January Newsletter 2018

Charlotte County Ostomy Support Group
Website www.ccosg.org

A 501 (C) (3) nonprofit organization, (tax deductible donations)
President: Jerry Downs……. 629-7568…………..email:fldowns@embarqmail.com
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;

Next Meeting:
Tuesday January 9 2018, 2:00PM
South Port Square
23023 Westchester Blvd Port Charlotte Fl
Gables East 2nd floor alcove
Dr George Hoffman Urologist will answer your questions!

Chance Drawings:

PaneraLogo$15 Panera Bread,

201609071144321667$20 Celtic Ray,

logo2$20 Beef O’Brady

downloadGolden Corral 2 complimentary Buffets

Charlotte County Ostomy Support Group
January Newsletter

wine-bottlesTwenty Three enjoyed our Christmas party at the Golden Corral. It was a happy and spirited group of party goers. If you missed it I’m so sorry.

President Downs opened the meeting with a heart given prayer, Most everyone brought a gift for the gift exchange. When Linda talked about how my cookies had been a favorite in years gone by it motivated me to get busy and bake. My kids and friends appreciate the push Linda gave me. They will get cookies this year.

Well it turned out that there was another favorite among the gifts. This was a 4 pack of wine , Many wanted this gift and it was passed around until the end of the “game”. All the gifts were beautiful with no white elephants. I ended up with a beautiful glass “Santa” cutting board and 4 white Christmas salad plates. Janice Creutzman planned and hostessed the exchange, I took her instructions on wrapping a little too seriously. I found a brown paper bag to hide my cookies in. No one was disappointed in their gift. Most had put theirs in a beautiful Christmas bag. I’ll try to remember that for next year.

The free raffle was well done by Jerry. Everyone had a ticket and four numbers were drawn for the winners of the prizes.

The food at Golden Corral is so well prepared and they keep each tray filled and replaced even before it is needed. It certainly was a great party!

hints-tipsAny experienced ostomate will tell you these hints have been around for a long time, but perhaps you are new to the ostomy crowd.

  1. Put toilet paper in the toilet bowl before emptying. It prevents splashing.
  2. At each pouch change check the stoma for color, shape, size, and function. Stomas shrink over a prolonged time and shape also changes. Adjusting your pattern is necessary to provide proper skin protection..
  3. It isn’t necessary to scrub your stoma clean. ( Keep in mind before the surgery that piece of stoma was exposed to feces 100% of the time) Bathing or showering without the pouch is a great idea. It is good for your skin and your stoma. Just be sure to use a soap that doesn’t have skin softeners in it such as dove. They can interfere with the adherence of your faceplate. Water running over your stoma is no problem as long as you aren’t using a shower massage.
  4. Having an ostomy doesn’t prevent you from enjoying swimming. Either picture frame your appliance with waterproof tape or water proof the tape you are using with some skin prep preparation..
  5. Stomas have no feeling, and therefore injury can occur without you knowing. Causes can be a face plate shifting, too small an opening cut or improper centering during application. A cut stoma will bleed and swell. Contact your stoma nurse or physician and be prepared to wear a larger size until you heal.


Health is a condition of the body, but wellness is a state of mind. It is possible for a healthy person to be in a state of “unwellness” as evidenced by the many stress related medications on the market. Dr Herbert Dunn first coined the phrase in 1959 in his book “High Level Wellnes”. He was a physician who realized that true health was more than just the absence of illness. He describes a lifestyle as a state of well being in which you are alive to the tips of your fingers, “experiencing moments in which the world is a glorious place.

Granted, we can’t be like this all of the time, but we can make a lifestyle for ourselves that allows moments like this to occur often and regularly.

The key, said Dun is finding personal satisfaction and a sense of purpose in life. Others, like Dr Pilch, also include:

  1. making free choices for ourselves.
  2. self esteem,
  3. knowing what bottom lines in life are.

Easier said than done you say? You are right but don’t think it is impossible. It does take some learning:

  • Learning about yourself,
  • learning how to change your living habits and learning how to make room for wellness.
  • Learn to relax.
  • Experience yourself
  • Remove psychological barriers to happiness
  • Improve communication skills
  • Enhance creativity
  • Envision desired outcomes
  • Take full responsibility for yourself
  • LOVE yourself
  • Support groups are a good place to learn wellness techniques.
  • Maybe wellness, not illness, could play a leading roll in your life..

SeniorsDayLife Begins with an Ostomy

Crazy you say? Let’s analyze. Before you were told that you would have to live your life with an ostomy, how often did you reflect on life, your family, your friends, the environment, the beauty and wonderment of a sunrise, or the magnificence of a sunset? For the first time the possibility of your brief visit to life might suddenly end. Suddenly all senses become heightened ,And appreciation of staying alive and of living become important.

Think back to all the time that has been wasted when sitting doing nothing, (daydreaming,, arguing about nothing, putting off to the next day, and worrying about the things that never come to pass). Never does one wish for more, that they have the time to do the things that are important, to accomplish tasks, mend personal relationships, and make peace with God. Life, and the meaning of life, comes into clear focus, and the frivolous aspects fade out of sight..

Each person reacts differently to these realizations; some positively, and others negatively. Some adjust and LIVE! Others lament that which may never come to pass. (My dad’s comment was “So I’m bass ackwards”).

Since we only visit this earth once (as far as we know) it is important that we make every moment count. A moment allowed to be wasted can never be recaptured. Some view their ostomy as a death sentence, a condition that they cannot or will not tolerate. What a waste! I wonder how many of theses individuals, before they were told they were going to need an ostomy stayed at home worrying if they left the house they might be struck by lightning or run over by a Mack Truck? Yet now they have been told they have an ostomy, and they fold up and stop living.

An ostomy is a ticket to life! Without it you cannot live. It gives a second chance to assess your priorities and start living the important sides of life. To enjoy each day for itself and not waste a moment. It opens the blinds and allows the sun to shine though on your life!

As a person with an ostomy you have lots to offer others. With your insight and advice to others who may undergo the surgery, to teach them how to live with their appliance and with the post op period of adjustment, and the future!!

There are many important projects you can share; visiting with new patients, giving them encouragement and support, volunteering at your local hospital, driving others for therapy and helping each other.

Our January speaker is a retired urologist who has accepted my invitation to be our January speaker. Dr George Hoffman and his wonderful wife will be our speakers. He had a busy practice and often helped the ostomy Support Groups. I know you will enjoy having them with us.

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