Category : Andy

What actually is a stoma, and what is the history behind it?

Most people reading this have a stoma, but how many of us actually know what it is, or why we have it …… Every day, the number of people who have a stoma increases – they are believed to number around one and a half million around the world. What is a stoma The dictionary definition of a stoma is from the Greek meaning “mouth, or opening” – it is usually created as a result of a Diverticular disease. A […]

What ostomy products do I use, and why?

I’ve had my Stoma for ten years now, and in that time, I have tried multiple products in an attempt to find what works best for me, and so in this blog, I thought I’d mention them – just in case there is something you have not thought of. It’s not fair to mention brand names here, and I offer no loyalty to a particular make or company, these products “just work well” for me…. Everyone has different needs, we […]

A Bigger Life blogger whos shares his experience of living with a stoma

The power of acceptance in recovery from ostomy surgery

My ileostomy was created just over ten years ago on the 18th March 2008, so in this blog I thought I would share with you the acceptance, problems and recovery during that time, and so as such, it is designed for the newer ostomate. There are ten items, one for each year of my new life. I hope that this will give some hope to those who have recently undergone the creation of a stoma, or those about to. Most […]

Obtaining ostomy supplies

How to order ostomy supplies in the UK Obtaining and ordering stoma supplies will vary according to which country you are in, so this blog is only relevant to the United Kingdom, but I would love to hear how other countries operate …. If you would like to, why not use the reply function at the bottom of this page and share? In the United Kingdom we have “The National Health Service” – this basically offers free medical treatment for […]

Living with a parastomal hernia

What is a Parastomal Hernia? A parastomal hernia is a type of incisional hernia that allows protrusion of abdominal contents through the abdominal wall defect created during the creation of an ostomy. The formation of a Stoma is quite an invasive event – the stoma protrudes through muscle and fat layers before exiting through the abdominal wall. However, by doing so, the entire area is weakened. In some people, this weakness can lead to the formation of a parastomal hernia. […]

Shopping list to get you through the early days

There is a great deal of information available on the internet these days regarding the formation of stomas – Why they need to be created, how to look after them and ways to encourage you back to work … but none of them will tell you how you can help yourself to recover quickly and be comfortable in doing so. These things can only be learnt from personal experience. When I came out of hospital, there were a lot of […]

Andy shares what is good to eat and what to avoid

We Ostomates have to be a little careful with what we eat and drink, but there should be no reason why we cannot have a rich and varied diet. By the very nature of our condition, output is “normally” watery, so we want to avoid, or moderate anything likely to make things worse. For me, this is “cheese spread”, or “walnuts”. If I eat much of these, I am forever emptying…… on the other side, chicken is absorbed better for […]

Andy Fletcher shares his tips on changing an ostomy bag

Which is best, a one piece or a two piece appliance? What is the best way to remove a bag? How do you dispose of a used bag? These are some of the questions I have had to answer over the years. Nowadays the internet is full of suggestions, so I have here attempted to “merge” the more useful ones into this single blog, representing my personal views. I have also included a link to a YouTube video that I […]

Andy’s recovery from surgery

Having any kind of Ostomy surgery is pretty evasive to your body, so you need to give yourself plenty of recovery time. Each kind of operation can carry different recovery rates. These range from around three months, to (in my case) six months. I remember my doctor telling me prior to the operation that she was going to sign me off for six months and that I should possibly expect more time, to which I gave her one of those […]

My personal story and reasons for ostomy surgery

On the 17th March 2008 I underwent a total panprocolectomy which gave me a permanent stoma. For those not aware, this meant that most of my intestines, my entire colon, rectum and anus were removed. It’s not as drastic as it sounds, but it has given me a quality of life that I had forgotten about. So, how did all this come about? For several years I noticed I was “spotting blood”, but being a typical male I ignored it hoping it […]