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From Emergency Surgery to Ostomy Reversal: Gerald’s Journey

180 Medical customer Gerald has gone through a transformative health journey, which began with unexpected abdominal pain and an emergency colostomy surgery to eventually celebrating an ostomy reversal. Today, he says he is nearly cured, and he hopes to share his experience to help anyone else facing a similar situation with a new colostomy or ileostomy.

Severe Diverticulitis Pains Lead to the ER

A normal Sunday like any other was suddenly changed into a life-altering event. When Gerald began to feel severe abdominal pain, he was rushed to the emergency room at the local hospital. After a series of tests, he was diagnosed with a perforated colon and underwent emergency surgery, which resulted in him waking up with a new colostomy pouch.

What is Diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis is a relatively common intestinal condition that occurs when small pouches or pockets called diverticulum begin to form in the lining of the colon. These pockets can become inflamed and even infected, depending on the severity of the condition.

Diverticulitis may be caused by certain factors such as age, a low-fiber diet, obesity, smoking, and/or a lack of exercise in some cases. Consuming a high-fiber diet, however, may be helpful in prevention of this condition.

Can Diverticulitis Cause a Perforated Colon?

Yes, in some rare and severe cases. Diverticulitis can create tiny tears in the colon walls, which can become bigger over time. If that tissue begins to open up or stool begins to get stuck, this can cause perforation. If the contents of the colon spill out, this can then cause sepsis, a severe infection.

Signs of sepsis or colon perforation may include some of what Gerald was experiencing, such as very bad abdominal pains and a fever.

Finding the Right Ostomy Supply Company Online

Finding the right colostomy supplies became Gerald’s next challenge. Based on his online research, he chose 180 Medical for our range of high-quality ostomy product, our satisfied customer reviews, and for all the educational articles and support he found on our website and blog.

“With 180 Medical, I never had a problem with shipping, never felt like I was left worrying that something was not going to get to me on time. And for learning, I recommend people get on y’all’s website. I really liked the resources and support I found,” says Gerald. “There’s a lot of information on there.”

And 180 Medical’s friendly Ostomy Specialists helped him problem-solve any issues he was having, such as pouch leakage.

“I’d say the main products that really made a difference for me were the Slims (eakin Cohesive® seals). They really helped me avoid my pouch leaking. If it weren’t for those, I really would’ve had problems. I also liked the ESENTA™ Adhesive Remover Spray.”

Ostomy supplies at 180 Medical

A Colostomy Leads to an Ileostomy

Unfortunately, several months later, new complications arose, requiring a second surgery. This time, to allow a larger section of Gerald’s intestinal tract to heal, he would have an ileostomy.

Despite losing 70 pounds, being put on a ventilator, and facing daunting challenges in the ICU, Gerald’s spirit remained unbroken, thanks in part to the love and support of his wife and family.

When Gerald was released and ready to get different ileostomy supplies, our team was there to help with that transition.

Gerald in the hospital for ostomy reversal surgery

Ostomy Reversal and Recovery

By November of that same year, Gerald was able to have his ileostomy reversed. Now, he reflects on the challenging experience with gratitude, especially for the products and service provided by 180 Medical.

Also, during his journey, Gerald discovered he was not alone. “People with ostomies are more common than you think,” he says about learning that several of his own acquaintances and friends have lived with their own ostomies for years.

Gerald’s journey from emergency colostomy surgery to ostomy reversal is a testament to his resilience as well as the power of support and finding the right medical supplies. “My quality of life now is good,” he shares, grateful for the renewed freedom and the lessons learned along the way.

His experience is a beacon of hope for those wondering about the permanence of their ostomies. With determination, the right support, and quality supplies from 180 Medical, living a full and active life is entirely possible.

Gerald and his wife

Gerald’s Advice After His Ostomy Reversal

For those navigating their own ostomy journeys, Gerald emphasizes the importance of finding support and utilizing resources like 180 Medical. “It can be hard at first, but in my opinion, with the right products, information, and support, it gets a lot easier,” he assures.

Gerald definitely went through a difficult journey, but his story shows how much room there is for hope in between having to roll with the punches. Whether you live with an ostomy or are hoping for a future ostomy reversal of your own, his experience shows that you can still live a normal life and enjoy your favorite hobbies with an ostomy.

If you’re navigating your own ostomy journey, remember you’re not alone. 180 Medical is here. Whether you need us for a lifetime or for a short time, like Gerald, we’re happy to help you! Reach out to discover how we can help you find the right supplies or support your ostomy needs.

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About the Author
From Emergency Surgery to Ostomy Reversal: Gerald’s Journey
Jessica is the Sr. Marketing Specialist at 180 Medical, and she has been with the company for over 14 years now. She loves getting to be creative in her role and hearing from customers about the positive impact we've made on their lives.

Outside of work, you can find her hanging out with her husband and their dogs or browsing garden centers (where she will almost certainly buy another houseplant she doesn't really need).