2017 Stoma Stroll – A Huge Success

2017 Stoma Stroll Was A Huge Success!

Despite threatening weather conditions we had a great turnout for the 2017 Stoma Stroll on Saturday, October 7, 2017.

Many thanks to all that participated in the stroll and to everyone that donated. We really appreciated it.

You can still donate if you wish by going to:

www.stomastroll.ca

 

 

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Kiera’s Story

Hi, I’m Kiera.

This is my story about how I became an “ostomate”…

In late July 2016 I got a virus which activated my immune system. After the virus was gone, my immune system stayed locked on. It proceeded to attack my heart, liver, lungs and colon. My body, in trying to stop my colon from bleeding, created clots, which got stuck in my lungs. Within 2 days of being admitted at Kingston General Hospital (KGH), I was airlifted by helicopter to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa (CHEO). There, they put me through all sorts of tests and monitored me in Intensive Care. Doctors were so puzzled by my situation, I became well known in the hospital. Two weeks later, my colon was bleeding 2 ½ cups of blood an hour. I went into shock and surgeons immediately took over.

I was already at very high risk – bleeding to death but as the same time suffocating from the blood clots. Within half an hour, I was prepped and in surgery. After 5 ½ hours doctors reported surgery was successful. The surgeon told us if had he not removed my colon I would have died within an hour or two. Every time we see him he reminds me how lucky I am to be alive.

My colon was so badly damaged that when the surgeon removed it, it disintegrated in his hands. As a result, some of it was left behind in my abdomen, which became infected – the reason why I was on the most potent antibiotics a child could be prescribed.

Through all this, my veins were practically non-existant from dehydration and, because of trauma to my body from so many medical procedures, they began rolling. Thankfully, the double line PICC that KGH put in my heart, was instrumental in helping me get lifesaving medications, anesthetics and nutrition into my body.

I continued to be incredibly sick for the remaining 1 ½ months at CHEO. After my colon was removed, doctors were able to concentrate on other organs that had been damaged. Even still, my body was trying to adjust to having an “ileostomy” (an opening on the right side of the abdomen that allows the small intestine to excrete waste into a pouch). For a couple of weeks I had a tube down my nose and throat that continually removed liver bile from my stomach (normally it goes down, but the body was confused from surgery, and sent it up). On top of this, I continued to fight abdominal infection and additionally get sick from the potent medications and opiods that were being injecting into me.

When we returned home, I remained quite ill until the Infectious Diseases Doctor at KGH changed my antibiotics to ones that were more orally and stomach friendly. We also continued with twice daily, blood thinning needles.

At home, my mother became my “Ostomy” nurse. It took both her and I a fair bit of time to learn how to manage our “new normal”. In the beginning we had a lot of struggles, including finding the right medical appliances.

When people have pitied me, or my situation I have told them, “I’m not broken” and “I’m not disabled”. Having my colon removed saved my life! Through this experience, my family and I have realized there is a lot of STIGMA around having a “bag of poo” hanging from your hip. But I am STRONG and hope to be instrumental in creating AWARENESS about ostomies. I encourage anyone with questions to ask!

I may someday have “reconstructive surgery” (being put back together, but differently). At this time, I am interested in helping others understand what ostomies are and decreasing the stigma associated with it.

                                   ….. Kiera

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WHAT THE OSTOMY GROUP HAS MEANT TO ME

WHAT THE OSTOMY GROUP HAS MEANT TO ME

I have had an ostomy for 1 year and joined the Kingston Ostomy Support Group 9 months ago.

I have learned something from every person in the group. For example I learned that there was actually more than one brand and supplier of our products. I learned the pros and cons of each product. As well, I learned what to use on a flange for swimming or for daily leakage, what to use to get glue off my skin, or what to use to fix my skin. These are all issues that you don’t learn at the hospital.

But most of all, I found a group of people that you can talk to about anything. The people in this group want to help you if they can and who understand what you are living with. My husband has been welcomed by the group and has learned along with me.

We want to thank Meghan for starting the group and thank all the people who participate as members, speakers, and supporters.

Susan

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Welcome To Our Group

Welcome to our group!

We are a group of volunteers who provide an opportunity for persons who have had or may have ostomy surgery and their families, partners and friends to meet, provide support and understanding and share information.

We meet once a month (usually the third Thursday in the month in the evening). Our group is FREE to join and we have no fees.

If you wish to join or attend or want more information about our group, please contact

Meghan Hole
Email: meghan@ostomycanada.ca
Telephone: 613-331-2908

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