Interview with Geoff Rhodes – ACSA President

Geoff - France at St Marlo

Want to see some old style ostomy products?

Check out my interview with Geoff, I had the pleasure of meeting Geoff in Adelaide in 2015 at the national Australian Council of Stoma Associations (ACSA) annual conference and in 2017 he accepted my offer to answer a few questions. Geoff has been an ostomate since he was a child. Despite the lack of a bowel as you can see from his responses below this never hindered his life in fact it gave him the opportunity to live life. He talks of sports, dating and what his first products were like.

"When I first got my stoma the only appliances available were made from rubber. The flange (base plate) was stuck to a foam base with Skinbond cement" Said Mr Geoff Rhodes

Naked Sailing with an Ostomy


The Big Nude Boat

I got as naked as you can safely get with an ostomy and ventured out onto the deck. Having an ostomy ensures you are never truly naked except possibly in the shower if you are willing to play chicken with your output. Many of us also have scars so this is an experience that never entered my mind post ostomy surgery and pre ostomy I would have been too self conscious about stretch marks and cellulite to consider it. So in my wildest dreams I never thought I would experience this let alone be writing about it. But, without it I don’t think I would have been brave enough to be as open as I am now. Also we just booked our second clothing optional cruise on The Big Nude Boat in 2019, so I thought I’d share the first experience with you.

Dating with an ostomy

Dress Up Party

From single to wed, with a few hiccups along the way

This was never my face when I first through about dating with an ostomy.

Although I wasn’t actually looking for love in the beginning, it’s something that played on my mind. My charming ex had wished me dead on the eve of my first surgery so my faith in the opposite sex was at an all-time low and in the beginning I couldn’t even look at myself let alone love myself, so how could I expect anyone else too. The fear that I would never find someone who could love me like this was real and being recently single with a stoma was the most daunting thing ever. My mother tried to keep me positive, even to the point of buying me a wedding dress and a cot, all with that best intentions but it all just reminded me of everything I thought I would never have the chance to have again.

Ostomy Awareness

Ostomy Awareness

What is an ostomy?

An ostomy is a surgically created opening, where a portion of the intestine is pulled through the abdominal wall to create a stoma. A stoma simply means an opening or mouth. The part of the intestine pulled through, along with the waste it diverts from the damaged part of the intestine decides the type of ostomy. The stoma itself has no never endings so it does not hurt, this, however, is not the same for the skin around the stoma, which can sometimes sting if the right appliance is not found. Someone with an ostomy can be referred to as an ostomate or in the case of having two ostomies a double bagger. Ostomies can be permanent or temporary depending on your condition and how it came about. 

Interview with Rourke, Founder of Life after Billy

Meet Rourke

September is Sepsis Awareness Month

September is Sepsis Awareness Month, Sepsis can be a life-threatening condition. It can lead to shock, failure of organs, and in rare cases an ostomy bag depending on where the sepsis occurs and the organs affected. Despite advances in modern medicine sepsis is still the leading cause of death from infection due to the fact that is very difficult to predict, diagnose, and treat. 

When your body fails you

Fail - Body Failure - Back Pain

Rather dramatic isn’t it but given I’m on the couch yet again with a bulging disc unable to find a comfortable position for longer than what feels like five minutes. I am disappointed in my body feeling as though it has failed me again. Months ago this would have sent me into a spiral of depression resulting in the age-old rants of not now, because I never have time but who does have time for sickness and pain, hang on let me schedule that into NEVER and then the good old why me, which ultimately led to tears, red eyes and a headache.

Travel Ostomy Style


Travel has always been a huge thing for me, I love visiting new places, meeting new people and getting a sense of new cultures. My husband has said on more than one occasion we would be rich if I could just curb my passion for travel but where’s the fun in being rich if you couldn’t enjoy it. Pre ostomy I had spent six months in the UK working and partying and three months in Thailand backpacking and again partying. I had planned to travel until I was thirty and then settle down with the man of my dreams and start a family. Unfortunately, my body had other ideas and I spent my mid to late twenties in and out of hospitals enduring twelve surgeries which ended with permanent ileostomy bag just before my thirtieth birthday.

Interview with Ileostomy Crohn Princess – Wieke

Wieke AKA. Ileostomy Crohn Princess

I was delighted to get the opportunity to interview one of my favorite Instagram accounts ileostomy_crohn_princess, AKA Wieke from The Netherlands. Wieke is one positive as f*ck, 30-year-old dog-mom to her three fur babies Lizzy, Lotte and Lara. She also rocks an ileostomy bag and like many has crohns disease. Due to her inspiring pictures, love for bikini's and a fantastic attitude to life in spite of the challenges she faces, she has quickly gained over 3K followers with much more to come. Check out her genuine answers below and her Insta account HERE.

No. 6: Things I wish I knew back then…

Ostomy Appliances Available

Ostomy Appliances

When you first wake up from stomal surgery you will generally wake up to a clear bag with a swollen red bud (your stoma). If you're anything like me this vision scared and even disgusted me, the anxiety of having the bag was bad enough let alone one that hung what felt like half way down my thigh and was transparent for the world to see. Some ostomates have had a pre op appointment with the stoma nurse and are hopefully aware that there are many types and options available.

Rebuild Your Core: Part 2 with Dr Gareth

Four point kneeling exercise

I recently spent some time with local business owner and chiropractor Dr Gareth from  Hilton Chiropractor discussing potential projects we could liaise on to help people who have recently had abdominal surgery, the most common question I get asked is can I do core workouts and if so where did I start. So this seems the obvious place to start. Note this is a two piece series.


Training your core while on your back. This is helpful post-surgical recovery and before you do more challenging exercise.


Training the spinal muscles while on your tummy or while 4 point kneeling…. Yes, you can do exercises on your tummy with an ostomy!

Key things to note, video and instructional videos below: