Skip to main content
#
Feeling Ostomistic
Sunday, August 13 2017

It is hard to believe that it is almost 12 months since we have moved into our new house! 


Top = today a year ago; bottom = recent picture before the birds of paradise
were planted under the window shown. Behind the fence is my koi pond!

I have been so busy trying to live and love life, plus enjoying the good days, that we haven't yet completed unpacking our house and we have so much left to do. This has had me feeling rather disappointed in myself as I was really hoping to have had the house set up and finished by now. So while we have nothing planned for the next few months, I really want to focus on finishing the unpacking and working on styling the house.

Having a beautifully styled house that I am proud of is one of the things I wanted to tick off my bucket list!

The first room I want to finish is our master suite (bedroom and ensuite). I spend so much time in my bed, bedroom and ensuite, that for me it is my most used/lived in space. I really wanted the room to make me feel happy, safe, comfortable, relaxed and proud; but more importantly, I want others visiting me to feel the same sense of comfort.

I had hoped by now to be able to have afforded a full room makeover, or to be on our feet financially for that matter. We have been adding pieces to the room as our budget has allowed us over the last year, but we still have a way to go. I love a good bargain and hunting for things
on sale. I also like to use my phone or laptop to browse and compare different products/prices online. We don't have a lot of money so I need to ensure that our money is well spent.

Russ thought it would be a good idea to perhaps write a blog post as a wishlist of what we want to achieve so that in a way we can hold ourselves accountable for ticking off this goal of finishing the house, and especially our room.
 
So, this is the accountability post for completing my master bedroom and my wish list for the tropical styled things I want in it.

I promise to do an 'after' or finished/completed type post, otherwise I will share the gradual progress on social media until then!

With spending so much of my time in bed, or unable to get out to shop in person, a lot of that time is spent just browsing sites to get a clearer picture of styling/product ideas. It is always nice when companies have a good online store with stock updates that are timely and reliable. If they have social media too you can see how other customers are using their products to style and get ideas from actual users of the products. I know I browse through Fantastic Furniture and Pillow Talk online all the time (as they are two stores close to where I live), always keeping an eye out for sales or new stock. I have a few other sites that I regularly do the rounds to check for the latest products, styling ideas or latest sales (I wish the reject shop had an online store), it really does help to pass the time when you are otherwise stuck in bed.

Another way to pass the time and find inspiration is Pinterest! I only hope I can create and style a Pinterest or Instagram worthy house on a budget!

Why tropical?
I wanted to choose a tropical styling for my room as it could be a way of adding my favourite things: timber, cool white, actual greenery and more vibrant colours without these elements being too overpowering or clashing with each other. I love birds of paradise and grew up with a frangipani themed room, so tropical has always been rooted in my core. We have birds of paradise in one of our bedroom windows as well as a frangipani tree in the garden we can access via our master ensuite. A tropical room has always been a dream of mine!

Quilt:
I really wanted a quilt that was bright, fun and certain to help lift my spirits on days where I'm struggling. I wanted it to be a way to motivate me each day - 12 months on and this quilt still does all that.... I purchased the quilt from Pillow Talk (it is now unavailable) before we moved house, along with the matching print on the wall (see below). I used these two items to start my tropical themed room. I know it isn't traditionally tropical but it is as I say "contemporary tropical" or that's how I've interpreted it. The quilt means I can add pops of colours into the room without seeming untethered to the core concept.

 
My beautiful, fun, bright and happy quilt from Pillow Talk & my bed

I am hoping the quilt isn't the reason the styling of the room falls apart, so I am hoping I can make it work to pull it off! I really love this quilt especially as on the reverse side it has this nice aqua colour + it matches with my purple (fave colour) sheets, so not sure if I want to part with it. However, if necessary to better the room then I might, but it makes me feel so happy and that is my priority!

Were I to change quilt covers if I felt it (the above quilt) really wasn't a fit, I have found some others from Pillow Talk and Spotlight that I have pictured below. It is so hard to choose what one I like the most, so these are my top 10! Pics to the left are from Pillow talk and pics to the right are from spotlight respectively.


Again not sponsored, these are just my favourite choices.

Bed:
I absolutely love my bed (pictured above)!

We purchased it back in 2012 from Beds R'Us and it was looking amazing until Dusty recently decided it was in fact his clawing post (I cried, it was heartbreaking to see/hear). I had thought about upgrading our bed but my heart is too set on it. It is a king size; it is leather which is easy to clean; it is white which means ANY quilt cover looks great and that it can be suited to any theme; it is the right height for me and doesn't hurt to get in and out of like our timber bed before; and besides, it looks so elegant too!

I know Russ has thought about upgrading our king bed maybe after I die, he feels it is too pretty for a guy and too hard to keep clean because it is white, not that he wants to remove my existence from our home- just he might feel like a change, who knows? If he/we did upgrade this is one that he has his heart set on. 

I know he likes timber beds a lot (we have 2 timber beds in the spare rooms, one was his from when he was a bachelor up until we upgraded to our white bed). We were looking around Coffs recently at the different options of tropical-esque furniture and he decided he really likes the 'Toronto King Bed' from Fantastic Furniture


Toronto King Bed plus bedroom package suite from Fantastic Furniture

Something to note is it is made from Acacia wood sourced from sustainably grown plantations (which is a tick from us as we try to be environmentally conscious), but the beauty of this timber is that it would beautifully match a tropical themed room! It is a bargain at $799 with 6 years warranty too (I think Russ is all for extending our warranties from his job as a salesman), as opposed to the $3500 we paid for our current bed, so if we/he upgraded it is a nice and affordable option indeed. Felt pretty solid too.

TV Stand:
Russ had said 11 months ago that he would organise some mates to come help him mount the TV in our bedroom, I hate being a nagging wife, but sometimes nothing would get done if I didn't keep asking. Most of the time I think he isn't listening but then some days he surprises me.... like last week. 

I have been wanting the TV set up in our room so that I could watch Netflix, a movie or catch up on missed TV shows. I'm not well enough to sit out of bed for long most days, so having the TV in the room would help. I am struggling typing or holding my phone and iPad the last few months, the nerve damage from chemo and the tumours are making it painful to touch things. I try to use my iPad but it is frustrating sometimes at how small the screen is or at the lack of sound (remembering I am deaf in one ear) so it makes sense to set up the TV where I can see it comfortably.

