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How and where do you store extra ostomy supplies?

dls
Posted by dls, on Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:57 pm

Hi again, another simple question.  With Stomy approaching his first birthday (november 9), I find myslef with a plethora of supplies.  Where do I store them?  Although I take anything I can't use to my Ostomy group, I do use my monthly allowance--and never reach the limit.  Nevertheles, I have a bureau full of supplies, and half my linen closet.  This stuff is taking over my knitting stash!  Before you all give me your usual great advie and solutions, please know that I live in a climate where we can lose power and the ability to travel (due to the snow), for weeks.  So it is imperative that I have at least a month's supply on hand at all times.  Ok, having that stored, I'm drowning in supplies.  I am hardly complaining, it is wonderful to have a variety on hand...but where do you put all this stuff?

Reply by Bill, on Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:53 am

Hello dls. Thanks for your descriptive post as it is no doubt familiar to most of us. In my own case, I redesigned my whole bathroom/toilet, with cupboards from floor to ceiling. I even have a hidden area behind the shower unit where I can stuff stuff out of sight. I designed the bathroom myself so that the cupboards were not too deep and therefore easily accessible. Further to this, I made a small cabinet which is on wheels to house my irrigation equipment, (along with my laptop - but that's another story) The 'clothing' type stuff , such as hernia belts are mainly kept in my wardrobe along with normal clothes and the, as yet, unpacked incontinence pads are stored on top of one wardrobe out of sight. The ones that I use daily are in one of the many cupboards in the bathroom. I feel that I have probably done the best I can to contain  everything to my satisfaction. However, just to let you know how my mind works. I had considered extending my cupboard space into the loft and having a lift-type system like they used to have with 'dumb-waiters' so that the bulky supplies could be lowered to a convenient height as and when I needed them. As with most things stoma related, it is my belief that we need to look at our own individual circumstances and design things to suit our personal needs. What works for one person may not work for someone else. That is why I find it necessary to consult my wife at the design stage, so that whatever I end up with will also be acceptable to her as well.

Best wishes

Bill     

Reply by Puppyluv56, on Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:11 pm

I too, am just after 6 months, I have a large amount of supplies that I will probably never need. I would be open to sending some supplies to Ostomates here that do not have insurance or are limited and receive less supplies than they use monthly! I know Medicare does not allow as much supplies as my private insurance so when Medicare becomes primary ins. I will need a stash! I have a VERY large bathroom with lots of cabinets for storage but it is quickly filling up! May have to add some as we are in the process of a bath remodel anyway! 

Reply by funnygurl, on Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:17 pm

supplies have a shelf life of 5 years.  I store mine in a cool storage room in the basement.  I think it is important to have a surplus at all times in case of a disaster.  I keep about six months worth on hand at all times.

 

 

Reply by mild_mannered_super_hero, on Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:04 pm
funnygurl wrote:

supplies have a shelf life of 5 years.  I store mine in a cool storage room in the basement.  I think it is important to have a surplus at all times in case of a disaster.  I keep about six months worth on hand at all times.

 

 

yes, the cartons have an experation date on them, store them in reverse order so you use the oldest first. 

Reply by Oaksun, on Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:12 am

My closet 

dls
Reply by dls, on Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:29 am

Thanks everyone, so far...at my last ostomy meeting (such a party...) everyone was asking where to fing ConvaTec's expiry dates--no one could find them on any box.  Can Anyone help?  Hollister has their expiry date easy to see, but we could not find those for ConveTewc or other brands.  Of course,I should contact my rep. and ask.but you people are so much more fun, and probably have the info at hand.  If you know where to find it on the packaging, tell me.  I need hero worship.

Reply by freedancer, on Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:21 am

Do you have any extra suitcases that you are not using?  I have two or three that I rarely use.  They make really great storage spots for extra supplies.  You can easily store them in a safe dry place where they will be easily reached.

