October 1, 2019 at 4:49 p.m.

Help improve ostomy awareness

Letters to the Editor

To the editor:

Ostomies are life-savers.

I know this because many individuals would not be here today without their ostomy. Many people have had ostomy surgery as a result of Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, cancer, infection, perforated diverticulitis, birth defect, hereditary conditions such as familial adenomatous polyposis, and blunt/penetrating trauma of the abdomen.

Unfortunately, some people still delay the decision or choose death over life with an “ostomy bag” due to stigmas and misinformation. 

People who have connected with United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA), however, know there is indeed a full life after surgery. With basic education, a proper pouching system fit, emotional support and a good ostomy nurse, a person living with an ostomy is capable of anything. 

Join me in celebrating life this Ostomy Awareness Day — Saturday, Oct. 5. UOAA estimates that 100,000 new ostomies surgeries are performed each year in the United States alone. People of all ages have this type of surgery that creates an opening (stoma) in the abdomen that allows for the removal of bodily waste into a pouch outside the body. 

This year’s theme is “Ostomies are Life-Savers.” You can make a difference by sharing the facts about this life-saving surgery, supporting a Run for Resilience Ostomy 5k and many other simple ways. Visit ostomy.org for more information.

People and families of those with ostomies are not alone and can find support at the IU Health Jay Hospital Ostomy Support Group, which is affiliated with the United Ostomy Associations of America. The group meets at IU Health Jay Hospital in Conference Room B on the second Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. The next meeting will be Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, at 6 p.m. and is open to ostomy patients of all ages and their families, friends and caregivers. If you or a loved one have an ostomy, know you are not alone. 

Those not within driving distance of IU Health Jay can find a United Ostomy Associations of America affiliated support group by visiting ostomy.org or calling (800) 826-0826. Local Certified Ostomy Management Specialists can be found at the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy at nawccb.org. Discover more about Ostomy Awareness Day at ostomy.org and ostomyinternational.org.

For more information on the IU Health Jay Ostomy Support Group, contact Heather Morehous at (260) 726-2890. You may also visit iuhealth.org/jay, or watch for group meeting reminders at facebook.com/iuhealthecr.

Heather Morehous

Leader of IU Health Jay Ostomy Support Group
PORTLAND WEATHER

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