So Russ one afternoon last week told me to stay in the lounge room as he had a surprise planned... surprise (see picture below)! He had set the TV up on top of some cheap/flimsy bookshelf from the shed. Doofus! I loved the sentiment, but I am so worried as Dusty is a climber who likes jumping on shelves. But it has been great the past week enjoying TV from the comforts of my own bed!

We have been looking into options to put the TV on. It needs to be at a height of 900mm or higher due to laying in bed and not having a clear view if any lower.

So we have found two options: We thought that a chest of drawers would give the best height plus allow for additional storage. Russ wants the tall 4 drawer as it is 150mm taller than our current set up, but aesthetically I think the 6 draw would look and fit the space better - though it is 100mm less (but TV is awkwardly watchable). The two we like are in the Toronto range from Fantastic Furniture and there is only a $100 price difference. I can't decide, but once we do we will enquire into layby options to pay it off over a set period which makes it more affordable. I know $599 or $699 respectively might not seem like a lot - but it is for us when there isn't a lot in the bank.

Chair:
I always felt awkward on days where I was bed ridden and loved ones or palliative care nurses were visiting me. They were always either standing around or sitting on the bed next to me. A friend flew up from Sydney for my birthday and while she was here I was in bed with so much pain that I was unable to get up. I ended up having to text her to say "help yourself to the kitchen" so she came in and she layed herself down beside me, we just chatted for hours (it reminded me of sleepovers from the good ol' days). But I knew we needed to organise a chair sooner rather than later. So a chair was top priroty on our list of room additions.

We needed to get a cupboard for the hallway (can never have enough storage) and Super Amart had a 'buy one get 2nd item half price', so we only paid $225 for the armchair (it all went on our G.E. interest free card)! It is the 'James' and is the same as the lounges in the living room and it is wide enough so I can sit in it comfortably - if I want to sit and read, it has big arms and is really spacious. Russ often sits there reading a book while I am sleeping, especially on my bad days, so that he can watch over me and feel he is close by. Dusty also has claimed the chair as his, so just like every other part of the house this was business-as- usual.


As a family we all love this chair!

The chair for us was a must have for the future too. There will come a point when I am declining in my health and I want people to visit me and be comfortable. Russ tells me that it is 'typical Talya behaviour - always thinking of others needs', but all I want is for people to want to visit. It is a fear that I will be dying and be alone and I don't want to die not knowing that I am loved. So this chair is important and it gets used often.

Bedside tables:
I currently have 2 x white wooden bedsides I got from Fantastic Furniture way back in 2011 that still look in new condition. I like that these are timeless and can go with any trend/style and are sturdy. With a big cupboard space I have put baskets in there filled with medications and syringe safety bins for my Clexane injections. So keeping these and using them will save on costs, which is always nice when you're styling a room on a budget.

Wall Decor:
I have one framed print of a birds of paradise that matches the quilt (pictured below), but with so many walls still bare in my room it can be mistaken as being clinical. I want to get some wooden shelving, cubes or hexagons to make a wall feature which doubles as storage to have some plants around the room and to hold other little nick-nacks.


Birds of Paradise framed print from pillow talk

When we were in Fantastic Furniture recently I stumbled across this flamingo canvas artwork (below) that has all the colours of my quilt and is keeping in with the contemporary tropical theme, Russ really liked it too, so we are hoping to get it when we can afford it. It wasn't much, around $49 from memory.

I also enlisted the help of Foote and Flame to cut out some bamboo shapes of different tropical leaves so that I can hang these around my room and make an art piece from it. I also found some cheap tropical leaves in Kmart for $3 in various sizes and styles too. I know pillow talk have some too. I am hoping on the next day Russ has off to look at placement of the wooden and artificial leaves. 

Nick-nacks:
I have been keeping an eye out over the last year for different tropical themed pieces or even nice wooden decor, and trying to nab a good bargain. I have my eye on some timber framed artwork, some timber pineapple frames and other odds and ends like fake succulents. I really want to have some fake plants around the room to fill the spaces (My thumbs aren't green and Russ is not always home). 

I know we are trying to fit a lot into such a small space and I do hope that in the end it all looks as homey and relaxing as it does in my head. I am hoping now that I have written this that it holds Russ and I accountable for getting our house sorted. I know 12 months ago I didn't think I would still be here today and I know the outlook isn't too great for the next year, but I just really want to feel calm knowing my house is in order.... literally and figuratively! I want to not feel anxious over if I have done enough or if people are judging me.

I am really wanting my room to be my tropical escape as I won't have the ability to travel there myself I want to bring it to me.

I am also not an interior designer or stylist, so I don't know if the mood board I have in my noggin' is going to work, I will just have to see won't I!

If you know of any tropical themed wares over the coming weeks and months feel free to let me know so I can check them out. I am really wanting to have my room finished by Christmas/New Year at the latest. Plenty of time I know, but if the last 12 months have taught me anything it is that Russ is a snail (when it comes to getting things done) and time certainly does flies by!

So tell me, do you have a themed/styled room or house? Which room of your house is your favourite?
Comment below or join the conversation on Instagram or Facebook search @feelingostomistic or twitter @feel_ostomistic

Posted by: Talya AT 08:15 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 21 2016

I have never been much of a morning person even before I got sick, and the last year or so I generally don't start my day until later in the Morning.

Moreso lately, my health often sees me in bed until mid afternoon.

So it can be understandable that I might miss the occasional knocks at the front door, especially if I am in a deep sleep, or there's been many times where I have been in pain and tried to jump out of bed (read slowly stagger) to only get to the front door and missed getting to it in time.

It is so FRUSTRATING!

I always thought there should be a doorbell that can connect to your iphone and alert you to when someone is at the door, or better still if you could communicate with them.

So Russ and I in planning our house, we thought about issues like this and considered having an intercom system set up near our bed, but it was looking to be rather expensive.

But alas, imagine our delight when we found a doorbell at our local JB HIFI store that not only allowed us to get push notifications on our phone (providing our phone isn't on silent like last weekend where we didn't realise my mum was outside waiting for over 15 minutes), but also has video and audio too (acting as a video intercom)!

It has been such a help to me since we got the 'ring' doorbell.

Most of the time when I get out of bed my stoma is leaking, so it is rather difficult to try and get to the door in time with a leaking bag. So I have found it helpful when I am dealing with a bag leak or if I am in bed too sore to get up just yet, that when someone rings the doorbell I can see who it is and talk to them.

Often it is the postman with a parcel (not that I shop online a lot, but I get my Xmas shopping out of the way early and online) so it is convenient to say hello and to ask if the parcel needs a signature. I just explain that they can leave the parcel at the door for me and I will collect it when I can get to the door.

I also have spoken with the parcel lady before about having cancer and quote often it takes a moment for me to get to the door.

But it is also good having this doorbell when there is unsolicited doorknockers and I don't have to feel rude for wanting to slam the door in their face. I can just open the Ring app, see who it is and talk to them.

They also have a security camera system available too (we have a couple of cameras set up) where if there is motion in the area you get alerted to it, or you can live stream the video if you are out and want to check up on the house (or the kids) and you can also talk to and hear noises going on.

They are a little expensive, but for the convenience and amount of times it has helped me since we moved in over a month ago is significant. For me it is a tool that is helping me avoid hurting myself getting out of bed in a hurry.... and to give me a little bit of dignity in the mornings too.

DISCLAIMER: This is not a paid or sponsored post, I was not asked to write about the product by the manufacturer or by JB HIFI. I am also not biased on my opinion or experience because it was purchased from my husband's place of employment. I nor my husband receive any benefit by me sharing my experience on this product. This view is purely my own and I am sharing in the hopes that others (like me) who have struggled in the past with trying to get to the door in time, might now have a more convenient solution.

 

 

Posted by: Talya AT 10:40 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, October 03 2015


Today is World Ostomy Day, a day celebrated worldwide through a social campaign "Many stories, One voice" and using the hashtag #MyOstomyStory.

I first joined the ostomate club back in May 8th 2013 after a 6+ hour operation to remove my large bowel, most of my rectum and to have my permanent ileostomy formed. It was probably one of the hardest decisions I have had to make, I was only 21 when I was told my bowel was showing early signs of turning cancerous and that I only had mere months to have it removed before it had fully turned and spread, which by the point of the surgery I had just turned 22 (read my story here).

While it was hard to go into my surgery excited (or OSTOMISTIC as I put it) as I didn't know what life as a young person (especially a female) would mean after I had an ostomy, but little did I know it was one of the best decisions I could have made.

I am aware that there are many reasons people get a stoma and while these aren't always planned surgeries and can be done in an emergency situation, or that there are some that are permanent and some that are temporary, I think it is important that we celebrate ourselves and our ostomies, as I know without mine I wouldn't be here today. And for that I am eternally grateful.

So in celebration of World Ostomy Day, and for those who have or are considering having one, here are my 20 pieces of ostomy advice I have for you. If you are unsure of what a stoma/ostomy is, you can read about it here in one of my earlier posts!

Stoma tips and life-hacks:
#1. Keep Hydrated
This might be something you hear a lot, but it is so important when you have an ostomy (and even when you don't) that you keep your body hydrated at all times, especially in summer. But when you have an ostomy you are at greater risks of dehydration and dehydration can also cause fatigue. I have also been told by my stomal therapy nurses to drink an electrolyte sports drink at least once a day to help replace the salts and minerals that my body is losing. I drink a 1 litre drink of this a day plus a couple of litres of water. But I know when my body is feeling dehydrated (and especially when my output is more watery I get tired, really shakey and have no energy.
Read: my tips on avoiding a watery output

#2. Your boobs become a valuable asset
An important thing to remember when doing an ostomy bag change is that in order to get the most out of the bag and to prevent leaks you need to a) have a good seal and b) you need your bag to be sticky... so whenever I do a bag change the first thing I do is put the bag I intend to use tucked under one breast, while the seal/mouldable ring (I use coloplast mouldable rings) is placed under my other boob. I sit there for at least 5 minutes before starting the back change process so that it has time to heat the glue. Reason I use my breasts is that my stomal therapy nurse in our first consult told me "placing under your boobs is one of the warmest parts of your body and makes things more stickier". If you don't have boobs you can utilise, read the next tip.

#3. Invest in a hair dryer
In all honesty, the very first time I bought a hair dryer in all my life was the first day I was home after being in hospital from my bowel surgery, I remember sitting on the toilet naked and crying as I was about to do my 10th bag change for the day, I was sore, my skin was sore and I was like "f#$% this, I can't do this anymore". My husband kept asking "what can I do to help" and as it was middle of winter and cold I couldn't produce enough body heat to keep my bags sticking... so my husband had the best lightbulb moment ever and ran over to the supermarket and purchased the most decent looking hair dryer they had (from memory was about $20) and he plugged it in and sat there heating the bags up... they became so much more sticky! I now take my hair dryer everywhere with me!

Other tips to help make your bag more stickier can be read here!

#4. You'll find many uses for your hair dryer
Apart from your hair dryer being used to make your bags more stickier, I also use mine to help dry my bag after a shower especially when I don't need to do a bag change. I am one of those people that can get a few days out of each bag so I just sit there for about 5 minutes after my shower drying my stoma bag and stomach. Also, it is great to use in winter to quickly warm up your body after a shower, I don't know about you but where I'm from it gets so cold in winter!

#5. Avoid foods that cause blockages
One thing you really don't want when you have a stoma is a blockage, trust me when it is not only painful but is rather scary. There is a list of foods that you should avoid because they don't break down or they often would in people who have all their bowel. I remember when I first had my stoma I had a craving for Hawaiian pizza (Ham and pineapple) and imagine my horror when out come pieces of pineapple whole! Same goes for peas, corn, nuts, coconut and some foods like celery and tomato also don't break down. Your stomal therapy nurse can provide you a list of foods to avoid.

#6. Avoid foods that cause winds
Foods, when you have a stoma can a bit of a nuisence whether it is foods that cause blockages (mentioned in #5) or these can cause wind. Wind, when spoken about when you have a stoma is referring to your stoma farting.. and sometimes it can be rather noisy (when you don't want to be noticed for the girl with the farting tummy), or cause your bag to fill up quickly with air (sometimes so much your bag literally pops off or explodes). Although, sometimes stoma farts can't be avoided and just happen. But my husband is so sweet, when we are in a meeting and my stomach farts and I start turning red he just makes noises or coughs to draw the attention away... what a sweet heart!

#7. Avoid drinks that cause winds
Foods aren't the only reason for wind or fart production coming from your stoma bag, what you drink also plays a big part. Foods that are fizzy and gassy or alcohol can also cause wind. I also find after I have had aneasthetic from a gastroscopy, ERCP or from other surgeries that my bag fills up with more gas too.

When out and about:
#8. Take your stoma supplies kit everywhere you go when you leave the house
This should become part of your routine, I have two stoma kits one I keep in my bathroom and the other is a smaller and discreet version I keep in my handbag. Trust me when I say that when you don't have your kit on you, you'll probably experience a bag leak. I know my worst bag leaks in public have been when I didn't have a kit on me and it was horribly noticable through my clothes. Was a horrible and traumatising experience and one that brings me to my next piece of advice...

#9. Always pack a spare change of clothes
I find if I am going to a conference where I will be gone from 8am to 6pm or when I was doing studying on campus at Uni (and can even apply for work situations), have a big day of shopping planned or spending a good part of 16 hours travelling to Sydney to see specialists and driving home, I always take a change of clothes. I at least pack one change of pants, a shirt and a pair of undies. Thankfully, I am a bit of a crazed nut when it comes to my clothes and I have 4 pairs of the same pair of jeggings and they are the most comfortable versatile pairs of pants I have ever owned, so thankfully it just looks like I change my shirt.

#10. Jeggings or any elasticised pants will become a staple in your wardrobe
I wear jeggings... there I ADMIT IT... and I am not ashamed! Thankfully my jeggings actually look like jeans and are almost as thick so you can't really tell, but I found it so uncomfortable to wear pants with zippers and buttons, as I found they always sat RIGHT.ON.MY.STOMA and when my bag would start filling up either the bag would explode and I would be left in an embarrased heap, or  it was rather uncomfortable. I love my jeggings that they are elasticised waist and can wear them up higher over my stoma and much more comfortable.

#11. Baby wipes aren't only used for babies
I know what you choose to clean your stoma comes down to personal preference, I know some prefer to buy some chux sheets and cut up to use as a rag for cleaning your stoma, or others use wet toilet paper.. but personally I prefer baby wipes for a number of reasons. Firstly, they come in handy travel packs that can fit in your handbag; secondly, they are always wet and if you are out and about and don't always have access to water it is handy; thirdly, I am sensitive to how things feel on my skin and find baby wipes are much smoother where I find cloth rags are rough and scratchy. I use huggies shea butter baby wipes and have for years. I also sometimes (when at home) sit the wipes in a small container of warm water to remove a lot of the chemicals and to water it down. But most of the time I don't bother.

Stoma kit advice:
#12. Add scented garbage bags into your stoma kit
For the first couple of bag changes I was relying on using plasic shoppings bags to dispose of my stoma bag, and my husband wanted to try something when shopping one day and found these scented garbage bags that are small in size, and not only do these help to mask the smell of the contents of the bag when doing a bag change, but if you happen to be somewhere that there isn't an immediate place to dispose of in the bin and need to carry it in your handbag, it is discreet and you won't smell it. Just double bag it to ensure one layer doesn't pierce and the contents goes through your handbag.

#13. Invest in some sort of room spray
Have you ever emptied your bag when you're in a public rest room, and you feel so embarrassed by the smell coming from your cubicle that you hide and hope no one realises it was you when you emerge from the change room? Well if you have, you're not alone. So many times I was left feeling embarrassed that things were a bit too smelly and spraying toilet spray (if you're carrying a whole can around in your handbag) can not only be bulky but just as noisy... so I have the perfect pocket sized solution for you that was given to me as a Christmas gift last year, it is a thing called Room spray by scentsy and I have it in my handbag and in my stoma kit and promise there is no more embarrassing moments in public toilets! You can read my review of it here!

#14. Always have at least 3 of each item on hand in your portable kit
I have developed a bit of a rule when it comes to my stoma kit that I have with me in my handbag, is that I have at least 3 quantity of each item in my supply kit (excluding my scissors, stoma powder). So I have three stoma bags (in case I have more than 1 leak or accidentaly pierce a hole when cutting out the hole), I have a handful of adhesive wipes and barrier wipes, a handful of the brava elastic tape (banana wafers I call them), 3 mouldable rings and at least 6 of the scented garbage bags (in case I need to double bag, or a bag gets a hole in it). Here is a guide and checklist I wrote for when packing for a holiday with a stoma!

Storing your supplies at home:
#15. Have a cupboard within a reach of your toilet
I learnt very early on, how much of a hassle it is when you need to do a bag change and you're stuck sitting on the toilet home alone and can't reach your supplies. I was lucky that I have a large bathroom which could perfectly accomodate a cabinet that fits in between the toilet and the shower, which I have filled with stoma supplies. It also acts as a bench/table for me to lay out my supplies I need to use too. And to the untrained eye, guests just think it is a towel cupboard! But I do know not everyone can have a bathroom that is as accomodating, so you could look into getting a portable trolley with shelf space underneath and a flat table like top and you can wheel it into the bathroom when you need to use it, and when it's not in use you can store in the linen cupboard or wardrobe etc.

#16. Never wait until you're on the last handful or box of supplies before you re-order
Postage can always be unpredictable here in Australia, so I find it is always best to have a buffer when you need to re-order your next order of supplies. I find once you are almost at the last box to order your supplies that way you can allow for any delays in postage arriving, or if you have any unexpected bag leaks. 

Mental preparedness and a stoma:
#17. When doing a bag change play some music
I know sometimes I get rather flustered or overwhelmed when doing a bag change and especially found this was the case when I first had my surgery. I now have it as a part of my bag change routine that I have some music playing in the background which helps me to feel calm. Others might find that by playing a movie or tv show on their ipad/TV can be a pleasant distraction too.

#18. For me, my life truly began when I had my stoma surgery
I know that it is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking pre-surgery that your life is over and that you won't be able to live a normal life once you have a stoma. I know I was guilty of thinking this way, but my life honestly was given back to me when I had my stoma surgery. Before my stoma, I would be house bound because I had irritable bowel and always needed a toilet near by but also that going to the toilet and eating was a very, very painful experience. I can now enjoy going places, going out to dinner eating foods I once couldn't eat and I have more freedom now. I have control back over my life and my bowel was no longer defining me or what I did in my life. Although there is the chance of bag leaks when out and about and there is more involved when you go 'number 2' these are manageble and long term think of the how much life you were missing out on!

#19. If he truly loves you, having a stoma won't matter
I know sex and a stoma are two taboo subjects, but just because you have a stoma doesn't mean you won't ever be intimate with your partner or husband ever again, and if he loves you he can look past the stoma and not make you feel insecure about having one. Just because you have a stoma doesn't mean you're no longer considered sexy or attractive, you just now have a new adaptation to your body. If you feel insecure or conscious about your stoma during intimacy, there is lacy bag covers you can wear or put a towel over your stomach. But no one if they truly love you will make you feel ashamed for having something that saved your life.

#20. You can still swim when you have a stoma
When I first had my surgery, I was a bit saddened during summer when everyone was going to the beach and enjoying the water or swimming in the pools, I was worried because I had a stoma that this wasn't for me anymore. I was worried the bag would fall off during swimming and would be humiliating, but when I eventually realised I can go swimming I was so much more happier. While I admire those who can rock a stoma and a bikini, I don't quite have the confidence yet to do so (or have a bikini body) but I feel more safer and secure wearing a one piece that has a lining in the stomach area and I feel this gives me more confidence when swimming and isn't a noticable giveaway that I have a stoma. I also love doing water aerobics and find it is much enjoyable for me having a stoma than exercising and sweating and my bag becoming unstuck. 

[end of advice]

While, I have so many more tips to share than just 20, I thought that 20 would be enough for now and to help you get some tips at your fingertips. But if you have some other stoma hacks or tips you wish to share, feel free to comment these below!

Posted by: Talya AT 09:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, August 29 2015

When it comes to gift giving and finding the perfect personalised gifts, I seem to have a nack for finding those perfect gifts that will have people talking about, especially if there is a story behind receiving the gift.

Originally, I was planning this post to promote in the lead up to Father's day... but as this is now only a week away I realise it could be best represented as a general gift guide for Christmas (which someone reminded me yesterday was only 119 days to go), for a birthday coming up or for Father's day whether it was a belated 2015 gift or planning ahead for 2016.

Either way, I have sourced some pretty awesome gifts that I know any dad or husband would love and appreciate.

BEST OF ALL these are made here in Australia by small businesses and some are even handcrafted/handmade. I love supporting the little guys in business, who are working hard to support their families and helping us all to add something unique to our lives.

Here is my list of 10 personalised gift ideas your dad or husband would love!

#1. Personalised Chopping Boards | Miss Bold Design $35 + shipping
We all know dad's love a good BBQ and some of my fondest memories of my dad and growing up involved his legendary barbies, so if your dad (like mine) loves to cook or put on a good BBQ then spoil him with his very own chopping board.

I love the boards created by MissBold Design, and there is a range of designs to suit each dad's personality. A sure way to make any dad, husband or even your pop feel special!

Miss Bold Design also has a range of other boards perfect gifts for your mum, nan, friend, or as a wedding gift personalised with their name and the date of their wedding.

Current turnaround: Please note that personalised boards will be created after September 12th, 2015

 


 


#2. Prints for Dad, Pop, Grandpa | Ollie's Room from $15 + shipping

The range of Quote/name prints available at Ollie's Room are a perfect gift to not only brighten up a room, but pop it in a fram and you have a special keepsake!

❖ Each print can be personalised with a name or custom writing* and can be personalised with 2 colours.
❖ The name 'Dad' can be changed with any name you prefer
❖ Professionally printed on 260gsm weight archival paper which should last around 30 years

Available in the following Sizes:
❖ 20.32cm x 25.4cm (8"x10") ❖ A4 Size - 21.0cm x 29.7cm (8.3" x 11.7")
❖ A3 Size - 29.7cm x 42.0cm  (11.7" x 16.5") ❖ A2 Size -  42cm x 59.4cm  ( 16.5" x 23.4") 
Frame not included, you are purchasing the print only. *A fee may apply.

Turnaround: As each print is individually personalised and professionally printed by our printing company, delivery times to you can take 2-3 weeks (approximately).  If you wish to purchase express postage. Please contact us before ordering.

 

PLUS a FREE printable for dad/grandpa thanks to Ollie's Room!
Click here to see the
FREE printables

#3. Personalised Man Stands | Blacklist Prints $38 + shipping

The Man Stand is the perfect gift for any guy who needs a place to store those things he only wears when going out. The Man Stand doubles as a iPhone or iPad dock and will keep all his things ready to grab when walking out the door.

❖ Store (& Charge) an iPhone or iPad.
❖ Store a wallet & Watch
❖ Hook for Keys and a Slot for Pen
❖ Cut out for coins or wedding ring.

The Stand is adjustable and can be set at different heights for reading or watching movies. The Stand also folds flat so he can take it away on holidays or business trips.

Excludes accessories shown in picture for demo only, the demo images show Non-Personalised Man Stands. Non-Personalied Man Stands are $33 + shipping. 

Turnaround: Include a personalised message on your Man Stand, see their Fb page for examples. Please allow 7-10 days for personalised products.

 

#4. Personalised Gifts for Dad | Zelsk from $8.50 + shipping

If you've got some beautiful photos of your children and want to create the ultimate personalised and keepsake gift, then look no further, as I have found the solution... Zelsk! Based in Brisbane they ship all over Australia.

Some of their unique gifts pictured include (and not limited to):
❖ Funny/Punny wine labels for dad starting at $8.50 (Wine bottle not included)
❖ A4 120 piece puzzle of 6 of your images $21.50
❖ MDF glossy puzzle of your image $28

Not pictured are:
❖ Personalised Dad's swear jar ($ to be confirmed)
❖ Set of wooden Photo coasters ($ TBC)
❖ Personalised photo mugs ($ TBC)
❖ Personalised photo clocks ($ TBC)

Turnaround: Orders and the online store is closed until 7th September 2015, but like their fb page to be kept up to date when the store re-opens and their exciting new rebrand too.

 

#5. Personalised Heat Packs | Lil' Sunshine Collections $35 + FREE shipping

Heat packs are a perfect gift for Dad, Grandpa or your husband. Created in a range of designs (pictured). Available in one size –  approximately 28x19cm!

Personalise it on the front with any name (eg. Dad, Grandpa, Uncle, Poppy, etc) you’d like in and as these are printed on both sides and the pattern wrapping seamlessly all the way around, you can add a personal message on the back with who the heat pack is from!

The heat bag is made entirely of 100% cotton. Filled with raw long grain rice, and organically dried lavender. A beautiful, soothing & divine scent to smell, as well as staying warmer for much longer.

Easy to use and quick to heat up! Perfect for aches, even lovely to pop into bed to take off the chill. Lavender is calming so will enhance a great nights sleep. Or to chill – Put in a small plastic bag & pop into the freezer. It won’t freeze like a block of ice, instead the grains of rice become super cold & very pliable.

Turnaround: As these are all individual and personalised, they are made to order, please allow approximately 3-4 weeks from the date of order for delivery.

The 10 most awesome personalised gift ideas for Dad continues after this image.


#6. Personalised Wrapping Paper | Love JK  from $7.95 + shipping
We all know how much love and precision goes into wrapping each present. What if I told you that you could have PERSONALISED wrapping paper with YOUR OWN PHOTOS and it is conveniently shipped the next business day from Melbourne! How good does that sound!

Give your gift the WOW factor by ordering your very own wrapping paper which comes in a range of sizes starting at 43cm x 1m and ranging to 43cm x 5m lengths of paper.

Some product information at a glance (see their website for more detail):
Printed on 88gsm high quality photo matte paper
Paper is bright white in colour, and photos print beautifully
Printed edge to edge (Borderless)
Rolls are shipped in a sturdy protective mailing tube and protected with tissue paper

Current turnaround: Orders are shipped next business day excluding Australian and Vic Public Holidays.

 

 

#7. Personalised Beer Mugs | Personalised Favours from $18.50 + shipping

Show Dad how much you care on Father’s Day, his birthday or Christmas with a laser-engraved 500ml Beer Mug! Have his name and a special message engraved for a personal gift your Dad will love and no doubt cherish.

Each Beer Mug or Beer Stein is professionally laser engraved with your selected artwork or custom image. Best of all, all artwork is completed free of charge with unlimited revisions!

What makes this the perfect gift for your dad, is that it is practical but also more memorable than a tie or gift card... it is a gift he can cherish and show off for years to come.

Besides, I am sure it will earn you the Child of the year award too, not that it is a competition or anything with your siblings (but if you're a competitive bunch, this is a must).

Turnaround: Your gift will be on its way to you in only 5-10 working days, even faster if it is urgent.




#8. Wooden Dad Wall Hanging| Bubs and Beans $51.95 + shipping
A great gift for Dad, whether its Christmas, Fathers Day or Birthday, or just because he truly is the 'Best Dad'!

This gorgeous wooden wall hanging is made from bamboo and is finished with a light natural wax to enhance the natural colour and grains of the bamboo. This plaque measures 19cm x 23cm and is 2.5mm thick. It also comes with natural twine so is ready to hang.

Please note that as Bamboo is a natural product, the colour and grain may vary slightly from the images shown here. 

This beautiful wall hanging is designed and made in Australia.

Current turnaround: This will be shipped approx. 1-2 weeks from the time of order

 



 

#9. Personalised Guitar Pick Keyring | LOVEnCHERISH from $40 + shipping

Does an important man in your life love playing the guitar? If so this personalised metal guitar pick is not only the perfect gift but a unique keepsake as well.

Available in your choice of:
❖ Sterling Silver
❖ Brass
❖ Copper
❖ Aluminium

If you're looking for the pick on it's own and not on the keyring, LOVEnCherish have a range of metal picks with and without key fobs. Pricing varies on design, but a sentimental gift that will be loved and cherished over the years to come.

Each pick can be personalised too with a name or date.

Turnaround: Orders are processed in order of date of payment received.  Regular custom orders take up to 2-3 weeks to be made and are then posted out via registered post (Australia only).

 

#10. Custom Torch Light Stubby Coolers | Kool4U Stubby Coolers $TBC
Your dad or husband will be the talk of the next party or social event with these cool Custom Torch Light Stubby Coolers from Kool4U!

Not only is this a stubby, but it is also a torchlight and illuminates your beverage into cool colours. These are the coolest stubbies around.

If you're after a custom printed design they can help you with that too! Oh and if you're not after the torchlight stubbies but a custom printed normal stubby, this can be arranged too.

Each stubby cooler is made in Australia using high quality neoprene (wet suit material) to keep your drink staying cooler and fresher for longer. Also made with a double stitch and rubber base.

P.S they also make custom printed Bar runners! 

Current turnaround: Please note that orders take approx 7-10 working days to complete + shipping timeframes, see their website for more information!

I hope you've enjoyed finding some new products and businesses to browse, I know I already have some of these gifts in mind for the important men (my pop, uncles, brothers, and of course my hubby) in my life.

The main drive behind this post was a rather personal one. In the lead up to Father's Day this year, I (like every year since my dad passed away) felt a bit sad. But this year I decided I would do something different and I decided I would go searching for items I would have bought for my dad if he were still with us; and with those products and businesses I found, I would then pay it forward by doing a little gift guide for dad and promoting these businesses.

Disclaimer: The businesses I featured above were businesses I have come across through my own findings and thought they were pretty awesome not to share. I simply wanted to create a gift guide to help with buying gifts for your husband, dad or grandfather (even your brother too).
 

 

 

 

 

 
Posted by: Talya AT 01:34 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Monday, January 19 2015

 

I try and be as ostomistic as I can about the whole 'having an ileostomy' thing, and never try and say that I hate it (because truth be told it is SOOOOOOO much better then sitting on the toilet in agony for most of the day). But there is one thing I absoloutley HATE and feel embarrased over, is the stench that is left behind when I empty my bag.

If you have read my post of the 10 things they don't tell you when you get an ileostomy, you would know my 4th tip was that "your output will smell horribly", which it does. I made a comment about how you should "be prepared to have many cans of air freshner, and one in your handbag" for when your out and about.

So I must admit I have tried the whole taking a can of toilet spray with me in my handbag when I go to the shops, and boy has there been some awkward stares when you are at the checkout line rifling through your handbag to find your wallet when out falls a can of toilet spray or as my husband likes to refer to it as "the stink be gone can", and you have to try and justify THAT YOU ARE NOT STEALING TOILET SPRAY... let's just say shit gets really awkward.

So what if I told you that I have found the perfect addition to your stoma kit, that not only will it not cause awkward or embarrasing stares, but will at least help you retain some of that dignity (that is otherwise flushed away).

Introducing the Scentsy Room Sprays!

For Christmas, my husbands mum and sister had made up this cute little basket filled with all these delicious smelling products, and one of them was a Bora Bora Blossom Room Spray. So when my mother-in-law mentioned well gave examples of times where it has come in handy and after seconds of spraying the mist the house smells so much nicer and the smell has completely faded away...

So of course my darling husband pipes up and says "Oh that would be awesome so you no longer stink up the house" (gees thanks Russ I love you too) it actually gave me a great idea for its use.

So off I went to add this spray to my stoma kit, and it is amazing! I spray it just before I empty my bag when in a public toilet (or at someone else's house) and then again once I have finished to be safe. And I love it!

It is compact and not bulky, it is discreet in the sense that it looks kind of like a body mist or perfume, AND IT IS SILENT!! No more of this "shooooooosh" sounds from the toilet cublicles as I spray the smell away, and no more waiting until everyone leaves the toilet before I emerge to avoid those judgemental stares!

Best of all, it is only $12.25 and comes in a 80ml bottle, and as you only need a couple of sprays/squirts at a time, you won't run out in a hurry!

Oh and did I mention it comes in a large variety of scents too?

Seriously though, this is my favourite item in my stoma kit!!

 
Posted by: Talya AT 01:01 am   |  Permalink   |  3 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 21 2014

You never realise how much toilet paper you go through until after your total colectomy when you realise you aren't having to spend as much money on toilet paper and its less frequent you need to buy it.

I remember my husband always asking me "Does your bum seem to eat all the toilet paper? We're bloody out of it again".

But who hasn't found themselves stuck on the toilet in the middle of the night and you realise you just used the last roll of toilet paper and that the shops don't open for another few hours so have to resort to using tissues or baby wipes instead.

BUTT... hehe I just said 'butt'... I just realised I haven't had to buy toilet paper for the last 5 months... would you believe me?

Well you better, and I will tell you how.

Ohhhhh, I just realised you are probably thinking 'what the' and think I haven't had toilet paper for 5 months.

Well I'm not that strange, I just found a more practical solution!


Image sourced from their facebook page

Introducing 'Who Gives A Crap' toilet paper!

You purchase your toilet rolls that come in a box and each is individually wrapped in this really pretty eco friendly wrap.

I purchase the 48 rolls for $52 deal, and each roll is double the ply and length of the store bought rolls.

But there is something special you need to know about who gives a crap... The actually give a crap when it comes to the environment and improving sanitation in poverty stricken parts of the world.

Who Gives A Crap donates 50% of their profits to WaterAid who build toilets and improve sanitation in third world countries. So basically EVERY ROLL of toilet paper is pretty much providing someone with access to a toilet for an entire week!!

2.5 BILLION people so 40% of the entire population of the world don't have access to the toilet! makes you realise the little things we are grateful for!

So Who Gives A Crap is Literally flushing out the poverty!

AND don't get me started on the toilet paper!

It is so damn soft and pretty durable AND is 100% biodegradable!

So our household is just my husband and I and we not spend around $12 a month on toilet paper if you break down the costs (including shipping as we aren't in a metro area) over 5 months! Better for our bottoms AND OUR BUDGET!

So we give a crap, don't you?

They have special Christmas editions at the moment that look like those ugly sweaters people wear at Christmas time!


Image sourced from their facebook page

So lets help the environment and improve santiation one toilet at a time!

Ostomistically Yours,
Talya
 

Posted by: Talya AT 09:21 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 17 2014

I must admit that I hadn't always been much into eco side of life until the last couple of years.

Don't get me wrong I have always re-used, recycled and repurposed many things but wasn't until I was looking at returning to studies and looking for a lunchbox and lunch bag did I really start trying to practice more eco friendliness.

As you might be aware I have FAP (Familial Adenamatous Polyposis) which is an inherited cancer causing condition.

So as you could understand I am all about trying to reduce my susceptibility to cancer, so I made the decision to use bottles, containers and lunchbags that were FREE from BPA. I mean after all if something like a bottle or container is touching my food, I want it to be as safe as possible.

Now I know that the whole BPA issue is a controversy to many, please know this isn't the place to have the debate.

So imagine my delight when I learnt that there was a small business Little Shoppers on the Central Coast of Australia that not only was dedicated to providing eco friendly solutions for you and your family, but have come up with bamboo baby wipes that are affordable!

If you have been following my posts for a while now you may recall me mentioning a little stoma/bag changing tip I had was that I prefer to use baby wipes on my stoma and cleaning of the skin/area during a bag change.

Well, I had the priviledge of testing out a tester/sample pack of the bamboo wet wipes myself recently and these exceeded all my expectations.

I thought I would wait until my next bag change to test these out, and boy they worked wonders!

They were not only soft on my skin, but they were quite durable and thick too! I can tell you they did a fantastic job at cleaning and I didn't have to scrub hard at my skin to alleviate some of the waste, it was really surprisingly gentle.

I will warn you though that if you like using baby wipes for the perfume and scent, that these won't smell like lemon fresh or shea butter... these smell like, well BAMBOO!

Did I mention that these are pretty affordable too? They have a special offer of $2.50 a pack of 80 bamboo wipes when you purchase a box of 18 packets! What a bargain!

Normally when you hear bamboo you straight away think of the hefty price tag that comes with it but these bamboo wipes are not only good for your baby (or in my case my stoma) but good for your wallet too!

If you want to check out their range of bamboo wipes, click here to visit their online store!

When it comes to doing bag changes I can't help but feel guilty about disposing of my used stoma bag in the garbage bin (tied securely in a plastic bag). I just know there isn't more environmentally friendly options to dispose of our used bags, kind of like disposable nappies, but using these bio-degradable and bamboo wipes makes me feel like at least I am turning a shitty situation into at least a positive in helping the environment.

Ostomistically Yours,
Talya x

 

Disclaimer: All views expressed in this blog are that of my own. This post/review wasn't a paid sponsored post but a post shared on a recent experience when using the product. The product was kindly supplied towards goody bags for a recent charity fundraiser, one of which I received and had the sample packet of wipes in it. On occasion I do receive products or services in exchange for a blog post/review. I will only ever post reviews of products that I love and use and know it would be of value to my readers. I won't post negative reviews.

 

Posted by: Talya AT 08:46 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, October 28 2014

Guess you never thought you would hear the words "Garbage bags and why you should love them" strung together in a sentence before......... Well that was until you heard me say it!

Now... before you get all uppity about how bad garbage bags are for the environment and how I am a horrible person for suggesting you should love them.. but if you let me explain why I have a new fondness for garbage bags, you will understand.

Over the last 18 months I sometimes get overwhelmed when doing a bag change due to the smell (which I imagine is a pretty normal thing to experience) and partly why I don't enjoy the bag changes is because of the smell.

But the other day when my husband was doing the grocery shopping, he had a pretty thoughtful gesture and decided he would buy me some garbage bags to try for when I do a bag change.

Up until that point I had been using a plastic bag (and thoroughly check for holes) and proceed to do the bag change.

But he (my husband) didn't just stop to get any ordinary garbage bags... he got small purple lavender scented garbage bags.

You wouldn't think something so.... boring would be quite effective!

I love purple and lavender and I honestly don't notice the smell when I am doing a bag change.

So HUGE thank you to my hubby for being so thoughtful and thinking to get me to try scented purple garbage bags!


These are the pink rose scented bags

OH and if you were wondering what type they were, they are 'Multix Kitchen Tidies' and I purchased them from Woolworths for $2.66 which works out at 10c each!!

Keep an eye out for more Ostomistic Tips and Advice.

Ostomistically Yours,
Talya

 
Posted by: Talya AT 08:58 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, May 05 2014

 When your BAG gets WET do you find it FRUSTRATING with how long it takes to dry?

Well I have found the PERFECT solution for you!

I used to like swimming and enjoying nice relaxing spa baths, but always found when my bag got wet
that it would take FOREVER to dry and no matter how much I patted towel dried, my bag just wouldn't dry!

I often would be sitting there for HOURS patting my bag dry and would become so frustrated and
would walk around with a small towel wrapped around my bag/stomach because I just gave up!

Now I know what you are thinking 'Why don't you just change your bag?'.

Well good question BUT if I changed my bag EVERYTIME I showered, I would soon quickly run out of supplies.

Well my conundrum and search for a solution happened recently when I started doing 'Met Aqua'
which is similar to water aerobics but much more fun!

So after my first class I found that although the rest of me was dry I had to drive home from the
class with all this towel padding so my clothes wouldn't get wet...

Well no matter what I tried I just couldn't find a fast drying solution...

That was until I came across an amazing, innovative and eco friendly product
that is designed right here in Australia!

Introducing the Wovii- The Super absorbent
and fast drying towel!

I took my wovii along to my swim class today and within seconds of drying my skin
was dry and I wrapped my hair (which is pretty thick) in the towel for a minute or so
which was also dry AND best thing of all...
THE TOWEL WAS STILL DRY!! 

Normally towels are so heavy when they are wet
but this towel is so absorbent and so light!

When I got home I got the wovii and wrapped it around my stoma bag for around 5 minutes
and it is completely dry! Even the adhesive banana wafers were dry too!

I am so happy to have found this amazing towel and it seriously will make my life
and living with an ileostomy so much better!

I purchased a Wovii taster bundle to get the different sizes.
The hand towel I used to dry my stoma bag
.

Their colours are so beautiful! I already have my next colour purchase in mind!

IF your order is over $50 your post is FREE (Australia Wide) otherwise it is a low price of $4.95!

Ostomistically Yours,
Talya xx

*Feeling Ostomistic is not paid for reviews, and often will offer reviews on products I have purchased if I feel strongly about the product and of the use that it has. If I publish a review it would only ever be a positive review about why I love and personally reccomend the product. In some cases products are received in exchange for a review, but mostly I have purchased the products*

 

 

 

 
Posted by: Talya AT 11:41 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Facebook
Twitter
Google+
LinkedIn
Email
Add to favorites


~  Living with Familial Adenomatous Polyposis - Effects of FAP  ~

FREE Pattern

With thanks to Harley B for this
FREE pattern. Full tutorial is on
my blog
. Have fun creating!

Pattern ©Harley B Handmade 

 Latest Posts 
 Categories 

Have you heard about our new eZine? CLICK HERE to learn more!

 

Talya Goding - Feeling Ostomistic   talya@feelingostomistic.com.au  |  0447 426 860

Thank you for stopping by Feeling Ostomistic. It has taken a lot of courage to share my story and I ask that you show me and my site/blog respect and courtesy. Views expressed in this blog are my own and I am not a nurse or a doctor. If you need medical advice please seek your medical practitioner.

Copyright © 2017 Feeling Ostomistic. All Rights Reserved. Logo by Made by KaleWeb Design by SiteFresh