I had my stoma created back in 2008. Even back then, although it was a relatively common operation, there was not much information available.
Before I committed to the operation, I spent a lot of time initially talking with the stoma nurses at my local hospital – Cathy and Serena before visiting them.
Initially, they sent me a stoma bag through the post – I had never seen one before, so this was great, and then I made an appointment to see them.
Despite having 1001 questions, and even though they had other tasks, they both made me feel welcome … no question asked was considered silly, and although they must have been asked these questions a million times before, they still answered me in full, and as helpfully as possible.
After the surgeon said I could go home, they both moved Heaven and Earth to ensure I was discharged as quickly as possible with the required supplies and medication.
Over the next few years, they were always available on the phone to chat to, and if they were busy, they would call me back.
A couple of years ago, I made an appointment to see them to discuss my hernia, and they stopped from their busy day to help and advise me.
They send me invites now and again (not recently though due to lockdown) to events in my area, and have always been there for me. In essence, my journey with a stoma has been so much more manageable with their help and guidance. I’d never be able to adequately thank them!