December Newsletter 2017

Charlotte County Ostomy Support Group

A 501 (C) (3) nonprofit organization, (tax deductible donations)
President: Jerry Downs……. 629-7568…………
Vice Pres…Bonnie Coker 423-8542

Janice Creutzman;941-639-2370
Secretary: Lovelle Meester….637-8167 David Sandora…..941.828-1076
Treasurer: Karen Chalfant:…623-0088 Joan Huber………941.575-8708

Newsletter: Gloria Patmore & Karen Chalfant
Programs & Education: Jerry Downs, Penny Maki, RNET,CWS, 205-2620 Gloria Patmore, 627-9077
Nancy Frank RN,BSN,CWOCN, 629-5118,
Marie Michel RN,CWCA, CHRN,OMS 626-2606
Visitation: Nancy Frank BSN,CWOCN
Library: Karen Chalfant
Products Bonnie Coker
Professional Advisors:
John P. Rioux, MD, F.A.C.S. Nancy Frank, RN,BSN,CWOCN;



Tuesday December 12, 11:30AM (Christmas Party)

Golden Corral 1451 Tamiami Trail Punta Gorda

$10 per person including gratuity. Bring white Elephant gift wrapped.


Chance Drawings:

$15 Panera Bread


$20 Beef O’Brady’s


 $10 Perkins


2 Subway sandwiches @Harbor and #41


Charlotte County Ostomy Support Group
December Newsletter
By Gloria Patmore, RNET (retired?)

Circumstances often work in our favor! They did so at the November meeting when we had planned a program with a surgeon speaker. It certainly would have been wonderful to hear our
surgeon speaker, but an individual needed his skill, and he was called into surgery to use his skills there.

SeniorsDayWe had six new people come to this meeting, and they came to meet other ostomates and to talk with them about solutions to whatever their problems might be. Without our scheduled speaker they were able to do just that.

Our president, Jerry Downs, and Linda, his wonderful wife and assistant, were out of town and unable to make the meeting, but Bonnie Coker, Vice President, stepped up to the plate, and filled that roll. Thirty one people attended this meeting, so lots of help was available for our six new ones: Bill Bell has had an Ileostomy for 18 months now, James Norris has had his colostomy for five years, Lockhart Davis Arbuckle has had his Ileostomy for six months, John Burnell has had his colostomy for just 3 months, Joan Halscheid has had her urostomy for six months, and Sue Coughlin has had her ileostomy since July. An impressive group found tables with others having the same type ostomy, and joined them.

For those of you who are new it might be helpful if I explained the differences that exist for each. A colostomy is an opening that has been made into the large colon. You still have all of your small intestine intact and this is where digestion of nutrients take place, When the opening is made nearer to the rectum, and much of the large colon is still there doing its job, your movements will eventually return to your normal pattern and consistency. My dad had a colostomy low down and he could tell when his movement would occur right after breakfast. He would go into the  bathroom and just stand over the toilet. He could get away with just a band aid over his stoma. This is a rarity. Age does make a difference in the tone of the body however, and he was just 55.

For a Colostomate, with most of the colon still intact, you do have choices of control. There is a procedure called Irrigation that can be used by some. (It is not a choice if you are on chemotherapy and are having several unpredictable loose movements daily.) However it has made life more pleasant for some, including our president. What you are doing is a small enema into the stoma. There are irrigation sleeves used to handle the returns of the irrigation that allows the output to collect and flow into the toilet. It is advisable to get your surgeon and WOCN’s approval and guidance to be taught this method of control if you wish to go this route.

An ileostomy is an opening into the small intestine and is most often done because of ulcerative colitis. Removing the large intestine is a cure for the disease. Ulcerative colitis can sometimes cause 18-20 bloody movements daily with a life spent looking for the availability of a restroom whenever away from home. Exhaustion and dehabilitation results and an ostomy is most welcome! Management must be more precise for an ileostomate because digestive enzymes are present in the fairly liquid output. It is important to adjust the opening to fit closely to the stoma or wear one of the newly developed pouches that can be stretched to make the opening collar the stoma. If the skin is left unprotected the output will quickly make that skin sore. We will have several company reps in the spring bringing their products for you to see and you can also request samples from any of the manufacturers at any time. You can go on line or call the following toll free numbers to talk to their WOCN nurses and request samples:




This is true for all ostomates. As most of you have found, the stoma does shrink and you need to adjust the size opening you use. Many of you use the Eakin Seal around the stoma as added protection before applying your pouch. Also it is important for the ileostomate to use a drainable pouch so it can be drained as needed. Bonnie Coker, Joan Huber, and Karen Chalfant have had many years as ileostomates.

