March Newsletter 2015

Charlotte County Ostomy Support Group


A 501 (C) (3) nonprofit organization, (tax deductible donations)


President:  Jerry Downs……. 629-7568…………

Vice Pres…Karen Chalfant….623-0088  Directors: Richard Greenstein………743-7720

Secretary:  Lovelle Meester…637-8167                  Bonnie Coker…..………… 423-8542

Treasurer:  Roger Wilson……743-7285                 Joan Huber………………….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,

Jill Lindsay, RN,BSN,CWOCN,629-1181

Visitation:       Penny Maki RNET, CWS & Nancy Frank BSN,CWOCN

Library:           Karen Chalfant

Products        Bonnie Coker

50/50:             Robert Tousignant

Sunshine:       Mary Rockvam

Hospitality      (Greeter): Joan Huber and Karen Chalfant

Website:         Roger Wilson:941-743-7285

Professional Advisors:

John P. Rioux, MD, F.A.C.S.

Penny Maki, RN,ET.CWS.

 Jill Lindsay, RN,BSN,CWOCN

Nancy Frank, RN,BSN,CWOCN;

Next Meeting:

Tuesday March10, 2015  2PM

Town Hall. South Port Square

23023 Westchester Blvd. Port Charlotte

Program: Rap Session with Penny, Nancy, and Jill

Our wound care Nurses

Chance Drawings:

Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Jack’s


President’s Corner:  Our Ostomy Fair is just shy of 4 weeks away.  We need everyone participating to make it a success.  Tell any friends you have who are ostomates or caregivers who don’t come to the meetings that here is a free chance to hear Doctors speak on ostomys. Talk to nurses or certified visitors who have been there and done that AND see all the latest inovations for ostomates with over 20 tables of vendors and free lunch for the first 100 attendees.

Be there or be square.  Thanks, Jerry Downs

Newsletter for Charlotte County Ostomy Support Group March 2015


Our Ostomy Fair will be here on March 28th at the Cultural Center in the main conference room at the main entrance to the building. Since a silent auction will be held at the Fair please bring donations to our March meeting. You probably have many valuable items to add to this. Just take a look around the house. Also remember, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”


Our wonderful speaker for the February meeting was Doctor of Pharmacy, Bradley Strack.

He presented a wonderful power point program that he sent to my computer so that I could fill in for you any part that you might have missed.


His talk:

“Ostomy Support with medication and diet”

Antibiotics may make your stools thinner than normal, and may cause diarrhea.

Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you whether it is safe and effective to take certain medications when you have a colostomy.


It is not necessary to crush a tablet or take it in liquid form when you have a colostomy, unless you have another existing condition.


If you see a pill or capsule appear in your ostomy pouch when you are emptying discuss this with your doctor. Looks can be deceiving however. Even though you may see the capsule you may have absorbed the medication from it.


It is best not to take a laxative or stool softener if you have a colostomy until you speak to your doctor who can guide you.

Controlling your diet is the most effective way to prevent GI tract issues.


Diet Control

Eat balanced meals on a regular schedule. (Skipping meals or eating heavily all at once may produce more gas and irregular output.)


Avoid high fiber for at least 4-6 weeks following surgery. (This means eating less or limited amounts of fruits and vegetables.)

Avoid: Corn, nuts, seeds, celery, Chinese food, and foods with fibrous peels, beans and lentils.


Eat slowly, and chew your food well.


Drink plenty of water, juice, and other fluids each day unless you are restricted from doing so because of other medical reasons.


Add foods to your diet gradually to see how these foods agree with your system.


Be patient with yourself. In time you will learn what food routines work best for you.




Nuts and seeds, popcorn, Salad Greens, Vegetable skins, celery, corn, raisins, and

cole slaw.


Eat these foods with caution as they are very difficult for your body to digest.

Try small amounts and chew very well.



Cause: Can be caused by drinking alcohol or eating:

Fish, baked beans, eggs, brussel sprouts, Cabbage, onions, cheese, asparagus, medications.


Reducing odor:

Overall cleanliness and using odorproof pouches and drops.


Experiment. If you have an issue, try a small amount again in a few weeks. You don’t have to immediately stop eating a favorite food.

Buttermilk, yogurt, and parsley may help with the odor problem.



Cause: Asparagus, Beer, Broccoli, cabbage, fish, cucumbers, onions, soda, sweets, nuts.

Prevention: Eat regularly. Skipping meals is likely to produce gas.

Avoid swallowing air when eating. You can accomplish this by relaxing while you eat, taking your time as you do so Don’t talk with your mouth full, and avoid drinking liquids through a straw. You suck in air as you sip from a straw.

Again, experiment with different foods.



Stools that are small, dry, and hard to pass(Occurs in a colostomate) is a different problem than a blockage. (Undigested food blocking the stoma in an ileostomy is a blockage)

If you have a colostomy a certain amount of fiber in the diet is a necessity to add bulk to your stools and make them easy to pass.

Mild constipation can be treated by adjusting your diet in the following ways.

1) Increase the amount of water, juice, tea or coffee that you drink.

2) Eat high fiber foods: Wheat bran cereals, fresh fruit, and vegetables, whole wheat breads and whole grain cereals (such as Ralston, oatmeal, or wheat flakes.

3) Some people find that coffee, chocolate, lemon juice, licorice, or prune juice will relieve their constipation.

4) EXERCISE! It will help relieve constipation.


Cause:Beans, Broccoli, Beer, Chocolate, Prune juice, Red Wine, Hot beverages, Spicy Foods, large meals.

To reduce diarrhea:

Applesauce, Bananas, Boiled Milk, Cream of Rice, Rice, Peanut Butter, Tapioca, weak tea.

Loose stools can also result from emotional upset, traveling, and impure water, (which can be a problem if you travel abroad.)

Diarrhea can also be caused by illnesses such as the flu, or other problems.

Be sure to drink plenty of fluid to replace the loss, such as tea, bullion, broth, ginger ale, or Gatorade. If diarrhea continues for more than 24 hours, call your doctor.


Other Dietary Restrictions

Your doctor may order a special diet for reasons other than for your ostomy. For example there are diets to control high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Make sure you check with your dietitian about following these special diets.

Drink more fluid when you exercise, and in hot weather, to replace excess fluid loss.

If you travel to a foreign country you should first check with your doctor and consider that you may encounter food and water that are impure, and you may need special advice on what to do to prevent problems.


Are generic medications the same as the original?

To be marketed a generic medication is required to have the original medication formula, but fillers in the medication can be different. In most the action will be identical, but sometimes the fillers can cause a different reaction to the medication. For some reason  thyroid medication seems to be one that only the original works well for some individuals.

Taking thyroid medication it is recommended that it be taken on an empty stomach and wait for ½ to 1 hour before eating breakfast. Save vitamins containing calcium until after lunch.

From my files:

Sneezing season: Colostomates who take antihistamines during the sneezing season may find that these drugs have a tendency to slow down the intestinal action and the irrigation process becomes slower. Some report relief from the drug reaction by increasing the fluid intake on the day of irrigation or from eating a laxative type food.


Sound mute

Take a non-woven gauze 10x10cm, double it, put 2 pieces of adhesive tape on both ends and place it inside the pouch on the top of the pouch opposite the stoma. Then stick the adhesive tape on the side walls of the pouch. It will muffle the sound as it is absorbed into the gauze, giving a quieter sound and makes you feel better, the bowels then become less irritable making lessened bowel sounds. When someone asks “What’s that?” You can just reply, “Oh, it’s just my angry stomach.”


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