I switched to an ostomy appliance provider. I was using my local hospital medical supply source. It seemed very impersonal and limited. The resource person would take the phone call and look me up on the computer, then reorder whatever was on my record and hang up. She was not knowledgeable about options and seemed bothered by my requests.

One of my patients recommended a national ostomy appliance resource and I called them. I was amazed by the agent’s knowledge, suggestions, polite responses, and “salesmanship”! She advised pre-cut wafers among other things; some simple solutions that I did not know existed! I even ordered opaque beige urine drainage bags! They came with a sort of fuzzy tan exterior that seemed to answer some of my previous “plastic baggie” concerns about my “see-through” clear appliance.  

 

I have been wearing them now for a month, and unfortunately, they are not all they’re cracked up to be. The thicker bag material stays wrinkled and therefore bulkier. The “fuzzy sweater” on the outside of the bag holds moisture after showering and feels wet in your clothes after packing it away. The valve does not open as wide, and takes longer to drain, and is more likely to soak my fingers. The outer diameter of my new precut wafers is actually smaller than my previous wafers and they become detached with less accidental pull or jarring, therefore not as useful in my active lifestyle!

By ordering through that national clearing house, they charged my insurance for three months’ worth, and therefore, I have two more months before I can change to something better!

So, I have learned: 1) get the bigger wafer and maybe still have the hole precut. 2) Go back to the simple plastic (thinner bags). 3) use my StomaCloak for concealment and softness on the skin (it wicks away the ‘after shower’ moisture much better). And 4) if you went through surgery, have an ostomy, and are still using the original appliances that you started with, you would be surprised at your options! I would advise meeting with a WOCN nurse, talking over options, maybe trying some free samples, and THEN consider ordering through a national clearing house.

By Dr. Joseph Salisz, MD A urologist with an ostomy

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