Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cooling a Hot Stoma

After a full day of hard work in the hot sun, it's nice to cool off...
Can't think of a better way than a skinny-dip in a lake.














The dives are not quite up to Olympic Game standards,
but maybe if there was an event for 'Over 65 Ostomates',
I could qualify for the Olympic Summer Games in Rio 2016 :)



Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Troubles are Over

About 2 months ago I wrote about Dwight's Troubles. 
Real life & death troubles with pancreatic cancer.

Dwight lived an amazingly positive 13 months after this diagnosis. 

He kept very close with his family
     He re-shared special experiences with them
          He talked about those difficult topics that have been buried deep for decades
               He helped others deal with their grief, and
                     He carried the burden for others by planning his own final-resting details
 
Dwight left the world a better place than he found it.

We will miss him.
 
 

 




Thursday, August 15, 2013

Smooth or White

We spent a week helping our daughter and son-in-law move between houses. 
And spent some quality time with 2 grandchildren.





Everyone helped moving boxes,
including Holly, Angus, and Hogus

(by the way, HOGUS got his name from
HOlly and anGUS).














Hogus and Grandpa took 6 truckloads
of garbage to the city dump.








Angus is well attuned to "boys toys". He liked the big moving truck. He was so excited to drive grandpa's truck. Even the choice for books to read before bedtime was 'Diggers and Dumpers'.




Even the 'Chalet' had to be moved. Grandpa wondered how to move the roof, then recalled carrying a canoe on so many canoe-trips.

Maybe that's why Canadians are sometimes called
"canoe-heads".




I've heard that ostomates shouldn't lift heavy weights, as they could be prone to hernias. 
I heard but didn't listen.

There is still a lot of work to be done at the new house. 
Boxes to be opened and rooms organized.                                   And stairs to be installed.


 
Grandma was insistent that I shave daily.

Holly and Angus liked the white beard.
 
The friendly debate continued with
 
Grandma insisting SMOOTH
and
Holly and Angus insisting WHITE 






Being a compromising type
and trying to keep everyone happy,

I shaved half-n-half ...

Smooth on one side
White on the other side!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Ostomy is a Beautiful Thing

As a positive pushback
to the Cincinnati Police inference that ostomies are disgusting
and no way to attract someone of the opposite gender ...
 
Many people showed 
 
Having an Ostomy is a Beautiful Thing
 because for many of us, it is 
A LifeSaver



You may spot me at Column 12 - Row 3

Yes, some people were offended that Lt. Joe Richardson attempted to reduce juvenile crime and shootings by scaring them with the horrors of a colostomy.  But his comments have given our Ostomy Community a great opportunity to change the perceptions and stigmas of people with ostomies. 
 
We heard a negative story, and made something positive from it.
 
When it all clears, the world will be just a little better
as another ignorance has been dispelled
and replaced by a new understanding. 

Awestomy initiated the  #right2remainsexy campaign
and produced a Poster and a Video
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Download the HD version
of this poster HERE  
(see me column 12, row 3)
 
or View the Video HERE
(See me at 3:09)
 
>>> Read the original story that created this event HERE
>>> Read CNN Doug Yakich's Inadvertent Discrimination article HERE
>>> Read my letter to the Cincinnati Police Chief, and his Letter of Apology HERE
>>> Download the Awestomy poster 'Having an Ostomy is a beautiful thing'  HERE
>>> View the Donna Mear video   HERE 
 


Friday, August 2, 2013

Cincinnati Police Apology


Cincinnati Police have brought tremendous awareness
to the stigmas and misperceptions of people with ostomies. 
We now have the public listening,
and the opportunity to make something good come of this.
  ______________________________________________

>>> Read the original story that created this event HERE
>>> Read CNN Doug Yakich's Inadvertent Discrimination article HERE
>>> Download the Awestomy poster 'Having an Ostomy is a beautiful thing'  HERE
>>> View the Donna Mear video   HERE 

This is the email I sent to Cincinnati Chief of Police Paul Humphries 01August2013

A Sincere Thank-You from Ostomates
 
The Cincinnati Police Department created a commendable initiative to reduce the number of shooting victims among juveniles involved with drugs, guns, crime, and gangs. But their implementation is appallingly disrespectful and insensitive to the ostomy community. Their approach is to shock these young criminals with pictures of gunshot survivors and gruesome ostomies.

