Before I moved to IN, I lived in OH. That is where I had my surgery. I immediately joined the local UOA chapter, served as Secretary and also Newsletter Editor and then became certified as a UOA visitor. I had the opportunity to visit several patients in the local hospitals. Mainly, I was only used for the younger patients so that they could relate to me a little easier.
When I moved here to IN, the UOA chapter was 1 1/2 hrs away, and I really wasn't into the travel. I have done phone visits with some of my local GI's patients ... he asked if he could give others my name and number to have them call me. Each time he did, he would call and give me their name so I would have a heads up if I rec'd their call.
I had a hospital "visitor" when I had my permanent ileostomy done and it was a life altering experience for me. I was not always a positive person, UNTIL that visit. That was a huge turn around for me. I am so happy that I can pay it forward in some way. I get such a feeling of accomplishment. I told my husband a couple of months ago, that no matter how busy we get with our own life, this forum is such a great means of therapy for me to be able to help someone else that I was going to make a concentrated effort to check in daily. I come home from work, and immediately turn on my pc to check out what's happening! That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!!!!