This morning I saw the support garments lady at the hospital. I took in with me the wrap and pants I’d got from SupportX online some time ago, and she shook her head at them and said that neither was giving any real support at all, which I was pretty much aware of. I told her that the wrap kept rolling up at the back and was not wide enough top to bottom.
She suggested a proper belt with a Velcro fixing, and got several out for me to try, but again the back rolled up, and she said they were not really suitable for me, and that I’d be better with support briefs. These garments are all specifically designed for people with stomas.
We tried a pair of these and they were much better. They are made of very nice firm smooth stretch fabric and she said they would offer sufficient support to help prevent a hernia developing. Hernias are very difficult to treat and the operation is not always successful, and prevention is very much better than cure, and even though the support garments are expensive, they are a lot less of a drain on the NHS budget than a hernia operation.
She has ordered one pair for me to start with, and after a week or two, if they prove satisfactory, I can phone the number she has given me and they will order 2 more pairs. I am allowed 3 during one year, and she doesn’t want to waste my prescriptions by giving me 3 all at once, in case they aren’t right for me, but I think they will be fine.
On the subject of convex bags, after I spoke to the Coloplast rep at the open day back in June, I was told that I would be contacted once the new Sensura Mio convex bags were launched, and I would be sent some samples to try. I was told this would happen in the autumn. Not having heard anything, I phoned in October and was told they would be launched in November. I then heard that earlier this month someone on the stoma forum on Inspire had already got her samples, so I phoned again, and was told they would phone me, which they didn’t.
I phoned again last Friday and was told that someone would definitely phone me on Monday (yesterday) – they need to speak to you so they can fill in a form, getting information from you about the size of your stoma etc. so that they can send the correct samples out.
At 4 p.m. yesterday they still hadn’t phoned, so I rang them again and I was told that no way would I have been phoned yesterday because each request took 24-48 hours to process! She wanted to know who I’d spoken to, and of course I couldn’t remember his name… She could find no evidence that I had phoned at all! Honestly, I do get fed up with these firms that pass you from pillar to post and nobody will take any responsibility, and all they can say is, “They shouldn’t have told you that…” as if it is my fault!! I said I’d been waiting a long time, and had contacted them repeatedly, and I was anxious to get my samples asap as I wanted to be able to order them with my next order from my supplier if they were suitable, and I’d been deliberately running down my supplies. I told her yet again which days I’d be in and when I wouldn’t be available this week (I have 3 hospital appointments 3 days running) and she said she’d try and push for a phone call this morning (Tuesday) before we left for the hospital for my support garments appointment. Of course, there was no phone call.
She told me I might not hear before Friday! I told her that was a whole week on from when I’d first phoned them asking for samples. I really do think this is pretty shabby and I told her so.
I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if they phoned tomorrow when we are out. I wouldn’t put it past them…
I know they are inundated with requests for samples of these new bags, but I have been on the list to receive them since June, so surely I can hardly be considered to be at the end of the queue. I am wondering if I’m ever going to get them!!
Tomorrow I am going in to the day surgery unit so that my surgeon can examine my rectal stump under general anaesthetic. When I saw his registrar at the end of October he couldn’t see much because it was full of muck and pus, and it was rather uncomfortable having the proctoscope in for any length of time, so he said he would discuss it with Mr. Pullan who would probably want me in for a fuller investigation. I have to be there for 8 a.m. having had no breakfast. I should be home by lunch time, depending on how things go, and how soon I am over the anaesthetic and able to leave.
On Thursday I have my CT scan, and on 27th, bloods to be taken at the Ricky Grant (chemo) unit. On 30th November I am seeing the oncologist after she’s received the results of the scan and bloods, and I am hoping for the cancer all-clear! I counted up all my appointments this year since my diagnosis in mid-January, and up to and including the oncology appointment at the end of this month, the total is 49!!