Big Game in Celebration of World Ostomy Day!

Ostomy Odor Isn’t a Game

In his pursuit of big game, the American Archer would almost always consider hunting the rutting bull elk as the pinnacle. Bears, mountain lions, and wolves threaten the animal’s survival as a calf but less so as a mature adult. As long as Man has eaten meat, he has also been listed among the elk’s predators. I am witness to the elk’s extraordinary visual, auditory, and olfactory senses sharpened by the predatory enemies he encounters in the wild.  As hunting is my passion, my family enjoys wild game as an alternative to eating stockyard raised beef, chicken, or pork.

My two sons and I just returned home from a week of extreme archery hunting in Colorado. We Michigan “flat-landers” (altitude 600 feet) drove to Eagle County Colorado, at the foot of Vail ski area, rode horseback to nearly 11,000 feet in the Flattops Wilderness Area, then hiked miles through grassy fields, bushwhacked through thick “black timber”, and stumbled over rocks and deadfall striving to get within 30-40 yards of an elk.

Happy Hunting!

I am a hunter with a urostomy, that is, I wear an appliance on my side that accepts urine from my diverted kidneys. This adds certain challenges to horseback riding, hiking, sleeping in a mummy sleeping bag, regulation and timing of fluid replacement. For instance, on horseback, your posture applies pressure to the full bag against the hard leather saddle. Especially during steep ascent when helping the horse by leaning forward. When hiking, perspiration can cause the wafer to slip and a “wardrobe malfunction” can cause a “blow-out”. The odor of the bag’s contents can chase away even the most aggressive rutting bull elk. Even on the way home, drinking one of those large caffeine containing sodas for the energy to drive long distance can also cause rapid overfill of your appliance. Believe me, there aren’t very many rest areas all across Nebraska!

In any case, I was happy, odorless, and had a great trip with my sons wearing my StomaCloak appliance cover.  It wicked away perspiration, absorbed odor, and felt comfortable all week. (I brought two to change out midweek because I knew I was going to sweat!).

Examples of living life despite obstacles abound, and mine is one in support of World Ostomy Day! Congrats to everyone out there who rise above!!

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

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