Reply by Sasquatch, on Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:52 am

What I do, is keep a certain number of months of supplies stashed.  If I exceede that limit, I simply skip orders for as long as I need to set my inventory where I want to keep it.  It's simple, but it's been effective for me in the last two years.

dls
Reply by dls, on Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:29 pm

Thanks, freedancer, that's a great idea.

Reply by Puppyluv56, on Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:36 pm

I googled this and the example they gave was messed up but I got the gist of if. It is the Lot # on the side of the box. My lot is 8A06114. The first number is the year , 2018. The letter is the Month A=Jan B=Feb C=March and so on so mine is Jan of 2018. The next is the day of the month. This being the 6th and the last 114 is their machine code. So my box expires 5 years from Jan.,6th 2018. Can the make it any harder? Lol

Puppyluv

dls
Reply by dls, on Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:31 pm

Probably.  Who ever said we Ipster's are a bunch of powder puffs? I bet my rep won't know unless she contacts her rep at Convatec.  You broke the code.  Be sure to tell MMSH. It really isn't hard, as long as you know there are 12 months in the year and the alphabet.  Bravo!  I will be the princess at my next ostomy meeting.  Ah, Hero Worship...the smell of the crowd.  Many (most, actually) are long-timers with their supplies and worry about expiration dates as they do not use all items all year--things change seasonally, as do their necessary supplies.  HA- listen to me, I sound like an old pro, but coming up on just my first year I have had to make seasonal changes with appiances and accesesories.  Starting out with a twoonie and all manner of paste, rings and skin barriers (I was still learning), I now use a onesie with only a few grains of stome powder to collect the moisture from my stoma before I apply my pouch.  Of course, being so new, I experiment with everthing--closed-end pouches, products from other countries: the US is a rich and fertile market--overseas mfgr's will send you anything--I suggest everyone (except you irrigators...) contact SALTS online.  They are in the England and sent me a box of samples with just about everything they make.  Worth a try, as my rep already has these products in her system, although they are not yet for sale.  This company has already been reviewed on Utube. I still haven't 'test driven' any of their products, but they are well known in England. I think they will be popular here--just another alternative for us all--and keeping the mfgr's on their financial toes! I pick up things to try at my ostomy meetings, one of the most surprising was pediatric pouches by Hollister called 'pouchkins'.  They accomodate up to a 2" stoma and look exactly like the standard, tranparant one piece hollister pouch.  As they are for children, the pouch is only 7", not 12".  Thus, the only difference is its capacity--and its length. I use these on weekends or when I know my output is going to be small.  Not for everyone, to be sure, but being so short, these don't 'sit on my lap' and I know instantly when it needs to be emptied. We never know what is going to work for us, so I give everything a try.

Yes, yes, you rrigators, in my quest to learn to live with a little penis (more of a button, actually) on my body, I will be learning to irrigate--during my copious free time!  No, I feel it is important to know all facts and manner of dealing withour various 'extra's' in order to be able to gracefully handle all situations possible.  And maybe, the seemingly impossible.

Thanks again, Puppyluv, a lot of old people will rest easier knowing they are not in danger of using expired materials.

dls
Reply by dls, on Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:37 pm

Freedancer, not only are suitcases perfect, but my family has many old 'steamer trunks'.  As they die off, they all get sent to me ( I have a large house).  I have six of these--they are huge, have a tray and can easily handle a round the world cruise. So a suitcase can be placed on the same floor as my bathroom, while I can store months of product in just one of these trunks. The top tray is perfect of rings, paste, powders, wipes of all sort, etc.  So simple, thank you again, I never would have thought of this and it doesn't cost me a dime. Perfect.

dls
Reply by dls, on Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:45 pm

Hi again Funnygurl, How long did it take you to assemble a six-months supply?  Looking back on the 31 years I've been stranded in this pit, I would be a fool not to have a larger cache.  It's not just a matter of snow and ice here. It's the probability that supplies will not be able to get through ( this happens a bit every winter).  Even using the onverpriced local distributors can be impossible during a 'driving ban'. How did you do it and how long did it take?  All details greatly appreciated...esp. know that I have a place to put them and 'rotate my stock'. (thanks again, Freedancer)

Reply by Puppyluv56, on Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:14 pm

I am lucky that my insurance pays for way more than I use. I think I get 20 pouches a month and with irrigation, i only use 5 per month but I tell them to send me everything my insurance will pay for. Since I have met my out of pocket, I pay nothing! I have lots of one piece Convetec and Coloplast that I won’t use except in extreme emergency so you are welcome to some of them. 

