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"They call her a rose"

“They call her a rose”

Tineke Plessen, a volunteer and new member of the Ostomy Society's Member Council, has worked with vulnerable people her whole life. According to her, the stoma should become a regular topic of conversation. “I'll be kidding myself if I show my stoma again.” Tiniki recently put her impressive story on paper. Her book They Call Her a Rose chronicles her journey through ulcerative colitis to an ileostomy.

Why volunteer?
“I had left a busy job, and I didn't want to think about doing nothing.” “Friends said, 'Your bangs are a gift from God and give you something fun to do again,'” he laughs. Seriously: “I think I can make a meaningful contribution.”

Why do you have a stoma?
“After 25 years of recovery from ulcerative colitis, there was suddenly a high risk of developing colon cancer with metastases. On the advice of the doctor, it was decided to have a colectomy. But I am very humble, the kind of person who quickly forgets bad experiences.

You are open about it.
“I call it, this is my way of normalizing it. I joke that I have a stoma again. Removing ignorance is the most important thing. There are still many people who are terrified of having a stoma, but they hardly know what it is.”

How do you notice it?
“In my environment, I often see that an ostomy is accepted by others, but the idea of ​​getting one yourself is almost the worst. It is a real problem for Muslims. You have to be clean before praying in the mosque. With an ostomy, unfortunately, you cannot control that.” But I think the imam might make an exception to this, and it is unfortunate that we have so few volunteers with an Islamic background.

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Why do taboos persist to this extent?
“I think in the end we are not used to talking about feces and urine and intimate matters. It will not be an easy topic of conversation either.

What are you committed to at the Ostomy Society?
“I'm on the Scientific Research and Innovation Committee, I'm involved in the resource guide and I coordinate visitor services in the North West region. I like to act as a training actor when training volunteers. Then I play a patient telling their story. It's about learning to listen and ask the right questions. What's really going on? ?Does anyone have a hard time having an ostomy or does this maybe put a strain on the relationship? If they can tell their story, I've already gained a lot.