Has your stoma nurse ever offered you the opportunity to meet another ostomate, either before or after surgery? We'd love to hear about your thoughts on this and how useful you think it is.
I personally think it would be a great benefit to people starting their stoma journey
When I had my first surgery 6 years ago I went to see fellow ostomate myself. It was a friends mother who had a stoma. I never knew anyone with one as people didn't talk openly about it as they do now. However, the stoma nurses contact me to talk to people who may be struggling or looking a insight on how their future will be.
Hi I think to meet an ostomate before surgery is good - particularly if the ostomate just walks in to the patient and after a while is introduced "as an ostomate" The number of times I've been asked to talk to a new patient - I've done just that. To start they are wondering perhaps who am I, why am I there? Initially some new patients are expecting that they themselves will be weird looking, stand out in the crowd etc. all because of "this bag" and then they see this bright, confident, well-dressed person in front of them - everything they do not feel themselves at that point. At this point I have said - "I am the same as you - I have a bag!" All of a sudden the patient realises they can be/are "normal" They will fit in. I also think to make light of everything is good - life is/can be difficult enough so it's up to us to make light of it all! best wishes
I would have loved to talk to someone before and after my surgery, know the IA has a visitor service but if you are not told about it, its not of any use. Luckily a friend put me in touch with someone near my age, we are still friends now.