New Member Introduction: Seeking Friendship and Support

Jul 19, 2023 3:09 am

Hello fellow ostomates. I hope you all are well. I look forward to getting to know you all.

I am a recently new ostomate as of March of 2023. I hope I can build friendships with you all, gain and share ideas and advice, and meet new people, especially in my area, so I can build friendships with others who understand.

One thing I have found is that no one in my circle seems to really understand the new challenges I am now going through. They often think that going someplace should be simple (I wish).

Jul 19, 2023 3:12 am

Hi there,

Welcome! Congratulations on being an ostomate. Always feel free to post, ask questions, vent, etc.

Gray Logo for MeetAnOstoMate

Why Join MeetAnOstoMate?

First off, this is a pretty cool site with 35,000 members who truly understand you.

It's not all about ostomy. We talk about everything.

Many come here for advice or to give advice, others have found good friends, and some have even found love. Most importantly, people here are honest and genuinely care.

🛑 Privacy is very important - we have many features that are only visible to members, ensuring a safe and secure environment for you to share and connect.

Create an account and you will be amazed by the warmth of this community.

Jul 19, 2023 3:20 am
Reply to Beth22

Hello Beth,

Thank you for the welcome. I will keep in mind that this is a good resource for questions.

Jul 19, 2023 9:01 am

Hello RessaMarie.
A warm welcome to you as a new contributor to this site. I do hope you get as much from it as I have over the years. 
In the past few weeks,  I have found it interesting that after many years of living with people who know and largely ‘accept’ the fact that I have a stoma, there are a few times when their comments and/or reactions indicate that they are perhaps still not fully conversant with what we go through to manage this condition.

An example arose in the last few weeks when I was looking forward to going on holiday with the family. I had booked and paid for a cottage on the Isle of Mull for 2 weeks and was eagerly awaiting watching the eagles there. 
Unfortunately, my stoma let me down and prolapsed, which meant a lot more hassle than I felt I could cope with in the company of others away from home and all the gadgets, facilities, and stoma ‘workshop’  I’ve built up here over many years.

At first, I could not understand why my family seemingly could not accept the fact that I could not face the prospect of coping with even more hassle away from home. However, upon much reflection, whilst they have been away, I have concluded that their reaction was probably due more to their disappointment on my behalf at having to miss out on a much-anticipated break, rather than not understanding my predicament.
It seems that sometimes our perceptions of what others are trying to communicate, get intertwined with our own thoughts, feelings, and anticipations, to create a slightly distorted picture of what those others understand and what they are trying to communicate. 
‘Going places’ with a stoma ( and many other chronic conditions) is rarely as ‘easy’ (or simple) an option as when a person is fully functional and motivated to ‘go’.

Best wishes


Jul 19, 2023 10:21 am

Welcome. Education is key on this new journey of yours. I suggest you check out UOAA, United Ostomy Association of America. It's our national organization. Also, You will learn about foods, blockages, skin care, clothing, ostomy products, travel, activities, and a whole host of other tricks of the trade. You might also want to check out a local support group near you. Just remember you are not alone on this new journey of yours. Wearing a pouch does not define whom you are. There are solutions. We're here for you. Best of luck.

Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Dogen's bag
Jul 19, 2023 11:48 am

Welcome RessaMarie!

It's quite a trip and in no way simple.

You are really not alone.

Friends and family can't "get it" and that's okay because without the stoma, how could anyone understand?

When you're ready, you'll do more, venture out a little more, and be able to deal with other people's misunderstanding much easier.

This is a great site, lots of nice people and great advice. Welcome to the new world. -)

Jul 19, 2023 12:45 pm

Ressa Marie,

Welcome to our club. It is a club that we all probably would rather be in but it is a warm and receptive group. You can ask us about anything.

Jul 19, 2023 12:53 pm

Welcome to the group, RessaMarie. These folks are empathetic, hilarious, supportive, and invaluable. People without a stoma couldn't possibly understand the ins and outs of this life, from odor control to leaks to what to wear. You are still so new to this, so ask away - you'll be sharing your tips and helping others in no time!

Morning glory
Jul 19, 2023 3:57 pm

Welcome Ressa Marie, I think you landed in a safe welcoming site. Here you will find answers to your questions and support and friends.

Jul 19, 2023 8:44 pm

Hi RessaMarie, and welcome to our exclusive club! You will find that in time, things will get easier, as you gain more knowledge and confidence and learn a few 'tricks of the trade'. This site is a great resource, so make sure to keep in touch and ask questions about anything. Nothing is off limits and there are no stupid questions.


Jul 20, 2023 8:25 am

Welcome to the site as many friends have already mentioned lots of tips, advice, and fun. Xx

Jul 21, 2023 4:39 pm

Hi, welcome to the group!

Jul 24, 2023 2:00 pm

Ask this group anything. I'm a retired nurse and they have been a blessing with suggestions for my husband that I would never have thought of. We do enjoy going out for dinner and have learned what to eat during the day and when to stop prior to going out. You get to know your body pretty quickly and that will help you.

Jul 24, 2023 7:40 pm

Welcome RessaMarie,

I joined this site prior to surgery and am looking for advice. Over 3 years post-op, I continue to find new ideas and inspiration from this site. I have kept my "secret" from all but those close to me. I've made a few new friends and have shared many stories. We, as a group, are small. Therefore, I feel that whatever insight or support I can give will create lasting friendships. Recently, I was speaking to a friend and asking how his family was. He told me about his 16-year-old son who has UC and how it's really hurting him mentally. At that point, I told him about my situation. I, as a 61-year-old man, have a new friend young enough to be a grandson. The point being, our situations, experiences, and concerns are held by few. Staying active with sites like this will show that we can move forward and that we are not alone.

Best of health to you,


Past Member
Jul 25, 2023 11:11 am

I like to think of us as a special group of fighters, like Navy Seals or Green Berets: strong, resilient people who can handle the difficulties and misfortunes of life and turn it into a beautiful existence. So, welcome warrior!!

Jul 25, 2023 2:46 pm

Welcome to the group

Aug 08, 2023 6:04 am

Hello RessaMarie,

It does take some time to get used to your "new normal." What type of ostomy do you have? Different types have their own unique challenges. I have a permanent end colostomy, now 7 months post-op. So I'm still getting used to having a stoma like you are.

Take care,