Undergoing ostomy surgery can be overwhelming. It is difficult to learn everything you need to know while you are in the hospital. We have certified ostomy nurses in the hospital, homecare, and clinic settings to serve you and to help you return to an active, productive life.
Heart of Iowa Ostomy Support Group
UnityPoint Health - Des Moines offers an ostomy support group. We are an ostomy support group in Central Iowa available for patients who have undergone or will be undergoing ostomy surgery. We are affiliated with the United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc. (UOAA). The UOAA is a national network for bowel and urinary diversion support groups in the United States. To learn more about the UOAA, go to www.ostomy.org. Our meetings are open to anyone who wants to learn more about ostomy surgery.
We welcome people who may undergo ostomy surgery, people with new surgery, people who have had their ostomy for a long time, family members, medical personnel, and caregivers.
We meet the first Wednesday from 5 - 6 p.m in the months March to November. Meetings will take place at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in the Powell 5 classroom. Park on the South side of the hospital, enter under the blue awning, take the elevator to Powell 5. Please call 515-241-8070 to confirm the meeting will be held. Sometimes inclement weather or other situations arise and the meeting time may be altered.
Our meetings are designed to promote camaraderie, support and education. We discuss activity, travel, exercise, clothing, intimacy, medications, odor control, trouble shooting, socialization, caregiver support, physical and emotional adjustment
Typically 12-15 attend. We encourage ostomates to include their spouses, significant others or other important support people in their lives to attend.
Our meetings start with a welcome and greeting. The meetings typically include a guest speaker. Our speakers include Ostomy Nurses, Therapists, Pharmacists, Dietitians, Doctors and ostomy manufacturer's representatives who provide samples and demonstrate their company's new ostomy supplies. After the speaker or topic, there is time for discussion.
The meetings are a time to discuss challenges that are particular to your form of surgery with other people who for many years have been down the same road. The helpful hints passed around during this time of sharing are invaluable. The meetings are open forum – no ostomy related subject is taboo. These meetings are a wonderful opportunity to get questions answered by individuals who have experienced the same concerns and challenges that you may be experiencing. However, if you don't feel like sharing or asking questions, you can simply listen. There are ostomy nurses who attend the meetings to answer questions specific to health related issues.
Please join us for an uplifting and informative time. We would love to see you!
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- Benirschke, R. Great Comebacks from Ostomy Surgery. ConvaTec. 2002
- Benitez, S. and Brody, J. Bag Lady: a Memoir. Benitez Books. 2006.
- Elsagher, B. I'd Like to Buy a Bowel Please! Expert Publishing. 2006.
- Foley-Bolch, K. and Kassouf, M. and Sweeney, B. Yes, We Can. Chandler House Press. 2000.