Improving My Quality of LifeDid you know about 100,000 surgeries performed in the United States result in a colostomy or ileostomy (Goldberg et al., 2010 as cited in Leal de Alencar Luz & Barros Araujo Luz, 2014)? And, even when there is no accurate statistics approximately 1.5 – 2 million live as ostomates already?

In 2005 ABRASO (Brazilian Ostomy Association) stated countries registered information showing this medical procedure is relevant and allows people to continue living all around the world. Some examples reported are: Serbia with 4,000 surgeries; Japan with 12,000; Ukraine with 50,000; Russia with 120,000; and Brazil with 42,627 (Leal de Alencar Luz & Barros Araujo Luz, 2014)

At this moment life expectancy is greater although chronic illness rates are on the rise due to unhealthy lifestyles (lack of regular physical activity, bad nutrition, inadequate stress management, etc.). Accidents and violence can lead to surgeries which in turn result in an ostomy (Leal de Alencar & Barros Araujo, 2014).

Ostomies may be performed by bowel or urinary diversion, and may occur in both cancer and non-cancer patients. Impact on physical, psychological, social, and spiritual well-being is unexpected and has been minimally described in literature (Grant, Ferrel, Dean, Uman, Chu, & Krouse, 2004).

Colostomy and ileostomy patients present psychosocial stressors before and after hospital discharge. Stressors before the discharge include stoma formation, cancer diagnosis (in some patients) and self-care preparation. After discharge, stressors experienced include adaptation to body changes, altered sexuality and impact on social life as well as recreational activities (Marcus Ang, Chiew Siah, & Klainin-Yobas, 2013).

Being better and living better are some of humans’ biggest challenges in this era where everything goes so fast, where there is so much noise surrounding us, and at the same time, a lot of tools can help achieve this goal.

Quality of life is a very topical issue and can be heard about in many mediums. Specialists have done large quantities of research and science has found relationships between daily activities of those with chronicle conditions, or altered lifestyles, and the way they interact with society through time.

Understanding this is a global concept, there are many areas that can easily be focused on our life’s daily basis.  When we observe the effect of those specific actions (big or small), we can find the results in our general quality of life.

At 11 Health, we are very interested in ostomy patients’ daily experience, the consequences regarding this condition, and even when there are many day to day challenges, the beautiful opportunity to live.

The approach we have with patients, doctors, nurses, caregivers, and other stakeholders who accompany the life of ostomy patients provide us the possibility to understand the challenges they face and the way every day contributions to living in equilibrium can help attain a good quality of life.

11 Health technology is an ally, and knowing this allows us to automatically and accurately track information through apps and devices can provide data as: vital signs, daily habits, knowledge obtained by internet to clear important doubts about proper care, vital resources to act under critical conditions, and find support from others in the same situation as oneself. It can also allow to virtually connect in order to share and support others as well the possibility to receive immediate information about what is happening in one self’s general lifestyle and make proper decisions.

Topics as food habits, hydration, physical activity, stress management, and sleep habits are our commitment and that’s why this blog will continuously talk about these topics. We also invite you to be part of the community by contributing with your own story, making this space come life as well as allowing you to collaborate with yourself and others going through the same life experience.

Bibliography

Marcus Ang, S. G., Chiew Siah, R. J., & Klainin-Yobas, P. (2013). Stressors Relating to Patient Psychological Health Following Stoma Surgery: An Integrated Literature Review. Oncology Nursing Forum, 40.
Grant, M., Ferrel, B., Dean, G., Uman, G., Chu, D., & Krouse, R. (2004). Revision and psychometric testing of the City of Hope Quality of Life–Ostomy Questionnaire. Quality of life research, 13, 1445-1457.
Leal de Alencar Luz, A., & Barros Araújo Luz, M. H. (2014). Profile of ostomized patients assisted by family health strategy. Revista Cubana de Enfermería, 30.