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OSTOMY AWARENESS DAY OCTOBER 6th 2012

I am glad and hope this helps people understand what an ostomy is.
I had some general knowledge about an ostomy because I have a cousin who had a colostomy for over 40 years. She was very open about and of course I was interested in her condition because of my love for her.
Now that I have one I see how many friends and relatives do not have a clue what a colostomy is.
My sister in law asked if they closed the hole and took the bag off by now. She did not know that it takes major surgery to reverse the colostomy. Just sew up the hole and bingo it is all gone is what most people think happens when you feel better. We truly need people to know about our condition and the stigma of our colostomy can make people understand that it is not gross. They cringe when you tell them you have a appliance on your belly and that is where your poo goes. Some gasp and say OMG how gross. just blurt it out with out thinking that is not a nice thing to say. Oh well just wondering how is OCTOBER 6th Going to get the message out and get people aware of ostomies. What they do not know that it could happen to anyone of them. I never gave it a thought it could happen to me.
I do know this it has been one of the hardest roads for me to go down. Because I almost died and suffered so much pain through out this road of recovery. I know all of you here on this site truly understand what I am talking about.
God bless all of you my heart truly goes out to all my ostomy mates who are hurting.

Edited August 8, 2012 at 2:20 pm

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I agree, not many people really know what its all about, myself as well before I got mine of course. I get answers like they thought they would see a long tube with a big clear bag hanging off my side filled with poop. That would gross anyone out ! I have had people ask how it works, does it hurt and of course the big one- what do you do about sex? Well im single now so I cant answer that one. I just say I guess you can just cover it with a big bandaid lol. I try to make it sound like its no big deal, since you cant even tell I have one and I wear regular clothes all the time. I think an Ostomy Awareness Day is great! Thanks for sharing. Diane

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World Ostomy day is actually October 6 other than here in Canada where due to thanksgiving they've moved it to September 29. It's held every 3 years and beginning next year we will have a Canadian Ostomy day in the alternate years. The theme of world Ostomy day is "let's be heard." Ostomy associations around the world will be organizing celebrations that day. Check with your local or national association to find out what's going on. There is even a photo contest you can enter.

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There are some pretty ignorant people in this world and they can be educated about our condition.

There are some pretty stupid people in this world and there is no cure for stupid.

My mother had an ostomy and she and I discussed everything because we both knew she was dying. But we never discussed her ostomy. I don't know why. I guess because I thought it would never happen to me. I also couldn't figure out why she chose not to have it reversed. That was because I had no idea what a difficult surgery that is. She's been dead now for eleven years and how many times I wish I had discussed her ostomy with her. I could have learned a lot in preparation for my own ostomy.

I thought it was the awfulist, nastyist thing that could ever happen to a person. Now, I realize that it isn't so awful after all. It's just a part of my life and I deal with it each day. It's like brushing my teeth. I just do it and don't think anything about it. Poop is not in my pouch. My life is because without it I would be dead. When I list my blessings, it is one of the first items on my list. Not only is it a lifesaver but because of it I have met all of you wonderful people. And that is the second item on my list.
Blessings,
Alan

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Yes, World Ostomy Day is October 6. The United Ostomy Association of America Affiliated Support Groups are planning different events to bring awareness to people. You can go to www.ostomy.org and click on the title that tells about some of the events. If you are not a member of a local group, I recommend you join for more support for your colostomy, ileostomy and urostomy.

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Glad you corrected me about the date, I did see that date on the web when I googled it. I am just glad there is an awareness day to educate people on our condition and just how many of us are out there. I want people to know that this can happen to anyone.
ALAN, You know that generation really did not talk about anything that was considered taboo. Sex, condoms having babies and just about anything was sush sush. When I had children I did it all different, we had discussions about all the above subjects and more. I shared my colostomy surgery with all my family and young grandchildren. I never showed them my ostomy but I did have a show and tell with the young children who wanted to know what happened to grandmother. They were so sweet and did not think it was anything of it. Kids are so understanding.
I too wished I had parents who would just have opened up and educate talk. It did not hurt my children at all that we had and have that kind of relatioship to talk about anything. My 3 sons are all grown now but they still come to me and my husband and talk when they are down or when they are happy it is so great to have them trust us.
God bless you all

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I'm new at this. I just got my ostomy in March 2012. Depending on how well I heal I may have it reversed, but I have no guaranties. Chances are I may have it for the rest of my life. Most of the people that I have discuss my situation with have been positive and encouraging. Some have even told me they know of others who have ostomies. I think the awareness day in a good idea. Is this the first Ostomy awareness day and how extensive is the coverage? What can we do to make it a success? Any ideas?
JEG

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I like the responses you all have for this topic. I had surgery in 2011 from a tumor that didn't respond to chemotherapy and radiation. The tumor was located in the rectum and incorporated the spyncter and anus wall about 6 inches into my rectum. I'm also HIV positive for 27 years, and the very fact I have survived this is very eventful. My GOD was watching out over me.!!!
When I had my surgery, I was in a very remote area and had to learn about how to care for an ostomy pretty much on my own. Thank GOD and you all for the help I got from the UOAA, and sites like this. We help more people than we even realize.
I went to the conference in 2011, in Reno, and I met the most wonderful people in the world. You All. All of us have so much to offer each other and those who are just starting out in this journey. We all were there at one time. we know what it's like. United Ostomy Day, and Month, is our chance to let each other know how much we support each other, and the rest of the world how and what an ostomy is all about. I, for one, owe my life to people on this site and the UOAA. I would not have chosen this surgery had it not been for this encougement I got from here, and my family.

