Really enjoyed speaking to the Ostomy Support Group at Huntington Hospital recently. The support group meets every month on the third Thursday at 5:30PM in the cancer center conference room at the The Huntington Pavilion 625 South Fair Oaks Suite 100 (conference room).
Many of the members are current and past patients from the hospital and the WOCNs, led by Ann Marie provide excellent follow up and support. The hospital has an outpatient ostomy clinic which is available to anyone in the community. Contact info:
Huntington Hospital Ostomy Services
La Vina Building, First Floor
100 W. California Boulevard
Pasadena, California 91105
Office Hours by appointment
Phone (626) 397-5067
Fax (626) 397-7166
The highlight of the meeting for me was when a gentleman was brought to the meeting in a wheelchair and participated with his wife and daugher. RL was his name and he was undergoing treatment at the hospital and got out of his hospital bed to join the meeting. Now that’s a fighter!
There were several new ostomates and a couple were quite young. One young woman had just had her illiostomy done six months prior and wanted to know if she could SCUBA dive in Hawaii on her upcoming vacation next month. I dive with my colostomy and encouraged her to “go for it” with her doctors permission, of course. If you dive with an old school weight belt, be sure it doesn’t rest across your stoma. If it does, I recommend a StealthBelt (www.stealthbelt.com) neopreme with the plastic insert to protect you stoma from the weight of the belt. Not a problem once in the water, just walking to/from entry.
SCUBA TIP: Put on a fresh ostomy appliance before your dive. Eat a light meal a couple hours before your dive and drink plenty of water.
A special thanks to Tim, the LA salesrep from Convatec, who sponsored my talk. Also got to enjoy spending time with my good buddy, Michael from Newport who came up to join me after the meeting. Found a great fresh food restaurant in El Segundo called Urban Eats.
ACTIVE OSTOMATES: NO LIMITS!
Randy, 26 year colon cancer survivor and ostomate