A lot of patients in the USA say "I'd rather die than have a colostomy". Sure, its not pleasant and requires a learning curve to become familiar with it. But most patients adapt without significant problems.
Its a different story in the third world! Often, there are no ostomy bags or the bags are so poorly made that they fall off the stoma or leak. When there are no bags, patients get creative but it is a difficult situation.
RECENTLY I RECEIVED THIS EMAIL!
Date: Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 9:19 AM
Subject: I NEED YOUR HELP
Dear Dr, I sincerely need your assistance seriously. I have been with colostomy since 2006 but to get good adhesive bags has been a very big challenge for me. You won't imagine how I have been managing myself since then. It is really shameful and disgraceful. I pray for your help. I am a Nigerian precisely from Imo State.
It has been long, at least seven (7) years now I have been looking and praying for help in order to manage this health situation I found myself. Nevertheless, I never bargained for this but I have been managing it with its shame and disgrace since then since the spirit of suicide is far from me.
|Management of colostomy without bag|
Thank God I got your contact through a friend in London whom I asked to help me get any association that can help me with the bags since it is difficult to get a good adhesive one here in Nigeria.
Dr., I pray to see you by May as you said because I have seen hell due to this situation. Not only that I cannot find a good bag but the irregularity of excretion is another big problem. The feces comes out any how. The worst part of it, is the offensive gas I often produce through the colon. The offensive gas keeps me uncomfortable even those around me. Dr, what do I do to these problems?
This poor Nigerian man had a colostomy because he was told he had rectal cancer. Unfortunately, there was no cancer! But now there is a permanent colostomy. There was no ostomy nurse to show him how to care for the ostomy and no good colostomy bags!
I had this patient visit the Nigerian Christian Hospital to see Smart Uruakpa, RN. Smart assists me in surgery and we gave the man the few colostomy bags I had. With the help of FOW-USA (Friends of Ostomates), I will get ostomy bags for this man and hopefully change his life for the better. FOW is already helping with colostomy and urostomy bags for many of my patients in Nigeria.