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Testimonials
  1. In 2009, Crohn's disease tried to take my life, but thanks to an ileostomy, I was given a second chance. Life with my ileostomy isn't always easy, but it is so much better than it ever was with the disease, and I wouldn't change that for anything! I praise God for my ileostomy and the chance at a better life! LIFE IS GOOD! See my story on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/y6JyT6bu0ow
    Stephanie Urzi
    "I praise God for my ileostomy and the chance at a better life!"
  2. My Name is Kenneth Ebeling. I have a Colostomy due to Crohn’s. Since January 2011 with a second Surgery to revise March 2011. I had Crohn’s for 35 years before it needed to have the Ostomy. Was sicker than realized how sick my everyday life was. Now I am living a healthier life.
    Kenneth Ebeling
    Ken is living a healthier life thanks to his colostomy!
  3. "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." I never thought too much about this until I got sick. I had very bad ulcerative colitis (UC). I was on different medicines for 2 years trying to avoid surgery. That was the worst think I could have done. I was bleeding and pooping 2o times a day. I was weak and pale and the doctor gave me 6 months to live. Looking back I would have gone to surgery in the very beginning. My recovery would have been much easier. Having gone through this, and knowing how different my life is now, I would tell anyone to go for it. After 6 years, my ostomy my become one with me. I don't even think about it. It truly gave me my life back. LIFE IS GOOD!
    Lois Moskowitz
    Lois is now a patient advocate, helping others cope with life with an ostomy.
  4. In 2002 I had a urostomy. Having an ostomy is not by any means a big problem, it is just a speed bump in the road of life. After the initial healing period I could do just about everything I did before the surgery, work, travel and enjoy life. Joining a support was one of the best things I have done . It showed me that I was not the only person with an ostomy. Remember you control the ostomy don't let it control you.
    George Bishop
    "Remember you control the ostomy don't let it control you."
Living with an Ostomy: Feeling Fashionable
Published on Nov 11, 2016 by Convatec USA

Jearlean Taylor has never known life without an ostomy. She has had two ostomies since she was just two years old. But with the support of her family and her own inner drive, she triumphed to become a successful model, author and businessperson. Here she shares her story and offers fashion tips that work—both on and off the runway.
Ostomy Awareness
Getting an ostomy does not have to be the end, it can be the beginning! Inspiring stories by ostomates!
This video was created by a beautiful woman, and fellow ostomate, ​ Donna Mear, and was inspired by the stories of ostomates from around the world. It is to prove that life does not have to stop because of an ostomy. On the contrary, ostomates can thrive!! I hope you enjoy her video, and look for me, as I am in the video (wink, wink)!  ~ Stephanie Urzi
To the Woman on the Beach Who Thanked Me for Rocking a Bikini
via personalhealthnews.pw
I don’t know how hard it was for you to approach me on the beach, but I know I have a hard time talking to strangers. But you waltzed up to me with such confidence that nobody would have ever expected a confidence problem with either one of us, especially since I have to carry myself with such an aura of it. You saw me for who I really was — a scared girl who was trying so hard to not let anyone see the fear in her eyes.

I don’t know if that’s why you came up to me or not, but I want to thank you. Living with a chronic illness is no easy feat, and it gets even harder when that illness changes your outer appearance as much as mine has. With clothes on, no one can tell that I’m anything but a “typical” person, but on the beach it’s a whole different story.

Everyone is exposed on the beach, but I literally have to “let it all hang out.” I have an ileostomy, a G-tube and a J-tube, not something you see every day. I’m used to them — to me they’re normal. But to everyone else, I’m something out of a science fiction movie. But you, you saw me as a person. You didn’t stare at my equipment, you looked me in the eye. And then — you thanked me.

