Express Medical Supply, a discount medical supply store, works with a lot of people who have had an ostomy for a long time; they also work with people who are brand new ostomates. Each of us can make life better; for ourselves and for those we meet who might someday have to face ostomy surgery for their own good.

I’d like to suggest two ways to do this:  First, please consider supporting the United Ostomy Association,  not only financially but also giving volunteer help in your local chapter. Your involvement will keep the chapter strong and make it more interesting and fun.

Second, become aware of the image of an ostomate that you project to others. Be sure it’s a positive one!  Whether an ostomate or not, everyone at some point in life chooses between life and death. You can tell which one people have chosen by observing their attitudes and lifestyles.  We are advised to choose life and that involves projecting a positive image to others.

President Bush’s son, Marvin, said in a recently published article that his ostomy surgery had given him a “second chance” to live. What a marvelous thing to be able to have, a second chance! To be able to live, enjoy family, friends and work or play, is the greatest joy. Marvin Bush wrote how grateful he was to have a second chance to live. We should all feel this way, because we have chosen life.  Sometimes, though, we can get on a negative track and focus on our problems instead of being grateful.  Look at yourself today. Have you been focusing on your complaints and problems? What kind of image do you project to others?

Here’s a simple plan to help us all become more positive and project a better image:

  • Watch yourself for a few days; see if negative thoughts and feelings keep repeating. Replace negative thoughts with thankful thoughts. You can’t just remove negative thoughts; that leaves an empty spot, and they’ll just come back. You must put positive thoughts in their place.
  • Express your thankfulness to those around you. Be optimistic in what you say, instead of saying, “I’m so busy, I don’t know what to do,” for example, you could say, “I have so many interesting challenges I don’t know which one to take on first.”
  • Make thankfulness a habit. If you do, you will project a wonderful, powerful, positive, attractive image to all you meet.

Following these simple ideas can not only improve your own life, it very well may help others to choose life, or an ostomy if need be, in their future.

By: Pat Murphy, RN, CETN, Via: No. Suburban Chicago’s New Outlook & Via: Rose City Ostomy News, Tyler, TX.
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