I would never have imagined three years ago that I would be writing this post explaining why I am grateful for my stomas. Gratitude for my stomas has not come naturally, and I have had to work at it, but now I truely feel it in my core.
#UroStories is back after a little break and today we have the lovely Terry Thomas sharing his story. Terry is 65 from South Wales and we first connected when I started my blog last year. Terry was one of the first emails I received reaching out to me with his story as to how he got his colostomy and urostomy.
So Terry, take it away:
Just a quick note before I talk about this topic and awareness week. I want to say from the bottom of my heart thank you for all the support, comments and messages I have had since this last hospital admission. It has been a hard one remembering how poorly I can get when the sepsis hits. I have achieved amazing things this year, and I almost forgot I was ill, so this was a massive bump down to earth but I am changing a few things so I can continue spreading awareness and campaigning.
Today we have the amazing Kathy Cathcart joining us who is nearly 70 and lives in Devon. Cathy has been really supportive and has always supported my blog which I really appreciate. Kathy has been through so much so please read on to find more about Kathy's story:
There have been times in my life where I have lost my independence whether this has been through past relationships or my health. I have had to rely on family, friends and ex-partners to look after me and get me through the worst. There were times I could hardly move and years where I spent the majority of the year in the hospital.
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.
Welcome to the 5th instalment of my monthly series #SelfHelpBookReview. I am delighted I have started this series because It has encouraged me to read more and I can't believe I have read five books this year.
So last month I was struggling to balance everything and felt I had nothing left in the tank to give to anybody else. Until Stephie from Colitis To Ostomy suggested to read "The Self-care Project by Jayne Hardy" and I have to say it has helped. So I thought I would review this book for May!
Welcome to the 8th segment of #UroStories and today we have the fabulous Valerie Behnke, 60 from Ontario in Canada.
Take it away Val...
Living with a chronic illness can sometimes feel like a full-time job. What with juggling hospital appointments, visiting your GP, collecting medication, chasing up referrals, running a house and maybe a family. It is easy to lose an element of ‘you’ and to be consumed by your chronic illness.
I have been wondering how to introduce this amazing gentleman...Today we have Peadar who is 41, from Northern Ireland sharing his story about how he acquired his colostomy and urostomy which was not due to an illness. I think I will let Peadar explain:
When you have been an ostomate for a while you may go through stages where you ‘chance’ not taking your emergency kit out with you. Most of the time you may be fine but when you are out enjoying yourself and a leak hits, then you are stuck and may have to leave the event to change your pouch.
I can't believe that this is the 6th #UroStories already and today we have the amazing and beautiful Natalie Wicks who is 28 and from South Wales. Natalie has been through so much and still continues to have problems with her kidneys which requires stents and a nephrostomy as well as her urostomy. However, despite this, she will still help support and inspire other people with pictures in her bikini or her honest posts. It is an honour to share her story!
‘It’s in your hands – prevent sepsis in healthcare’
You may be wondering why I am writing a post about this day? Considering this is aimed at Healthcare Professionals and the majority of my readers are ostomates. The reason why I have decided to highlight this very important awareness day is due to my own experience.
Last week I was at the ‘Ostomy Days 2018’ conference held in Copenhagen for 900 Stoma Care Nurses (SCN’s), Healthcare Professionals and Coloplast colleagues. From those 2 days, I have learnt a lot especially the different aspects of stoma care but one of the sessions that I found really interesting was for the UK SCN’s. This session talked about recognising that SCN’s practice needs to adapt to keep up with the times e.g technology, more online information and communication and this session discussed how they could start achieving this.
Attending the hospital can be a frightening experience whether this is for surgery, an admission, chemotherapy, infusions or radiology investigations. You wait anxiously among strangers with little information and often instructed to undress into a hospital gown that can undermine your dignity and leave you feeling partially exposed.
I am sorry this is a few days late, I have had a very busy week. Welcome back to the 4th instalment of the #UroStories series. Today we have the lovely Donna Wood from Tyne and Wear who is 32 joining us. We connected last year and she has been a great support and is equally passionate about urostomy awareness. Also, Donna started the Urostomy Support Tyne and Wear/North East Facebook group for other urostomates in her area.
For the 3rd instalment of #UroStories, we have such an inspiring and lovely man called Rich Greene, who is 69 and lives in Columbus, Ohio, USA sharing his story. Rich touches on so many brilliant points in his answers that don't only effect urostomates but ostomates in general.
I have mentioned before that my theme for this year is ‘stepping out of my comfort zone’ I have already accomplished things I wouldn’t have done last year like public speaking, lifestyle shoot and going abroad. So, when Paige messaged me to ask if I would be a catwalk model for the Purple Wings event I just went with my theme and said ‘yes’ even though deep down I started doubting myself. I pushed those thoughts away and saw it as another experience to participate in.