I’m not sure you could tell, but I was stunned. I’ve had people approach me and call me gross or ask me, “Are you really going in the pool like that?” And when you came up to me, I was preparing for the worst. 
But what came next still has me in awe. You thanked me for rocking my bikini, told me about how you used to have an ileostomy as well and how you no longer have a large intestine. You told me I was inspiring. That honestly meant the world to me.

When I was packing for that trip, I agonized for hours about what bathing suits to bring. I actually brought every bathing suit I owned and money to buy a new one because I didn’t think I had the right one to hide everything. That morning I made a last minute decision to just wear my bikini as if I didn’t have any extra parts on my belly. I was so nervous. Every teenage girl can have body image issues, and since getting my ostomy, mine have been multiplied by 100. We hadn’t been on the beach long when you approached me, and I was already feeling uncomfortable, thinking all eyes were on my ostomy. But after speaking with you for those few short minutes, all my worries melted away. At that moment, I realized what I look like doesn’t matter, and for the rest of vacation, my only bathing suit issue was that I had severely over packed and probably didn’t need nearly as many as I had brought!


​So thank you. Thank you for restoring my faith in the good of people. Thank you for allowing me to feel comfortable in my own skin. And finally, thank you for giving me the confidence to enjoy my vacation to the fullest extent.
​ 

Grandma Mabel's Ostomy Surgery in 1938
An Inspirational Story by Paul Riome as posted on ostomyconnection.com

My Grandma Mabel had ostomy surgery in 1938 and went home with no supplies.

How did she cope?  How did she live with her ostomy? Let’s try to imagine 1938… and then imagine living with an ostomy in 1938. This was before the internet, before cellphones, before microwaves, before TV, before plastics.  The stock market had crashed in 1929, followed by a decade named The Great Depression. It was a challenging time to live.

In parallel, there was a decade of drought and crop-failure in the entire Midwest of North America, appropriately named the “Dirty 30s.”  This was before the 2nd World War. This era was also before flanges and pouches or any other ostomy gear was invented.  Ostomy patients were sent home after surgery with no collection device. No collection device!?!!

How did Mabel live with an ostomy, without ostomy equipment?

Mabel lived on the prairies in Western Canada, where summer temperatures rose to +40 degrees C (+104 F) and winter temperatures dropped to -40 degrees C (-40 F).  The only heat in the house was the stove which burned coal, and when they had money, wood.  There was no cold running water, it was pumped from a well – winter and summer.  There was no hot running water, they heated water in a large pot on the stove.  There was no shower, no bathtub.

No bathroom in the house, just an outhouse – a seat perched over a pit, in a small building 50 yards from the house.  This outhouse experience, in winter when it was -40 degrees, was the origination of the expression “so cold it would freeze your ass off!” Personal ostomy clean-up was in the outhouse, probably with a pail of cold water.  With no collection device supplied, available, or even invented yet, Mabel made do with rags or towels.

Mabel’s husband Walter was a practical and inventive man.

He devised a tin-can with a belt-strap to contain the stool.  This was leaky and stinky, but a big improvement over the very messy rags.  The tin-can had to be strapped tightly around her waist to reduce the leakage (not prevent leakage…just reduce). The edge of the tin-can bit harshly into Mabel’s skin, and left a nasty red compression ring. Walter was a horseman who made his own horse-harnesses, so he built a leather collar to cover the tin-can edging.  This was certainly more comfortable and leaked less, but it was difficult to clean the leather collar and the device still smelled.

Mabel considered a glass container which would be easier to clean than the tin-can, but adding a leather collar and attaching a belt would be difficult and the risk of glass breakage would be a big concern. The tin-can with leather-collar strapped around her waist was her best (and only) ostomy equipment. The 4 inch circle around her stoma was constantly covered with stool, and I expect she had many rashes, breakdowns, infections, and damage to her skin.  The salves used for harness-burns on horses would’ve been Mabel’s only relief from these skin problems.

There was no ‘support group’ for Mabel.