 
The comment made by Cincinnati Policeman Lt. Joe Richardson has brought massive public awareness to the stigmas and misperceptions of people with ostomies.   
The Ostomy Community has been angered, energized and mobilized.  The situation is well beyond ‘damage control’ and ‘damage containment’ from your perspective.  I suggest that you could ameliorate the situation by
  • Make a sincere media apology to the Ostomy Community
  • Initiate an Ostomy Awareness Campaign with the Police & City of Cincinnati
With a positive outlook, this event may well be the Ostomy Community’s greatest opportunity to change society perceptions of people with ostomies.  Cincinnati will be seen as the ‘change agent’ and this event will become the ‘tipping point’ for an en-masse positive shift in the public’s image and perceptions of people with ostomies.


This event has been very uncomfortable for both Cincinnati and the Ostomy Community.  When it clears, the world will be just a little better, as another ignorance has been dispelled and replaced by a new understanding.  


Followers of my post at ostomy-is-not-tragedy-cincinnati will be pleased to read your response.
 

Paul Riome, Author of LivingBiggerWithColostomy.com

 

 ______________________________________________

 

The email response from Cincinnati Chief of Police Paul Humphries 02August2013
 
To the Ostomy Community:
 
Like many American cities, Cincinnati has seen an increase in the number of juveniles involved in violent crime.  Many of these juveniles become victims and suffer traumatic injuries as a result.  In developing a strategy we contacted a local hospital trauma center which has a presentation that illustrates some life changing consequences of gun violence.  Unfortunately, one of the examples used was of a gunshot victim who was now required to utilize a colostomy bag; and the news chose to highlight a poorly chosen comment by a Police Lieutenant when airing the story.  To use the example of an ostomy bag in this way was a mistake.  Although there was no ill will intended, the results were hurtful to some in the ostomy community and this will not be repeated.
 
I realize the way the news story was presented has offended many in the ostomy community, and for this I am truly sorry.  As a result of the numerous contacts I received, including Ostomy Toronto and many similar groups, I have taken steps to ensure this does not happen again.  I have spoken to the Lieutenant involved in the story and his commander.  Both are extremely troubled that such a well-meaning attempt to reduce the number of juveniles involved in gun violence offended so many.  I addressed this with my command staff and Public Information Office to ensure we are all educated on the issue and to prevent any future occurrences.  I also contacted Mr. Jeff Brogan, General Manager of WCPO regarding this issue. 
 
I have attempted to individually answer emails, but I wanted to send a clearer message to everyone in the ostomy community.  I am very sorry this happened and will work to ensure it does not happen in the future.  I assure you this was a mistake on the part of well-meaning individuals and not a deliberate attempt to offend anyone. 
 
I hope you will accept this apology on behalf of the Cincinnati Police Department.
 
Sincerely,
Paul H. Humphries
Interim Police Chief
Cincinnati Police Department
 



>>> Read the original story that created this event HERE
>>> Read CNN Doug Yakich's Inadvertent Discrimination article HERE
>>> Download the Awestomy poster 'Having an Ostomy is a beautiful thing'  HERE
>>> View the Donna Mear video   HERE 




 
 
 

 

Ostomy is Not a Tragedy: Cincinnati

We should thank the Cincinnati Police.  They have brought tremendous awareness to the stigmas and misperceptions of people with ostomies.  We now have the public listening, and the opportunity to make something good come of this.

>>> Read my letter to the Cincinnati Police Chief, and his Letter of Apology HERE
>>> Download the Awestomy poster 'Having an Ostomy is a beautiful thing'  HERE
>>> View the Donna Mear video   HERE 
 
The Cincinnati Police Department created a commendable initiative to reduce the number of shooting victims among juveniles involved with drugs, guns, crime, and gangs. But their implementation is appallingly disrespectful and insensitive to the ostomy community. Their approach is to shock these young criminals with pictures of gunshot survivors and gruesome ostomies.

Lt. Joe Richardson says
"You're not killed, but you're walking around with a colostomy bag and that's just not the way to get a girl's attention by limping down Warsaw Avenue with a colostomy bag.”    

Read the full story

Maybe these juveniles will be shocked, horrified, and disgusted with the gruesome colostomies, and avoid guns or even quit their life of crime in gangs. Not likely.

While this is a commendable initiative, it shows the stigmas, misconceptions, negative public perceptions, and general lack of real knowledge about ostomies. To many of us, and even to those shooting-survivors, an ostomy is life-saving, and certainly not the horrific life-destroying humiliation suggested by the Cincinnati Police Department. 
 
