I just returned from the monthly meeting of the Triangle Ostomy Association. I’m not going to lie, I got a little nervous when Jarrod and I walked into the room and everyone I saw was over the age of 65. We started to wonder if we were in the right place, but weren’t even sure who to ask. I know we looked totally lost when a girl named Jes, who’s about our age, came up and introduced herself. She told me we were in the right place and me feel a bit more at ease and introduced us to the president of the group.
Once the meeting started, the president introduced me to the group and I said that I was having surgery next week. I’m not sure if it was just a coincidence or not, but it seemed that they almost tailored the message for me. Most of what was discussed were things like “what do you wish someone had told you before your surgery?”
It was a really nice community of people. Some of them had only had their surgery for a few months. One lady has had an ostomy for 63 years. There were also lots of different reasons why each individual had to have an ostomy and lots of different types of ostomies, more than I’d realized.
After the meeting, I had a number of people come to wish me luck and let me know that it’ll be OK and I’ll get through all of this just fine. I got the chance to speak with Jes and another girl who’d had an ostomy for a couple of years along with their husbands. It was really nice to find a group of people who know what it’s like and can assure me that they have no regrets.
I think this could be a great thing to be a part of and be imparted some wisdom from those who’ve been living with an ostomy for a long time and others who are going through it with me. I also found out that one of the girls I spoke with works at UNC Hospitals and told me if I needed anyone to talk with when I’m there to give her a call. It’s good knowing I’m not alone in this.
For more information on the Triangle Ostomy Association, check out the Crohn’s Resources link at the top of the page.