some of this is equipment."

"That's right," she said. "You're bionic."

Bionic. Never thought of it that way before.

The "six-million dollar man," that fictitious character Lee Majors brought to our TV screen once a week, had his damaged and/or malfunctioning limbs and other body parts replaced with advanced robotics. It allowed him to continue as a vital part of (if my memory serves me correctly) the government, albeit with extraordinary power and ability.

His counterpart, the bionic woman, was equally impressive in her crime-fighting series.

But think about it. Haven't our respective surgeries given us similar, although maybe less dramatic, opportunities?

In my case, my surgery has allowed me to be much more of an active, confident person than I was during the 21 years I had ulcerative colitis. No more worrying about attending my daughter's concert and jumping up in the middle to race to the bathroom. No more several-week stretches of sick time at work. No more worrying about whether I will be well enough to go on our next vacation.

We may not be thwarting the efforts of Colombian drug lords or recovering stolen priceless museum pieces or keeping our country's arch enemy at bay.

But we're taking our kids (or grandkids) to their soccer games and watching them score their first goals. We're keeping up with the laundry and making -- no, beating -- the deadlines for our latest work projects. We're donning rain ponchos and riding out into Niagara Falls with our families. We're helping our daughters understand their bodies' changes in their transition into womanhood. We're teaching our sons how to drive stick shifts. We're helping our spouses through trying times at work. We're sitting on our porches and watching the sun set.

And isn't being there for our families as important, if not more so, than recovering the Hope diamond?

We're bionic.

And we're making a difference in other people's lives because of it.

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Content last revised 1997-08-17