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Idahoeagle, what a positive testimony for this site and others like it.

I have a question. Why have I not seen posts from you before? Obviously, you have a lot to offer.

I can't say that this site saved my life but I can say I came to accept my ileostomy because of this site and the wonderful people on it. I have met so many great people here that I can't keep up. I only hope I can help someone else the way I have been helped here. I have been a member since April, 2012 and countless posts have allowed me to believe I can make it with an ileostomy because all of you have made it.
Blessings,
Alan

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Idahoeagle,
Great words you have written. It was good to hear you were at our UOAA Conference in Reno. I was there and was actually a volunteer in helping out UOAA Conference, as I was an Affiliated Support Group Advisory Board Member for UOAA. Now, I am chairman of the AFSGAB, and working on the 2013 Conference in Jacksonville, Florida. Hope you are planning on coming to that one, it promises to be another great conference and I encourage all to come, there are a lot of good seminars conducted.
email me at jim.moore@ostomy.org.

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I would love to get the word out that having an ostomy is not the end of the world and that there are many out there who live with one. I will support Ostomy Day here in Canada but I have a dilemma.
I tend to keep the fact that I have an ostomy private. My friends at work know as do my family but where do you draw the line between being supportive to others and being comfortable letting the world know?
I don't want to be treated differently just because I have an ostomy. I don't want people talking about my ileostomy only, I want them to consider the whole me.
I would be interested in what my friends on this site have to offer.
Thanks
Michelle

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I believe the line should be drawn wherever you want it drawn. Some people are very open. Others not so much. It really is up to you.
My friends, family, and church family know because they went through the surgery with me (i.e.) by my side. Some people here where I live know. Others don't.
Blessings,
Alan

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For me the fact that I am an Ostomate means that I never have to URGENTLY respond to a toilet trained summons from from a rectum.

Becoming an ostomate is a liberating and enlightening experience, something to be proudly discussed openly and favorably.

Ostomates have advantages not dreamed of by non-ostomates. Ostomates can see what they are doing, and, for the most part, can choose how and when to deal with elimination of digested food wastes, rather than grouping blindly where the sun never shines.

HALLEUJUA !!!

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patent attorny. ha ha lol that is so funny
Halleujua God bless
Dolly

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Michelle,
Do not worry. I have had my ostomy for 39 years and only for the last 5 or 6 years have I been open with people. for years it was my own issue and I felt it was on a "need to know basis". Now as Preisdent of the UOAA, I feel I have an obligation to discuss it openly and have others start to understand

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There is nothing to be ashamed of, when you think about the fact that you have your life back and the results of not having the surgery, would be one that no one wants. One thing I like about my ostomy, is I can sit through church and not have to go to the bathroom.

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that calls for an AMEN stoneface. lol

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Hi Everyone,
Alan, I have been on the UOAA bulletin board, but I just started posting here today. I have been trying to come to terms with the everyday life of an ostomy, so that has been preoccupying my time. I don't think anyone jumps right into this life loving every minute of it. It's trying, at best, to come to terms with what you can and cannot do, that was considered NORMAL. Retraining is very trying and STRESSFUL. I spoke with quite a few folks from this site, however I have to come to terms with certain things in my own time and way. I was one of those people who was not going to LIVE with an ostomy. I had a "wake up", call from my loved ones.

I worked with Fred in the GLO network for a while. I would like to see the GLO network become more involved but that is another story. Rudyman22, good to see you on site and say HI to all for me. I'm doing ok.

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Thank you all for the great replys & information. I have only told our kids & close family/friends about my ostomy. I'm still new to this & not ready to share with the world yet. I agree not many understand what being an ostimate is all about....I know I didn't until I talked to my ostomy nurse & a lady with an ostomy. Its definately life-changing but compared to how I felt after radiation (hardly leaving home & always looking for a bathrm when I did! lol) its been a good thing. Just taking the time to adjust to my new normal!

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Welcome to this posting page. I have had my Ileostomy since 2003. I am a member of the United Ostomy Association of America Inc, who is involved in the World Ostomy Day, to be conducted in October, 2012, 6th to be exact. If you want to get involved, if there is a local Ostomy Support group where you live, then you should contact them as we have asked all our Affiliated Support Groups to emphasize World Ostomy Day. If you are unaware of support groups in your area, you can go to uoaa.org and select support group tab and it will bring up all the states in the United States and contact numbers and names for those support groups listed. If you need further help, email me at jim.moore@ostomy.org. I am Chairman of the Affiliated Support Group Advisory Board of the UOAA organization. Welcome to the world of Ostomates!! We are happy to be able to share with you and you share with us. One thing, concentrate on healing, don't worry too much about reconnecting.

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An Ostomate is not expected to go up to everyone they meet and say: "I have an ostomy"! The one thing to be thankful for is your life and how much better it will be now since you have had surgery. Certainly, do not become a recluse again (staying in the house) and not getting out in the public. The majority of persons will not even know you have an ostomy unless you feel comfortable in telling them. I certainly share when necessary about my ostomy and emphasize how I am alive today because I made the decision to have surgery and remove the entire Chrons laden colon. You ostomy pouch and stoma are nothing to be ashamed of. God has healed you through the talented and gifted hands of the surgeon!

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