I’ve always enjoyed a good day of shopping. As a teenager my friends and I would catch the bus and head downtown. We lived in relatively the same area so would meet at our respective stops. Whoever was on the bus first waving out a window so the other would get on. This was in the 90s before cell phones and the internet of today. I did have my own landline tho which I thought was super cool! We’d call each other, set a time according to the bus schedule booklet and off we went.
Retail and malls in general were very busy back then. Food courts still allowed smoking & it was hard to find a seat. Sometimes we’d split up since we liked different stores. A time and meeting spot chosen (usually in front of NY Fries) and off we went. We always made it back to each other showing off our cool finds, eating our fries & probably smoking a cigarette. Common we’ve all been there lol.
Shopping is still something I enjoy & get a rush off of, but now ostomy supplies added to my list. Weird thing is, well maybe not weird but funny, calling in my order and then getting it a couple days later brings me joy. Maybe it’s just the fun opening of the box or seeing it at my door. Because...I know what’s in there yet I get excited. I open it up, organize my cupboard and kit. I get a rush similar to shoes, ok Carly simmer down. A shoe rush is untouchable, simmer girl, simmer!
The brand I wear is called Coloplast. It’s the brand I settled on early in my ostomy life. I tried other brands but always came back to Coloplast. I find the look of their pouches modern and fabric does great in water and I’m a bath addict so that’s important to me. They blend in well to the body and can even fold in half. Before I had my ostomy I pictured a brown saggy ass bag attached to my stomach. And those do exist but it’s not what was right for me. I also stopped using the word bag and instead pouch. I’m not offended when people say bag because it isn’t wrong..it is a bag, but for me a stigma attached to it.
Coloplast has great packaging so the shopper in me likes the way it looks all organized in my cupboard and kit. When I’ve shown people supplies they’ve been surprised at how “normal” my pouch looks and how small the appliances I use are. That the packaging is nice. Like me in the beginning, people think you’re gonna see warning labels and 💩 emojis on packaging. Without education on any topic conclusions will be made which is why I’m online advocating. To lessen the stigma and embrace being different. Almost everyone has something be it a bad knee, arthritis, MS, a heart murmur, ostomy...something. As a adult going through cancer and now being an ostomate, I have truly learned a lot about invisible illness and judging. You really don’t know what someone is going through.
30+ years later I rarely go to a mall. Maybe because I worked in retail for way too long and know how hard a job it is. But really I don’t go because I don’t have to. I can order most of what I need online, even my groceries can be delivered. I don’t find the buzz like it once was, the stores aren’t as good, the quality lacking. Don’t even get me started on customer service. Gone is the landline, my cell phone and iPad connect me instead.
I’ve joined forces with Coloplast Canada as an ambassador. I was posting my reviews via my Ostomate and the City Instagram and got noticed. You may see me in some print ads, maybe at some events post Covid and lots of chatter on my social platforms. I always knew I’d take this crazy physical change and go somewhere with it and this is step 1. Very excited and very honoured.
The shopper girl in me is never far away. Just shopping in a different way and now for some different accessories!