Today we have the lovely and inspiring Dani Mercer joining us who is 73 from Spokane, USA. Can I just say that Dani has supported my blog from the beginning and regularly comments on new posts for which means so much!
Anyway, please take it away Dani...
- Can you tell me a little about how you got your urostomy?
After awakening, one morning with lower right quadrant pain that didn't go away, I went to the ER where a CT was done of my abdomen and pelvis which revealed a large mass in my bladder. That was on the 18th August 2016 8/18/16 and by 7th November 2016, my bladder was removed and ileal conduit performed.
- What do you feel is the toughest thing to deal with when living with a urostomy and how do you overcome this?
The most difficult part for me has been changing the bag. It seemed to take me forever at first, but now I can do it pretty quickly.
- What piece of advice, hints or tips would you give to anybody who is about to have urostomy surgery and start this journey?
I think the most important thing for me has been to learn that I can live with this. I may not like it much, but it is not the worst thing that can happen!
- Are there any support groups, associations or online groups that have helped you live and accept your urostomy?
Yes. I was given a flyer for the local support group from the surgeon's office and I called the number given and the nicest man called me back. We had many long conversations about living with my urostomy. I went to the support meetings with him and his wife. This has been the most helpful to me. Just learning that there are others out there like me was important. Also, the support groups on Facebook have given me so many useful tips and advice for dealing with a urostomy.
- Do you feel there is a different level of awareness with the Healthcare Professionals regarding urostomies compared to the other stoma types?
I have only dealt with the surgeon, a urologist, and his PA who seem to know a lot about the surgery, but not much about taking care of the urostomy afterwards.
- How do you feel we can raise awareness for urostomies within the general public?
In my experience, just talk about it although I don't offer the information, I am more than happy to talk to anyone about it.
- When you are having a down day what one thing do you do to keep positive that you find helps?
I go outside and go for a walk with my dog.
Thank you, Dani, for taking the time to share your story, your positivity shines right through! I also really like what you said about going to your local support group and how much this has helped you. I truly believe identification is key to recovery when you have stoma surgery.
Please tune in next Monday for another #UroStories