A few years ago I injured myself and I developed peritonitis. The result was an operation, intensive care and a colostomy bag.
On the first day in the hospital with my colostomy bag, the nurse comes in and tells me, “I am going to empty your colostomy bag for you.” She takes my colostomy bag, opens the bottom and, using her hands and fingers, squeezes the bag “milking” the contents into a bowl. She then cleans the colostomy bag, closes it, and leaves. I thought to myself, “Wow, she must be in a hurry, because in this day and age they surely don’t clean colostomy bags that way every time.”
That evening she comes back and says, “It’s time to clean your bag.” and does it the same way again, using her hands and fingers. I asked her, “That’s not the way it is cleaned all the time, is it?” She said, “yes, that is way it’s always been done.” I said, “There must be another way,” and she said, “I am not aware of any other way”.
When I got home I immediately got on the internet and started my search for another, better way to clean my colostomy bag. I didn’t find one. So I reluctantly did like everyone else, and cleaned my bag the same way.
I was soon learning that my “new” life was being muted and restricted by the demands of my colostomy bag. I feared venturing too far from my home due to the unpredictability of the bag filling up unexpectedly. What if I could not find a suitable place to take care of it? So I usually stayed close to home, avoiding any potential situation that might be embarrassing to me, those I was with and even strangers.
I thought about this allot over the past years and came up with The Traveler: a port-a-potty for ostomates.
The Traveler has been designed to permit an Ostomate, when finding themselves facing an urgent situation, to safely, sanitarily, and discreetly take care and dispose of the whole issue just about where ever they may be.
I wished I would have had something like The Traveler available to me early on. I have also Developed a reusable one so you never have to use your fingers to squeeze your bag again.
Zonk Thompson, Founder of Sanitary Ostomy Systems, Inc.