If you follow the Colostomy Association on Twitter, you’ll have seen that there’s a charity movement called Stoma Aid which is aiming to raise £22,000 to change the lives of thousands of ostomates across the world who don’t have access to proper ostomy appliances, and who are having to make their own ones out of tin cans, bin bags and rope.
I wrote an entire article about it, which you can read here:
‘I’m so glad I have an ostomy bag.‘
by Thaila Skye
I remember visiting the Coloplast HQ in Denmark where they have a museum showing how ostomy bags have changed in the last sixty years or so, and I remember wincing at the barbaric-looking contraptions that ostomates used to use. Rubber or metal devices that would be tied around the abdomen with nothing in terms of skin care so I can only imagine how sore it would be to have faeces in constant contact with the skin. And even the first ever adhesive bag invented by Coloplast is a very distant relative of the range of products we have available to us today.
Modern ostomy appliances feel softer they have odour-control they look more discreet and they are easier to change or empty. Bags like Coloplast’s latest invention, the new SenSura Mio, are actually starting to feel like a luxury compared to what ostomy bags used to be like, even just in the last five years!
I have two stomas, my colostomy (mucous fistula) that requires a flat bag and my ileostomy that requires a convex bag. I’ve recently started wearing the SenSura Mio on the mucous fistula (on the left hand side of this photo), but am still wearing the old SenSura on the ileostomy (they’ve not got a convex version of the new Mio out yet). This means that I am able to compare all the features of both bags at the same time. I just absolutely love the new SenSura Mio, and there are so many new features and benefits to it, but one of the biggest reasons why I love it is because it just doesn’t feel like those older scratchy beige bags that I’d been used to! I had been used to bags that stayed soggy after a shower, or had filters so large that the top of the appliance poked out of the top of my trousers. Now, if I said all that to one of the ostomates living in the developing world, they would probably hate my guts (no pun intended) for complaining about a bag that feels a bit scratchy or stayed wet after a shower or poked up over the edge of my trousers, because the problems that they are facing in the developing world are horrendous in comparison to the ones I face in my comfortable developed world.
Please do read the article I wrote about it, and also please take the time to donate to Stoma Aid, even if it is just a small amount. You can visit the donation page here or find out more information about the project over at the Colostomy Association’s website.