Today my hubby took me out which was lovely. I tend to get a bit stir crazy stuck in the house all the time, although I do love being at home, and I get a lot of contact with the outside world via the internet.
We had had a letter in the post a while back from Pelican Healthcare (who supply stoma products) saying they would be visiting our area and a small open afternoon had been arranged in a local hotel suite. This hotel, the Passage House, just outside Newton Abbot, is just next to the Passage House Inn where we have often eaten out, so I suggested we went out for a nice meal first, and then went to the meeting, and this we did. They have a carvery every day and we both opted for that - quite delicious!
Not very many people attended the meeting unfortunately, but the lady from Pelican remembered me from the open day in Newton Abbot a few months ago and was interested to hear how I was getting on. I had a long chat with the couple who run the local branch of the IA (used to be Ileostomy Assoiation but now the Ileostomy and Internal Pouch Support Group) which I decided to join today - I'd thought about it before and didn't see much point as I was getting a lot of help and support from the Inspire forum and from the stoma team at the hospital, but they have meetings several times a year with different speakers, and it's an opportunity to meet up with other ostomates and their spouses.
Light refreshments were laid on, and I had some good conversations with several people there, as well as being able to pick the brains of the Pelican representative about one or two things. I came away with a few samples and other bits and pieces, including the inevitable free pens and notebooks! Always useful!
I was keen to try their barrier wipes because I’ve been experiencing some problems with the Independence ones I’ve been using – sometimes the bag doesn’t want to stick on quite as well as it might, but the Pelican rep agreed with me that it might be that it wasn’t quite dry before applying the bag. I couldn’t remember if I’d picked up any Pelican barrier wipes at the open day a few months ago, and if I did, I didn’t put them on my comparison charts which was a nuisance. Anyway I shall give them a try, and if I like them, I may order them instead, next time I’m putting an order in with Patient Choice, my supplier.
I was also quite interested in their wraps, which the rep said were not as supportive as the SupportX ones I have got, but they did seem a bit longer in the body, which might prevent them rolling up over my bum at night! I think I need to do a bit more research into this before I order any more. I am entitled to six pairs of paints (ooops! I mean PANTS – that’s the artist in me speaking lol!) and four wraps per year on NHS prescription. I have four pairs of the pants which I think are really a size too big, and they are not very supportive, although they do keep the bag a bit flatter than without.
The IA is holding a local meeting in Ottery St. Mary at the beginning of December, with a visiting speaker from the National Trust, speaking about the renovation work at Castle Drogo which I know both my hubby and I will be interested in, so we shall be going to that. Lunch is laid on, and there will be the opportunity for conversation with fellow ostomates. The meetings are apparently quite well attended.
I am rather tired now after a quite busy day, but it was worth it. Always nice to get out of the house, and while the weather looked distinctly unpromising first thing (raining) and we decided to leave the buggy at home, it did clear up and was quite sunny but rather windy, so we didn't get wet.
I enjoy these meetings attended by fellow ostomates, and as time goes on, I am hoping to get to know them all a bit better, and make some new friends. A local support group is always a good thing, I think, and who knows – in time, I may be able to offer support and help to others!