Our Dad
Our Dad
Hi, this is Jeanne and this is my first blog! I am so excited to get started and to share with you. I hope you enjoy and share my posts. I welcome your feedback and/or suggestions for future writings!
My brother, Jim, and I have joined the ostomy community because of our dad. He had ileostomy surgery in 1975; the year I graduated from high school. He and my mom were 45; I was 17; Jim was 19, our sisters 10 and 6. He had ulcerative colitis and it his him hard and fast; surgery was his only option. Naturally, it took him some time to recover and adjust. He was a proud man that never complained. The only reason we knew he had some discomfort with his ostomy pouch was because Mom designed a “pocket” that she sewed in his boxers which held his ostomy pouch in place without pulling on his stoma. This, we learned, was to not only keep the pouch in place day and night but also to keep the pouch from chafing his skin.
Throughout the next 35+ years, Dad seemed well adapted with his ostomy pouch. Years into wearing his ostomy pouch, the doctor told him he could have the procedure reversed! He chose not to because, as he put it, he knew what he had and it worked like clockwork for him. He didn’t know what he would be getting into with the reversal. He chose to keep his stoma and pouch system.
Occasionally, he would have some pain with food passing–like, when he ate an apple before a big supper. Apart from these times and the occasional gurgle after a big meal, there were no reminders that Dad had an ileostomy. Until, that is, when lung cancer treatments weakened him so much he couldn’t always change his pouch himself. It was during these special times, as hard as they were, I learned how matter of fact his diversion surgery was to him. He made a science of it–from softening the wafer by working it with his fingers to adding just a touch of water before emptying his pouch to make for a cleaner clean!
Sadly, Dad passed away after a valiant fight with the cancer. We were devastated that such a strong, vibrant man (still working at age 82 while taking care of our Mom) could be brought down so quickly. He always wanted to make our lives easier and help others; always opening doors, helping strangers with their coats, taking the time for a “hello, how are you doing today”, etc.—little things that put smiles on faces. He did this right up until the end—even from his wheelchair!
We wanted to find a way to keep Dad’s legacy of helping others alive. Health care professionals that helped him during his hospital stays always commented on the clever “pocket” that supported his ostomy pouch. Their comments were always the same—“We’ve never seen anything like this; This would help so many people; You should market it”. Voila! Our answer to keeping Dad’s legacy alive. So Jim and I decided to research this possibility. We read, researched, met with WOCN’s and doctors. We were, and continue to be, amazed and inspired by the community of ostomates, their families, caregivers and WOCN’s. The more we learned, the more we wanted to know, and the more we think…”wish we could ask Dad”…
We feel Dad is answering our questions through all of you in the stories that you share and we thank you for that! Keep on sharing!
To find out how Mom’s pocket turned into OstomyPockets on the market, visit our company website at www.ostomypockets.com and read our About page.
Thank you for reading. Please feel free to Like, Share and Comment!

Dad and his ileostomy—what we wish we could ask him

2 thoughts on “Dad and his ileostomy—what we wish we could ask him

  • September 26, 2015 at 4:07 pm
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    I found the story of your dad to be very interesting and imformative. Your dad sounded like a very proud and wise man. I’m glad he did not have his illeostomy reversed because he may of had to have it done again that was a wise decision. Your brother and you are very loving and devoted children to your father and his legacy. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply
    • September 27, 2015 at 1:07 pm
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      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, Pam. We appreciate your taking the time to read our story and give us your insights. It’s such a good point that the reversal may not have worked properly. I agree it was a wise decision for him. –Jeanne

      Reply

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