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When You're in a Pinch, Here's How to Find Ostomy Supplies

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VeganOstomy
(@veganostomy)
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Joined: 10 years ago
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When the stores are closed and you're out of supplies, what do you do? Share some tips in the comment section!

My written article for this topic can be found by clicking on the link below.

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.
~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


   
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(@Cindy Young)
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 2
 

I have been stuck without supplies....at the cottage. Fortunately for me the cottage was only an hour away and at 4am you can pretty much drive as fast as you want on the highway....lol Besides that, I always have 3 or 4 spare sets of things in my purse (I've had to change in the bathroom on an airplane, in restaurants, at friend's houses) and I always bring enough supplies to be able to change my flange every day of my trip. Seems excessive, but I haven't been short since :) Better to be over-prepared!


   
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(@VeganOstomy)
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 768
 

Sounds like you were in a "best case" scenario, Cindy! I would never leave the house without several extra bags and wafers, but after reading this question (and the responses from others) online I figured it's best to at least go over some options ;)


   
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 Kim
(@Kim)
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 2
 

Thoughts from The East Coast.....
Yes in the perfect world,medical outlets,shoppers drug mart,and yes Kijji.
Ostomy supplies are the most expensive medical devices in Canada.Personally I really don't understand why.Its not like people decide ""Yeah I think I like to have one of those.
""I've talked to a few people from many countries and ostomy supplies are either offered very cheap or even free.Wow ..Back to the beginning, for me ,this was very,very,difficult,painful and to make it even worst a good part,of the time was not being able,to afford the cost of my Ostomy supplies.
Yes Kijji here offered for sale sometimes,but i have never seen anyone just give it away.Our local chapter were a group of wonderful people, I met 2 years ago but.I guess what i am trying to say is that THINGS aren't always that easy.I wish they were
And if I could ,one of the things I would change is make it possible for people like you and me and all ostomates to have access and affortablilty all the any time...
Keep Rocking Vegan Ostomy
Thanks
East Coast


   
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VeganOstomy
(@veganostomy)
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Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 4229
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The east coast doesn't have the same programs like we do here in Ontario to help pay for supplies, but private insurance like Green Shield can significantly help people out.

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.
~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


   
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(@tod888)
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 4
 

Great topic, I am on a weekend trip away and am onto my last appliance! Looking good to make it home without incident.
Do people ever make their own appliances?! Just curious, obviously not ideal but we are an inventive and adaptable lot


   
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VeganOstomy
(@veganostomy)
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Joined: 10 years ago
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Hey Tod888,

DIY appliances are common in underdeveloped countries, unfortunately. In North America and Europe, it's almost unheard of, although I would say that it's likely still possible that some do it if they are really in a bind.

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.
~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


   
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(@Bailie)
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 3
 

Having had my ostomy for over 12 years and being a fairly "Macgiver" kind of guy, I would say if it is just the seal that I would try to salvage the bag. Clean up your self and the bag. I assume your sitting over the toilet to handle discharge. If you have someone to help you between you and them try and think of the stickiest thing you have available that is not toxic. Jam comes to mind immediately. And again this is assuming it's a state of emergency. I or my helper would help with the cleaning off of the old seal. Use the jam fairly liberally. Put the bag in place and "Bobs your uncle" or whoever, you have for an uncle. This is what I would try. Sitting in an upright position you can always feel whether or not the hole on the bag is positioned right for your stoma. If the bag is ripped than I suppose I would have to look long and hard at all the freezer bags I might have. Putting a hole in one end for emptying and pinching it off when empty. Any ways this is what I would try after all is said and done.


   
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VeganOstomy
(@veganostomy)
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Joined: 10 years ago
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@Bailie Thank you for sharing that. Definitely "last resort" tips.

It may also be helpful, if you at that point, to see what people in underdeveloped countries come up with when they don't have supplies - some of the stuff I've seen is genius when given the context. 

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.
~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


   
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(@Bailie)
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 3
 

Fortunately I haven't been caught to many times without a backup. But it's bound to happen. The longer you have your ostomy the more chance you'll be caught in an unexpected emergency at least once; and usually at the worst possible time. Not that there's a good time for it to happen. I can't imagine how people in underdeveloped countries cope, or perhaps even in developed countries. How many bags get thrown out because your scissors inadvertently poked a hole in the bag or whatever else spoils a bag seal. If there were a way to help our ostomy brothers and sisters around the world.


   
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(@Bailie)
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 3
 

By the way thanks to whoever makes this site available. I came across it by chance. When I am at a meeting or meet someone who has an ostomy I'll mention this wonderful site. Keep up the good work.


   
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(@Melinda Berrigan)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 1
 

Hello I am in need of a ostomy bag I am on my last one and ready to blow and no cheque for a week. New to london and no noone is there anyone that might have any they could spare please would replace them when i got my cheque. I literally have taped a bag around my stomach because its leaking .


   
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VeganOstomy
(@veganostomy)
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Hi Melinda, I'm really sorry to hear about your position. Are you in London, UK or London, Ontario? There may be some organizations who can help depending on where you live, but I would contact the stoma nurse at your hospital to see if they can spare some products for you until you can purchase them.

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.
~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


   
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(@john68)
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2041
 

Hi Melinda, If it’s London UK you will be entitled to free supplies. Contact me local Health Centre who will make an appointment to speak with a doctor. You will then get a prescription sent to a pharmacy and then collect your supplies. Hope it works out ?

ileostomy 31st August 1994 for Crohns


   
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(@Robert)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 1
 

Thank you for this article, and also for this comment section. My doctors are urging me to get a colectomy and permanent ileostomy but I have been resisting for a long time. My disease is not deadly, but it has reduced my quality of life a lot. I'm also in Canada, and ostomy supplies are very expensive here. In BC, I am under the provincial disability plan, so basic ostomy supplies would be covered, but it's only one type. I have very sensitive skin and a weird body shape, so I would probably not be able to stick with whatever the province offers.

The idea of ever not having a replacement bag sounds like a nightmare. After all the readings I've been doing online, I've decided not to get a colectomy. It sounds like replacing one problem with another. Thank you again!


   
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VeganOstomy
(@veganostomy)
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Joined: 10 years ago
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Good luck, Robert. I can certainly understand the dilemma and I experienced some financial burdens after my surgery due to the cost of supplies and/or having to pay for private insurance.

But now that my ostomy care is fairly predictable and consistent, I'm not really spending more than what Ontario's ostomy grant money gives, and I'm free to purchase whatever ostomy product I need.

For me, surgery really was about improving my quality of life. I wish you all the best.

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.
~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


   
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(@Stephanie)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1
 

It is a horrible nightmare I've recently had thus happen to me it is also painful as it eats ur skin off also


   
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(@Mary H Munro)
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1
 

Hi. I am a new ostomate as of 8/2/2022. A mass in my belly strangled my large intestine which caused me to have poop running thru my body. I had ischemia, left thumb was amputated and i lost the use of my legs. I spend 5 1/2 months in 3 different hospitals. With hard work i managed to walk again. I got out of the hospital on 1/14/2023. I was NOT educated on my iliostomy, ie diet, pouching systems and accessories. Everything i have learned i read myself and watched tons of videos. I am SO DEPRESSED i want to die. I don't go anywhere or do the things i use to do. I honestly am hanging by a thread. Always checking my appliance, paranoid? This is the absolute WORSE thing that has happened to me. Mt boyfriend of 7 years dumped me which didn't help with my anxiety/depression. I no longer have any spark left in me. I am affraid to sleep at night for fear of waking up in a shit fest. Thats totally disgusting. I keep asking myself why our LORD didn't take me. Why didn't i die? I hate this more than anything. I just want to die.....Thank you for listening, sometimes it helps me to vent.


   
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VeganOstomy
(@veganostomy)
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Joined: 10 years ago
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Hi Mary,

I'm so sorry that you are struggling. I've been there, too, before my ostomy. You might want to reach out to your healthcare professionals and even see if there are any local (ostomy) groups who can offer you support.

I've found that fixating on the ostomy does more harm than good, and it does lead to spiralling into despair.

If you have any hobbies you enjoy, use them to bring back some enjoyment to your life, but I do think that seeking guidance from your medical team would be in order.

Please consider joining our forum if you want to ask questions. We all need to vent from time to time, and I hope it's helped you.

Be well.

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.
~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


   
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 LK
(@dlkfiretruck)
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 1484
 

Hello Mary H Munro... Thank you so  much for reaching out!  PLEASE do not give up. You worked too hard for giving up now. You are in a good safe place here & know that YOU are NOT ALONE!! 

You have been to personal hell and back!  The fact that your boyfriend was a good times only man says he's worse stuff then what goes in your pouch & has a lot of growing up to do no matter his age! God will deal with him in his own way & time. He's not worth the effort & emotions if he can't support you when you need it most.  

