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About my self:
During my Freshman summer at age 13 (1973) I became quite ill, severe diarrhea, vomiting and weakness. Within 2 weeks was admitted to the hospital and became very sick then was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.

They told me my bowels were very sick and there was inflammation etc. At thirteen I had know idea what or where my "Bowels" were! So many probing, sticking, drinking tasteless and sickening drinks, lying upon cold tables and unfamiliar cold hands; all this was so frightening and yet I felt so sick soon it almost did not matter.

Then began losing blood as quickly as they could put it in. By know I was in ICU and was convinced this was where you went to die. I was so upset, thank God the nurses were there reassuring and taking great care of and with me. Since I was the youngest patient on the floor.
So much pain and was afraid of medicine,doctors and the hospital and did not take any pain medication. I prayed God would let me die it hurt so much.

I remember though waking up and feeling so much better, yet I was so very ill with a long road to recovery & convalescence. It was slow and there was a lot of problems getting a leak proof ileostomy fit. For the next 2 years I changed the pouch 2-3 times a day and developed such sores. Finally I went to University of Penn, had 3 Kock internal pouch surgeries in the next 6 months. Finally met an Enterostomal therapist, Mike D'. The Kock pouch system did not work. The nipple valve was not perfected and after a few months, reverted back to a regular ileostomy. But it was moved from the right to the left side and now I could get a good fit.

Today I am doing very well. My work is really my play as a professional photographer. It is wonderful being a grandfather! Conner James 8 & Sean David 5.
I love the outdoors, music, working out and especially my family, now adult kids. Sara 35 & Evan 24.

Having had an ileostomy since I was 14 and now being 60, would like to help those having difficulty with their ostomy. Maybe share my experience with products and fitting ideas and on relationships, talking to friends and work related issues as well how to approach intimate situations too.
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