Tips for new ostomy recipients?

When I received by ileostomy a few years ago it was really daunting and confusing.  I want this thread to be for anyone who has any tips for new, or even not so new stoma patients.  The first two things that come to mind for me are supply related.

  1. One, get free samples.  Everyone will have different needs depending on how their body heals and their given lifestyle.  So I suggest you send out for samples from several companies.  They will ask for your address, for shipping purposes, but also your phone number.  A representative will contact you a little while after you get your samples.  This can be helpful because they can guide you in finding the bags that best fit you.  However this can get annoying because they will call back every few weeks.  They want you to stay with their company so they are trying make you a loyal customer.  Don't be afraid to ask for more samples or different bags you (or hopefully your insurance company) may be buying a lot of products from them so get all the free stuff you can!  
  2. As I mentioned before check with your insurance company to see if they will pay for your bags.  They aren't cheap and are a medical necessity, just like your meds.  Your insurance can also help you find a company to supply you with bags.  You can even set up monthly shipments so you don't have to worry about running out.


Please share your tips/experiences in the comments, thanks!  Below is a link to a list of companies you can request from (it's on a page for another product, but the list is the best one I could find):

Samples