Rather than shocking these juveniles with the horrors of a colostomy, perhaps these kids should be exposed to positive role models.
   Like ...
  • Rob H     Climbed the Seven Summits
  • Heidi S    Rock Climber
  • Paul R     Mountain Climber and Hockey Player
  • Liz P        Author and Philanthropist
  • Cary G    Anesthesiologist and Cyclist
  • Charis K  Fitness Enthusiast
And yes, they all are ostomates.  I could make a list of hundreds of these positive role models, all of whom exude amazingly positive attitudes with life ... an attitude which these juveniles may be missing in their lives. 
 
No Joe, I am not disgusting, and I'm not limping.
And I'm happy to be alive with my colostomy.


 

But let's make something positive from this situation.
 
 

 





______________________________________________
 
 

 CNN's Doug Yakich, an ostomate, wrote


Inadvertent Discrimination

Have you ever been discriminated against, not for the color of your skin or your nationality, not for your sexual orientation or even the type of clothes you choose to wear, but for a medical condition which was not a result of a poor choice but the result of a disease or even cancer?  Every day people living with ostomies are faced with discrimination because they essentially poop or pee in a bag.  Walking down the street, assuming the individual is discreet, no one would reasonably know someone has an ostomy unless they personally know the individual or was informed by the individual that he/she is an ostomy patient.

Now before I dabble too long into my story, I want to recognize that many people may not view this as discrimination or even see anything wrong by the actions you are about to read about.  I respect those differences in views, but understand that if you are not an ostomy patient or know anyone with one, you are not subject to the discrimination; therefore you may not recognize it as clearly as those of us who do have an ostomy.

Recently, a report was given by a reporter named Jay Warren, who works for ABC affiliate WCPO ABC 9 in Cincinnati, Ohio about a program the Cincinnati Police department has created to educate teens about gangs and gun use.  The article
explained a new policy/program in place to use the image of someone with an ostomy as a reason to not join a gang or use a gun.  Suggesting that in some way you don’t want to end up dead or living with an ostomy.  Just the mere thought of this approach has greatly upset many who are part of the ostomy community.  When the article mentioned, “You're not killed, but you're walking around with a colostomy bag and that's just not the way to get a girl's attention by limping down Warsaw Avenue with a colostomy bag,” it is suggesting that either people with ostomies limp or are somehow unattractive walking down the street is offensive and appalling. It is actions like this that continually feed into the negative connotations about having an ostomy that misrepresents what an ostomy means to people who have one.
It is confusing to this writer, why the Cincinnati Police Department would use a colostomy as a way to scare kids, as opposed to a lost leg, hand or arm as a result of a gunshot.  We have Veterans returning from their tour of duty protecting their great country, who have been injured and as a result have an ostomy bag.  Are they now unattractive?  No, and neither are any of the over 700,000 people who live with some type of ostomy just here in the United States.
Ostomy patients are everywhere.  They are lawyers and accountants, teachers and librarians, factory workers and mechanics, construction workers and business owners.  They are fireman and policemen, doctors and nurses, government leaders and even actors.  We come in all shapes and sizes, all races and nationalities, women and men, elderly and children and everything in between.  But each of our journeys to this condition are different.  For some it is a very difficult situation and to this day they feel ashamed or disfigured.  While others stand up and are willing to show their bag to anyone who passes by.  Despite these differences, we all have one common denominator. We have an ostomy.  And we are living to tell about it.
When articles like this appear and an ostomy is used in way that feeds the negative connotations associated with having one, it is yet another hill for us to climb and overcome.  We are continually trying to build a bridge to acceptance and educate the general public in an effort to raise awareness.  This mistake by the Cincinnati Police Department was not intended to hurt anyone, however, their actions, and ultimately this report, have shown how they inadvertently discriminated over 700,000 people in the United States. 
The reason for this article is not to just shed a poor light on the Police Department, instead it is yet another opportunity we have to educate people about Ostomies.  I wrote in May how a national conversation has to begin, I think this is the perfect place to start and I hope that, with a little pressure by those of us in our tight knit community, the Cincinnati Police Department will issue a full apology and that the local ABC affiliate will take this opportunity to create an Ostomy Awareness Campaign in the local area.
This all could have been avoided if a greater awareness was built in America concerning ostomies.  Ironically the United Ostomy Associations of America 4th National Conference is being held in Jacksonville, Florida, August 7-10, 2013.  This story will no doubt be the talk of the conference, the Cincinnati Police Department has an opportunity to apologize and right a wrong so that this can be an important part of us building a bridge to acceptance!

 
>>> Read my letter to the Cincinnati Police Chief, and his Letter of Apology HERE
>>> Download the Awestomy poster 'Having an Ostomy is a beautiful thing'  HERE
>>> View the Donna Mear video   HERE