Today we have Phil Esgate who is 59 from Standish (UK) sharing his story. Now I personally have a lot to thank this man because last year when I started my blog, he sent me an email informing me about the' 'Urostomy Awareness' group that he admins with Pam. Before then I had no idea there was a support network online for urostomies let alone ostomies. Due to this my own acceptance of my stomas has improved because of this identification. Phil and Pam do such an amazing job with the group and it is an honour to share Phil's story.
So Phil please take it away:
- Can you tell me a little about how you got your urostomy?
I had my urostomy and colostomy due to trauma from a head-on car crash. I am also paralysed from L3/4.
- What do you feel is the toughest thing to deal with when living with a urostomy and how do you overcome this?
Faulty Bag valves that are not completely glued to the bottom of the bag e.g Hollister. I just accept that it is a faulty batch and throw them away after telling my supplier the batch number they came from.
3. What piece of advice, hints or tips would you give to anybody who is about to have urostomy surgery and start this journey?
Try to look at it as life-changing, but for the better and that it has probably saved your life. Nobody else needs to know unless you want to tell them.
4. Are there any support groups, associations or online groups that have helped you live and accept your urostomy?
Yes! Urostomy Awareness Facebook Group has 1800 worldwide members including some medical professionals in the field of urology.
5. Do you feel there is a different level of awareness with the Healthcare Professionals regarding urostomies compared to the other stoma types?
Yes, many Healthcare Professionals often have never heard of a Urostomy.
6. How do you feel we can raise awareness for urostomies within the general public?
Not so much just for urostomies, but for all ostomies! That the old stigma attached to having a bag is not like that anymore e.g they do not smell. Most people can care easily themselves with their ostomy and they really don’t need much maintenance other than cleaning and general good hygiene. Getting into a routine is important too, but that soon becomes second nature.
7. When you are having a down day what one thing do you do to keep positive that you find helps?
Sewing helps me.
Thank you, Phil, for sharing your story and for continuously helping others. I just would like to add that Phil makes some awesome wallets and it very clever with a sewing machine,
Please join us next Monday where we have the lovely Kathy Cathcart joining us!