An Ostomy Doesn’t Have to Put Your Life on Hold

Porter Regional Healthy Hustle 2014 94Porter Offers Support to Ostomy Patients

The Valparaiso Ostomy Support Group offers a forum for people with any type of ostomy to discuss issues they may be having, get tips from others and hear from guest speakers about relevant topics such as diet, swimming with an ostomy and specific surgeries related to patients needing an ostomy. The goal of the group, led by Sarah Grcich, RN, Inpatient Wound and Outpatient Ostomy Clinic Coordinator, is to help people adapt to life after a colostomy, ileostomy, urostomy or fistulas. The group meets on the fourth Thursday of each month (excluding November and December) between 6:30 and 8 p.m. in the Community Room at Porter Regional Hospital and is open to anyone with an ostomy, their family members/care givers or persons preparing for the surgery.

Here's what some of the group members have to say.

"I have been a member of the Ostomy Support Group for a few months now, and I've found it's just nice to talk with others. I've learned little tips and tricks to make my life easier; I've learned that life doesn't end because I'm wearing a bag." – Emil B., Valparaiso

"I have a urostomy and colostomy and I had my surgeries in Crown Point. I saw an ad for the support group and I've been a member since 2011. Sarah is a lifesaver. She figures out what the problem is and comes up with a solution. Even though I'm a double ostomate, life goes on and so do I." – Ed K., Crown Point

"I had my surgery at the Mayo Clinic in 2005 and was released to an ostomy nurse in La Porte. I developed a wound and was in tears. I couldn't get hold of the nurse, so I called Sarah. She is an angel! With the group, it's like 'show and tell' where everyone assures you that you're not alone. Newcomers are scared as rabbits, but the group is just a circle of caring." – Jenny M., La Porte

"I went in for a hernia repair and came out with a bag. I was completely uninformed about what was going on, and, since I didn't have my surgery in Valparaiso, I didn't know about Sarah and the group. While I was recuperating at my daughter's house I saw an ad in the paper about the Ostomy Support Group, and I went. At the time I thought I was the only one with problems with my ostomy, but, with the group's help, it didn't take me long to get comfortable with it." – Ricky B., Portage

To learn more about the Ostomy Support Group, call Sarah Grcich at her office: 219-983-8780 or cell: 219-309-5939.