I have a long history of gastrointestinal issues, and too many surgeries and hospitalizations to go into here. In 2006 I had a non-reversible ileostomy which it took me a long time to accept. If only I had found Oley then, I think that my journey to acceptance of my ostomy would have been much shorter. I've been on alternative feeding (either tube or TPN) for over three years, and have gotten a lot of information from the site. The accumulated experiences of the members is invaluable; it is virtually impossible to present a problem or question that someone hasn't had experience with. While it doesn't pretend to substitute for a professional's advice, the site provides advice, support, and encouragement to all its members. The Oley friends monitor the site and take down offensive posts, making us feel safe in expressing our feelings without fear of being attacked. Plus, the process of offering support to others makes sense out of the experiences that I've been through -- it gives a meaning to my suffering to be able to help others who find themselves in the same situation.