December 2021 Newletter

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Charlotte County Ostomy Support Group
A 501 (C) (3) nonprofit organization, (tax-deductible donations) Website


President: Jerry Downs 941-629-7568
Vice President: Ken Aukett 609-315-8115
Secretary: Lovelle Meester 612-240-2175
Treasurer: Lorelie Godbout 603-474-9063
Directors: Janice Creutzmann 910-382-2509
David Sandora 941-828-1076


Newsletter: Lorelie Godbout
Programs & Education: Jerry Downs,
Gloria Patmore, RNET (retired) 941-627-3077
Nancy Frank, RN, BSN, CWOCN 941-629-5118
Marie Michel, RN, CWCA, CHRN, OMS 941-626-2607
Visitation: Nancy Frank, RN, BSN, CWOCN
Library: Lorelie Godbout, RN (retired)

Professional Advisors:

John P. Rioux, MD, F.A.C.S. Nancy Frank, RN, BSN, CWOCN Marie Michel, RN, CWCA, CHRN, OMS


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Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas


We had a great turnout for our November Luncheon Meeting at the Golden Corral in Punta Gorda with 21 people in attendance, including four new people. It was great to get together again. Jerry opened with a Thanksgiving prayer and then we had introductions. There was good food, fun, and fellowship. Our Christmas Party is scheduled for Tuesday, December 7th at 2:00 p.m. at The Golden Corral again in their private back dining room. Please save the date (12/07/21 at 2:00 pm.) and plan to come. We will have games and a fun small gift exchange.

I want to wish everyone a Happy Hanukkah and a Merry Christmas and hope everyone stays safe and healthy. I wish you all peace, joy, and happiness this Holiday Season!

Here are some articles from the UOAA newsletter I get.


Source: by Dale Jorgenson, St. Paul Ostomy Association

Noun, pos-i-tiv-ity the state or character of being positive: a positivity that accepts the world as it is. (

A positive attitude isn’t about ignoring reality; it’s accepting it in a way that helps you move forward. Sixteen years ago, I was diagnosed with bladder cancer. It came as a shock, unexpected at age 57. I was seemingly healthy, owned my own business, had a family, owned a home, was well regarded in my community…then cancer. I thought “How can this be happening to me?”

After thinking about it and discussing it with my wife and my doctor, my choice was to accept the situation and deal with it. After considering the options, my decision was to have my bladder removed (radical cystectomy). This was not my only option but for me the best one in order to get the cancer out of my body. Within less than two weeks from noticing some blood specs in my urine and a diagnosis of a cancerous tumor, my bladder, and the tumor were gone. Fortunately for me, the cancer had not migrated beyond the wall of my bladder. There were no lingering problems, no more cancer. I’m healthy and happy. My urostomy doesn’t cause me any problems, and my life is normal. My attitude remains positive.


Source: Written by Stephanie Brenner via Ostomy Outlook, Ostomy Association of the Minneapolis Area

Think back to when you first got your stoma. Do you remember how you explained it to others? When it comes to the level of disclosure, everyone is different with what is comfortable. Here’s advice that I hope will help:

When you’re ready to share, start with people who care. Other ostomates and close family or friends can feel the safest. Rehearse your explanation before disclosing it to acquaintances or coworkers. Have a way to
deflect intrusive questions such as, “I don’t really like talking too much about,” or “Maybe I can explain more another time.”

Start by asking whomever you’re telling if they’ve ever heard of an ostomy. If they’re unfamiliar, you may need to explain some basics first. However much you choose to disclose is completely up to you. However it happens, let that be okay knowing your confidence will grow with practice.

Top Tips to Reduce the Risk of Ostomy Bag Leakage

Catherine Clarey-Sanford PhD RN CWOCN


The best pouching surface is one that is flat without creases or crevices. Many times you have to use products or different wafers to achieve this. SOOOOOO
What does your stoma look like?


Above are drawings of what your stoma might look like.
Many people have stoma’s that don’t stick out (protrude) of the abdomen too far. This can make pouching more complicated.

Remember the goal of the correct pouch is that your stoma output flows into your ostomy pouch and not underneath or around the skin barrier.

With the picture, examples #1,2,3 the stomas do not stick out very far so you have an increased chance of the output going under the wafer. This will degrade the seal and cause leaking and possible skin irritation. These folks with these probably use a CONVEX wafer. That is a wafer that has a little bowl to it. These come in different types of firmness.

Pic #4 is probably the ideal stoma to have.
Pic #5 is referred to as a prolapsed stoma. We will not spend much time on this stoma. It is distressing to see but contact me if you want more info. Usually happens more with colostomies.

Tip 2. Measure your stoma to get the right size for your skin barrier.

When you get your box of wafers, there should be a paper measuring guide. They may look different depending on your manufacturer. But it looks something like the image below.


REMEMBER: Every once in a while, you should remeasure your stoma. They can change in size and shape. This is especially true in the first few weeks after creation. There is swelling that will usually subside making your stoma smaller than when it was first created.
Measure 12-6 and 3-9. Turn your wafer over and mark a spot at 12 and 6 and one for 3-9. Then carefully join the dots together. Sometimes your stoma will be perfectly round. That doesn’t always happen. Sometimes your width will be longer than the height. So, your stoma looks more oval. You just need to get measured twice. Don’t worry if you mess up, everyone usually wastes a wafer or two.


A Punny Fall

Q: Why did the lions move at the end of summer?
A: Because the pride goeth before the fall!

Did you hear about the tree that deserted the forest at the end of fall? He was absent without leaves!

Q: Why do trees hate going back to school in the fall?

A: Because they’re easily stumped!

Q: What kind of coat should you wear in the fall?

A: A har-vest!

With all the pumpkins around, autumn is definitely the most gourd-geous season.

Q: Who helps the small pumpkins cross the street at school? A: The crossing gourds.

The Cold Shoulder
An elderly lady walked into a pet store, found a parrot, and asked the owner if she could buy it. The owner said, “Heck no! That parrot has a bad mouth! Trust me, you do not want that parrot!”
She said, “I can teach it good manners,” and she bought it.
When she got home the parrot said a bad word, so she put it in the freezer for 10 seconds.
She took it out and said, “Did you learn your lesson?”
It said another bad word so she put it back in for 30 seconds. She took it out and asked if it learned its lesson yet.
The parrot said, “Brrrrr…yes I learned my lesson, but, what did the chicken do?”

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