Most of our urostomates have an Ileal Conduit. A portion of the Ileum has been used to provide a conduit from the ureter to the outside of the body. For the Urostomate there are specific pouches with a connector, and non refluxing feature. Once the urine drains into the lower chamber it does not return to the stoma area. Although urine is not specifically sterile, maintaining as such, is what you attempt doing. Avoiding contamination is important. Urine must drain freely and not collect in the pouch. At night the pouch should be drained into a large night drainage container to avoid urine pooling around the stoma. If urine infections do occur it has often been failure to hook up at night. For some it is very difficult to get used to this. Threading the tubing through the leg of a pajama often makes the urostomates more comfortable. Stan Meester is a very experienced urostomate, and has been the “visitor” for every new urostomate.

Marie Michel RN,CWCA,CHRN,OMS came to our meeting to fill in whatever information she could about what her position provides to both Bay Front hospitals. (Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda) She will see any ostomate at the Wound Care Center in Punta Gorda. If you have a problem call her at 941-626- 2606. You can be seen with an appointment, but do not need doctor’s orders. Marie received her Ostomy Certification with a scholarship we gave to her. She has been too busy with both BayFront hospitals to attend meetings, but did make it today in absence of our surgeon speaker. She has supplies on hand in her office, and can be reached if you have a problem and are in need. Although we do maintain a supply closet at Fawcett’s Wound Care Center in the Promenades, it is good to know that Marie also has supplies on hand. We may not have what you need at Fawcett’s closet and just might find it at BayFront.

If you are in need and cannot afford to buy your supplies look into the fact you might be eligible for Medicaid. Supplies are not only available at our closets but can be obtained for the cost of
shipping plus $3 from Osto Group (561-889- 5753). Again these are donated supplies, and we do send them supplies when we have excess.

I want to share with you some articles sent by our National Organization

Optimistically Yours By anonymous

I believe that staying positive smiling, learning to be creative, and keeping a sense of humor is a very important part in the healing process.

“Yesterday’s past, tomorrow’s the future, but TODAY is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.” By Bill Keane

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. (Author unknown)

It is always helpful to have family and friends around you, especially when you are going through difficult times. After my diagnosis and surgery I thought about whom and what I would share with others. I have chosen to keep my ostomy surgery private except for sharing with my immediate family and close circle of friends. Over time I may feel more comfortable. It is totally up to you with whom you choose to share. Go with your instincts! If you choose to not go into detail you might respond with “I had abdominal/intestinal surgery and/or I’m having chemotherapy for abdominal/intestinal issues. You never need to explain anything to anyone. I have found since my diagnosis and after my surgery people can be curious and say stupid things. I have found there are a lot of compassionate, thoughtful, and well meaning people who don’t care what kind of cancer I have and just want to wish me well, send positive thoughts and prayers my way. Remember, don’t let an your ostomy define who you are. You are still YOU!

And you are still that amazing daughter, son, wife, husband, life partner, sister, brother, mother, father, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, grand mom, grand dad, and friend that you were before your ostomy.

Plan to be prepared

For an ostomate living in an area affected by natural disasters it is important to plan for these events. Whether you shelter in place or evacuate , FEMA says “If you take medicine or use
medical supplies on a daily basis, be sure you have what you need on hand to make it on your own for at least a week.

Bill Kuhn, a urostomate, leads an ostomy support group In Metaire, LA. He lived through Katrina and advises,”Have an emergency kit with enough ostomy supplies for at least 7-15 days”. Bill
further urges you to know your emergency evacuation route. Additionally you should find out the final destination for primary and alternate route evacuations. For eah final destination you
should write down the contact information for the local ostomy support group in that area. A directory of US support groups can be found at Finally whaenever possible
notify friends and relatives of your evacuation.

icon_accessoriesEmergency Ostomy Supplies

  1. Pouching System for 7-15 days
  2. Towel, washcloth, or wipes
  3. Pair of scissors.
  4. Bags to dispose of used supplies
  5. Hand sanitizer
  6. Clothing Clips
  7. Skin cleanser with no oils or lotion
  8. Adhesive remover wipes
  9. Skin prep wipes
  10. Ostomy powder

Assemble the supplies in a waterproof dust proof container Also remember to store all records, supplies, phones and lap tops in in individual water proof bags like Pelican pouches or zip lock

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. Tony Ferlazzo says:

    great NEWSLETTER……..Miss you all….Best Regards….Tony Ferlazzo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *