A visually impaired ostomate with ‘imported stoma bags’

A visually impaired ostomate with ‘imported stoma bags’

Anecdote 2 – Mr. Wong

Nurse Chen was on her first night duty in an active male surgical ward. Mr. Wong, a seventy-year-old ostomate, appeared at the door way of the injection room, “Nurse Chen, my bag leaks again. This is the fourth bag I changed today!”

Nurse Chen said, “alright, clean up now. Call me when you are ready.”

Nurse Chen found that the stoma was constructed ‘flushed’ or ‘not protruding’. On top of that, the old man was visually impaired. The stoma was placed low on his abdomen or ‘tummy’ where he could not see it. Nurse Chen got him to wear his thick spectacles. She placed a mirror near the sink so that he could see his stoma. It took about ten minutes to guide him to apply the bag correctly.

“I see you have a good-quality bag here; a pink opaque bag… even with an odor-filter! We don’t have this type of bags in our hospital. You are very lucky.”

“Yes, my son is very filial. He imported them from the UK.”

One morning before the staff came on duty, Mr. Wong came to the counter where Nurse Chen was writing her reports. “This is the third night I slept well without a plastic sheet on my bed. I had been doing this for the last four months to prevent accidental soiling on the bed linens! I know how to apply the bag correctly now. Thank you very much!”

He took a few steps backward and bowed ninety degrees, like how the Japanese people would do!

man in white thobe praying
Bowing like Mr. Wong! (Photo by Michael Burrows on Pexels.com)

Published by Chen S. P. @ TPTan

Serena Chen @TPTan, Master degree in nursing (Monash) . Serena teaches local and overseas nurses in a stomaltherapy program. She had presented papers internationally. Serena is a member of the ‘Golden Key International Society (Monash). She was an editor of a mental health bulletin and she enjoys pottery works, cartoons, painting and poems. She shares insightful experiences about being a carer for people with mental illness and cancer in this defining society.

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