Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Wear Close: Ostomy Wear That Lets You Feel Attractive

As a young man and a newlywed, Tom Dunlap was confronted with a life-changing event at the ripe old age of 25. Just over a year after marrying, he was diagnosed with acute ulcerative colitis, a life threatening disease that required removal of a portion of his small intestine, leaving him with a stoma and an ostomy bag on his belly. He survived. He and his wife, Sue, addressed the many challenges facing them then, and since. Both committed to getting back to life as usual, they found ways to incorporate the new parts of him in most of their activities. They both struggled, though, with intimacy. How to be close and not have the ostomy appliance be the main event?

They both had a mission of finding the right clothing or covering that would help them both with the intimacy they cherished in their relationship. Tom tried everything that came onto the market, never fully satisfied that manufacturers were “getting it.” Of course, comfort is important. So is practicality when it comes to caring for an ostomy. But the number one issue that he and his peers confronted every day was how to feel attractive and desirable with a partner. It’s the great secret, he says, among ostomy wearers. Many won’t talk about it, but when he and Sue go on the road with Wear Close, the product they have created, the crowd opens up right away.

For years, Tom and Sue kept fiddling with their own ideas. One day, Wear Close was born. On one of their many traveling adventures, Tom found the perfect fabric. He sent it home and they made some prototypes. He tried them out. Sue says they sure had fun experimenting with just “how close” they could get without feeling intruded upon by the cover. They realized it was the first product that felt invisible to them.

One of my brothers died from colon cancer ten years ago. He was diagnosed too late, after the cancer had already metastasized, so he died within six months. The doctors did try surgery early in the diagnosis to see what they could remove before treating him with chemotherapy. They left him with a colostomy, a reality that my brother had great difficulties accepting. He worried all the time about the rustling sound of the bag against his skin, the potential for odor (which was never present, but he worried nonetheless), and the fact that his body was changed forever. I remember sitting with him at the hospital after the surgery as the nurse wheeled him into a conference room to watch a video, “Caring for Your Ostomy.” It was too soon. He looked out the window instead of at the video. He would not speak. He ignored it, hoping it would go away.

When I discovered Wear Close I wished so much that my brother could have tried it then. To have found something so unobtrusive to have bundled the bag in, holding it close against his skin, would have relieved him greatly in those days when he focused on “returning his life to normal.”

Wear Close comes in sizes (S, M, L,XL) in beige and black. The whole idea is to have it blend with skin tone. It’s soft and minimalist in its profile. The soft breathable elastic polymer fiber material stretches for comfort and a close fit. The patented construction techniques used allow for the entire garment to be manufactured with minimal stitching for a smooth finish. The waistband has a three-position adjustment allowing for a perfect personal fit. The user feels confident, comfortable, and attractive in all situations, especially intimate ones.

And, Wear Close is getting a lot of attention. Tom and Sue recently showed their product at the semi-annual trade show for medical equipment providers and suppliers and Wear Close was selected as one of the innovative new products of the year. We now have this product on display at our location in Westminster. You can see it and buy it here, too.

We featured this product in our new products showcase in September. Our “testers” found it unique and interesting, although we did not have anyone in the testing group at the time who actually has a stoma and wears an ostomy bag. If you are interested in learning more about Wear Close, or would like to give us your thoughts and impressions, please contact us or come by and visit. Take a closer look at this product and share your thoughts with us.

1 comment:

Ransi Plick said...

Thanks for this information. I didn't knew that there are special cloths related to Ostomy like the Ostomy Lingerie. I always thought that how they will manage that bag, but human brain has somewhat solved each and every problem that comes in life.