I frequent a lot of social media sites and forums related to IBD and ostomy support, and one of the most devastating things to read is that someone is feeling alone with their illness or new ostomy. I certainly felt that way between the time I learned that I’d be getting an ileostomy to the time I actually had the surgery, but I was able to find enough online support to make me feel comfortable with my new stoma.  Unfortunately, many people aren’t that lucky and they spend months or years feeling isolated and ignored by their family, friends and coworkers.   Some people HATE their stoma and have nobody who understands their situation to talk to.

I hope to change that by offering a free, online video-based support group for ostomates.  You do not have to be vegan to join, and the goal isn’t to try and convert anyone. The goal is to:

  • Offer an online, video chat group for ostomates or ostomates-to-be.
  • Offer a safe place to ask questions about having an ostomy with others who understand.
  • Offer a place for ostomates to meet new friends online.
  • Offer a place to get support, a (virtual) shoulder to cry on or inspiration from other ostomates.
  • Offer a place to offer and received information about new ostomy products, tips, techniques.

I’d like this to be video-only, as there are plenty of text-based forums to find similar support and video offers a chance to be social in a way that forums cannot provide.

google HangoutsWith enough interested people, I’d like to start regular online support chats via Google Hangouts.  Using Hangouts is easy, and it can be used on pretty much any device (ipad, iphone, Android phone, laptop, etc.).  If you don’t know how to use Hangouts, there are several videos available on YouTube, but email me if you are still stuck!  I don’t want to leave anyone behind.

If you’re interested in joining or know someone who might be, please complete the form below or share this post so I can get an idea on the times people are most interested in.  If we have people from all over the world wanting to join, I will set up two different groups (based on EST and UK time) so that nobody is inconvenienced or excluded. I will follow up with everyone once a date has been picked and I’ll provide details on how you can join the call.  Hope to see you there!

QUESTION:  Would you like to see a similar online video support group for general IBD?