She never talked about her ostomy.  My father, who lived at home for the first 6 years of Mabel’s ostomy, was never told about her ostomy and he never saw anything that would indicate an ostomy.  He never saw a bulge on her dress.

While her husband designed and built her ostomy-gear, that would be the last time he participated and the last time they would talk about it. It just wasn’t ever discussed. For 15 years, Mabel lived silently with the inconveniences of an ostomy without ostomy-gear and with no-one to talk to who could relate.

My grandma Mabel was one tough lady.

Mabel was the sole steward of a 1-acre vegetable garden. She dug the entire garden with a shovel, planted seeds and hoed weeds.  In the fall, she dug out the potatoes and carrots, harvested and preserved corn and peas and beans for each cold winter ahead. For 15 years, from ages 52 to 67, she worked that garden with an ostomy.

Mabel was British, Victorian, stoic, and content…and she never complained.  And she was so thankful that her ostomy gifted her 15 years of good living. There have been days that I’ve complained about my colostomy. With the imagination to re-live Mabel’s ostomy experience, I will not complain again.  Ever.


Mabel’s Timeline:

1886 – Born in England

1904 – Age 18, Married Walter

1912 – Age 26, Emigrated to Canada

1938 – Age 52, Ostomy Surgery

1953 – Age 67, Died

Mabel’s Medical History:

I did considerable sleuthing to locate Mabel’s medical records.  Not surprisingly, these 76-year-old records have been destroyed.

BUT, there was an index card, with handwritten notes saying, “Mabel was diagnosed with Acute Ulcerative Colitis and hospitalized from December 18 through to February 13.”  There was no written record of her type of ostomy. I have so many more questions, but the answers may now be lost in history.

For all these years, I thought the hockey-tough-guy genes came from my father and his father. Mabel was way tougher than either of them. She had such an amazingly positive outlook on life, while quietly hiding the personal horrors of an ostomy.

Connect with Paul Riome at  LivingBiggerWithColostomy.com

Mabel, 2 years post-ostomy surgery

ConvaTec introduces
Rebecca Zamolo
Published January 9, 2015
ConvaTec is honored to introduce Rebecca Zamolo. Rebecca – after eight years of suffering with Ulcerative Colitis – recently decided to have her colon removed and is now actively promoting awareness of inflammatory bowel diseases and living with an ostomy.​​

Only a few months later she’s completing the Rock’n’Roll half marathon in Las Vegas while proudly wearing her new one-piece pouch with Moldable™ Technology.


We’re proud to be a part of Rebecca’s story and to support her mission of ostomy awareness through social media.  ​​​

Congratulations Team Rebecca!

Learn more about Rebecca's journey:

Awkward Moments Make Me Happy -
www.imdb.me/rebeccazamolo
Instagram & Twitter @rebrccazamolo
www.youtube.com/rebeccazamolo1
www.facebook.com/rebecca.zamolo

Stanley and Me make three: From Powerlessness to Possibility, Life with an Ostomy
by Jayne Prescott
Review by Stephanie Urzi

Stanley and Me make three is a picture of what we all go through as we face our illnesses. Jayne Prescott shows a true myriad of emotions as she writes her story of how Ulcerative Colitis invaded her life so rapidly she would have died without ostomy surgery. She clearly shows her fear, the fear we all faced, when dealing with that surgery, and then the triumph she found after surgery when she realized she could now live her life again. 
 
I would encourage anyone, and everyone, who has an ostomy, will have an ostomy, or knows someone facing ostomy surgery, to read this book. Jayne Prescott does an excellent job of putting into words the feelings that I believe we all go through. 
 
You can visit Jayne Prescott's website , to find out more about the author and to purchase the book. It can also be purchased directly from Tate Publishing .
 
This book can also be found on Amazon.com.
 
You can also visit the Stanley and Me make three Facebook page:

Enjoy this book. It is definitely a gift from Jayne's heart. I'm thankful that she shared her story for all to read.