Your feelings of abandonment are so true! I went through similar when my main support & love died after our almost 30 years of marriage and 5 months after my ostomy. To be fair, he had pancreatic cancer diagnosed 5 months after I got out of hospital so he would have been here if he could have but I still went thru a ton of turmoil & questioning why God saved me & not him.

If your having trouble with meals, most hospitals in Canada have a resonably priced meal plan you can choose frozen meals from but you will need a salt & pepper shaker! Lol! Any issues with energy & strength,  seeing your GP may help esp. if your not able to eat right bcuz your guts are still adjusting or you are Anemic. Anemia can mess with you something fierce so make a list of physical issues & emotions and right out ask your GP to check that your getting the nutrition & vitamins you need & ask for emotional support too.  In Canada you can book a 20 min. Apt. (most are 10 min.)  & if not book a few apts in one week to address all your needs & be up front right away & tell your GP what you are doing & why.  Please ask about your concerns of depression. Tell him what you told us here. This needs to be taken seriously & even as believers in the Lord we need help & God helps those who help themselves. He gave us brains & smart Doctors to help us out so let them to help you.  

Mary,  the fact that you survived ALL of what you went thru & still going thru means God has a plan for your life. Your pretty darn amazing to have lost the use of your legs & to work so hard to walk again, then theres your thumb too!  This all speaks of an inner strength that not too many may have. 

I agree with Eric get some professional help.  I was on anti - depressants for a long time after my long bout of illness & then my husband's death but I  was able to wein off of them slowly once my whole system stabilized but I needed help & theres nothing wrong with that at all.  

I can't imagine changing a pouch with one less thumb!! Yikes!  How are you doing with that ??  Do you think a prosthetic thumb would help??  Maybe asking your GP about that if your not managing.  Right now it sounds like your head is trying to make sense of whats disastrously happened to your body & theres nothing wrong with that even if you are a believer in God as I am too & anyone who says different is wrong.  If its okay with you, I will keep you in my prayers regularly. 

I'd like to direct you to my life saving sense maker, lol,  when it came to illness and understanding why God let me go through all I did & live.   I know that well meaning people can be so judgemental but this Pastor helped me understand so much about myself & how God fit in.  I found "Dr. Charles Stanley" at 3 a.m. one very desperate night for myself.  Go to  intouch.com or .ca if your in Canada.  Through his website & his understanding of God & the Bible I learned how to survive toxic people & comments from well meaning people by understanding that God still loved me & had not abandoned me.  The T.V. Church service is called In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley. Hes on here at 2 or 3 a.m. but lives in the USA & is on  again in the late afternoon Sundays thru VISIONHD,  Ch.871 . I record the night time show to watch in the morning. There is a bunch of Christian reading material you can access and even a link to have people pray with you any time day or night. Theres also a daily devotional based on the teaching of the Bible. You can order a copy thru the mail or read it on the computer. The church service is viewed in so many countries & languages,  theres a list on the site where you can find them. Dr. Charles Stanley is not your typical fist pounding pass over your wallet TV Pastor. He teaches Gods word & the understanding of the Bible.  Once I was able to look after my Doctor provided medical needs and that of understanding my spiritual life I was able to start to move forward. 

Mary, your still recovering & may be for a while but if your not able to work there is help for you financially out there too. I have a fair idea of whats available in B.C. Canada but we have members here who may be able to tell you where to look if elsewhere.  I'm on disability bcuz of my health & ostomy. 

Please ask any questions you need help with. We can offer a bunch of tips to work with your ostomy & help you find what works for you.  Try giving your stoma a name. My stomas name is Rose bcuz once I adjusted to my new normal I could honestly see that having a stoma was a beautiful life saving gift. That said Rose had several nasty names prior to that but naming her helped me connect her to me & appreciate her. 

Mary, take heart & know that things will improve for you & reach out for help at home too. If family doesn't know your needs they can't help.   Your doing the right thing coming here for encouragement & ostomy help. Maybe start a new forum asking questions you may have or simply telling your story so we can get to know you & say hello.  

I'm widowed 14 + years. I'm a Gramma of 7,  babysitting one Grand-D 2 to 4 days a week. I plant a bit of a veggie garden & keep a pretty flower bed from late  Spring to Fall where I gift live flowers to those passing by on foot.  Both my kids are happily married. I have a sweet playful little dog named Missy. I enjoy crafting & crocheting, sewing & counted cross stitch. I have new friends & a pretty wonderful group of other ostomates here. 

Thank you for reaching out! I hope this had been helpful to you. Sorry it was a  long read.

Linda


   
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