Reply by Puppyluv56, on Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:19 pm

Thanks,  but no hero worship! Lol I will fall off of that pedastool way too fast! The funny thing is, the web site I found it on was wrong. It referred to the number 2 saying it was 2012 but the example did not have a number 2 in it! I emailed the website to let them know of the error so future Ostomates could understand it! They emailed me back and thanked me and said they corrected it! That way cool! 

Hope it helps everyone!

dls
Reply by dls, on Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:27 pm

Way cool is right, where di they fnd an IT guy awake? Amazing.

Reply by Cat6, on Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:13 pm

Donate some. 👍🏻 Friends of ostomates worldwide.

FOW-USA 4018 Bishop Lane Louisville, KY 40218. Some of these people are desperate for supplies. I try to donate anything that I no longer use or samples that didn’t work out. Then I throw in a few of my own pouches as I get a mini one piece from Hollister so it’s probably good for kids or smaller peeps. Ty.

 

Reply by HeyHey, on Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:21 pm

I do two things with extras. 1) I make a kit for emergenicies with the products I need for changing the skin barrier -adhesive removers, skin barrier prep, skin barrier and bags, etc. You can put a set in the car, glove box, under the bed, in a closet, a suitcase-- anywhere you can grab it and go if you have to. In case of a storm or earthquake, you have extras. 2) There are two charities who give supplies to people who have no insurance. Friends of Ostomates Worldwide fowusa.org, and ostogroup.com. I send extra supplies I don't need. The things I use, I store and keep. If I have leftovers, I don't order it for a while. I store things on a closet shelf.

Reply by annofsd, on Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:08 pm

I had that trouble, too, of receiving more supplies than I needed. Finally I just asked the supplier not to send any more. I'm a Kaiser patient and I know that I can always order more when I finally need some, but I still have lots in my closet waiting to be used.

Reply by Newbie Dana, on Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:57 am

Fortunately, when I had private insurance, they paid for all that I needed. Then, once Edgepark made a mistake and sent me two orders back to back (for 90 days supply)! So I had lots of extras, and they filled up my closet. Unfortunately, when I went onto Medicare, they cover 2 a day. Period. Which is, of course WAY inadequate! I no longer have a full closet, and life is getting difficult. I am working my way through this problem, trying things like liners, etc., and working on getting a prescription for more that maybe Medicare will honor. Having said that, I store a small supply in each bathroom, with the rest in my closet. I do have some spare supplies that didn't work out, and I thank you for the places to donate them! I really appreciate that!

Reply by collie123, on Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:15 am

Dear All,

just 7 months into life with 'Enigma' Urostomy stoma. I use an under the bed storage system but realise that I am running out of space. The suitcase suggestion is terrfic. I would normally keep in the attic but we had a heatwave this summer in England so..........

Hope everyone is well. I too am slowly building a back up stock - just in case Brixit takes its toll.

Hope everyone is well.

C

dls
Reply by dls, on Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:55 am

Hi Cat6, Yes, I always bring extra supplies or things I don't use (samples, or products that didn't work out) to my Ostomy group.  Everyone can take everything/anything they need.  And we do.  It is a great way to try out new products without expense, or things you not have seen before, but don't want to take a chance ordering.  Every few months, my Ostomy Group 'clears the decks' and delivers supplies to several ostomy-specific charities.  I support this as everyone is not as lucky as us.  However, I have no problem ridding myself of product for which I have no use. My problem was storage of usable supplies and a minimum six months supply (yes, I rotate my stock). This has been solved, thanks to freedancer.  Cat6, be generous, but always have on hand enogh for your own needs.

dls
Reply by dls, on Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:56 am

Hi Cat6, Yes, I always bring extra supplies or things I don't use (samples, or products that didn't work out) to my Ostomy group.  Everyone can take everything/anything they need.  And we do.  It is a great way to try out new products without expense, or things you not have seen before, but don't want to take a chance ordering.  Every few months, my Ostomy Group 'clears the decks' and delivers supplies to several ostomy-specific charities.  I support this as everyone is not as lucky as us.  However, I have no problem ridding myself of product for which I have no use. My problem was storage of usable supplies and a minimum six months supply (yes, I rotate my stock). This has been solved, thanks to freedancer.  Cat6, be generous, but always have on hand enogh for your own needs.

dls
Reply by dls, on Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:09 pm

Colie123,  I use an underbed system fir my knitting stash.  Isn't the suitcase idea great?  Freedancer is practical is smart.  If you read my replies, I have six old steamer trunks that are enormous. You could easly store two years worth of supples and accessories. I have suitcases I never use, and probably should have donated, but I'm glad I didn't, I can now grab a suitcase to pack without unloading supplies. If you're just bursting out of the under bed storage, the suitcase will serve you well, as your supply grows, look around for a stationery storage area for your overflow. Some of  the replies I have received have focused on donating supplies.  I already do this via private ostomy charities and donating items so my ostomy group whom also donates our 'overflow' to important charities. Living in the climate I do, I cannot stress the importance of having AT LEAST a month's worth of supplies--in a place that will survive in a disaster. As generous as we are on this site, we should strive to continue to be so--don't find yourself on the receiving end of charity.  If you have nothing for yourself, you cannot help others.

dls
Reply by dls, on Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:14 pm

Love your new photo!

Reply by spinbot, on Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:25 pm

A guess my small shelf with a couple boxes of each doesn't really compare.  :)  Despite being in Canada (Ontario), our provincial health care system doesn't provide supplies but rather they give $480 grants twice a year, regardless of income.  That definitely doesn't allow for stock piling.  Duoderm and M9 Drops seem more like a luxury ostomy item when you pay with your own money/credit..  Private health plans, through employers, were great as they really have no clue how often one needs to change.  I hear some change daily.  I change about once a week.  It would be worth getting a part-time job if it had benefits.

dls
Reply by dls, on Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:14 pm

Newbie Dana, Have you considered using a drainable pouch?  A one piece is almost as easy to change as a closed end pouch but obviously will bive you longer wear time.  I use closed end pouches, but not as my usual appliance. My output rather demands that I use a drainable pouch.  I love the closed end pouches: I use them at home when I'm not eating much and not going out.  When I'm out ( at a dinner, meeting or presentation), I carry a few with me and if needs be, rather than draining and cleaning up, I take off my onesie and replace it with a closed end.  They are easier to change, requiring less clean up and time. Like me you might be happier 'mixing it up', you'll be able to get enough from Medicare to cover your needs is you order a month of drainables every so often.

Reply by Puppyluv56, on Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:07 pm

Dls, 

hey, have you gone to your Ostomy group meeting and been crown Queen since you have the secret code to unlock Convetec expiration date yet? Cannot wait to hear about that! Lol

Puppy

Reply by Little Red, on Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:03 pm

I have an antique dresser,   wash stand,  3 drawers and a closed end with a door   all my supplies are in that.  What supplies I have.  I  called to order pouches last week and was told when I get down to  4 or 5 to call back ( Edgepark )  They said Medicare will only cover so many days at a time,  It has been 4 months sinse I have ordered. I have had one of there reps tell me one thing and  told something else by this one I talked to.  I may just call back and see who else answeres my questions.  I am down to my last box of 10 pouches.  She wanted an exact count and wanted to know how many ( exact ) days they would last.  How the heck would Iknow i told her I changed every 5 to 6 days if I didn't spring a leak.  Needles to say she wasen't very helpful.

  There  Now I 'am thru venting.

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