March 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 Directors
Secretary: Lovelle Meester….637-8167
Lorelie Godbout: 603-474-9063
Treasurer: Karen Chalfant:…623-0088
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,
Marie Michel RN,CWCA, CHRN,OMS 626-2606
Visitation: Penny Maki RNET, CWS & Nancy Frank BSN,CWOCN
Library: Karen Chalfant
Products Bonnie Coker
Professional Advisors:
John P. Rioux, MD, F.A.C.S.
Jill Lindsay, RN,BSN,CWOCN
Nancy Frank, RN,BSN,CWOCN; Marie Michel,RN,CWCA,CHRN,OMS

Next Meeting:
Tuesday March 14th: 2:00PM
Gables East 2nd floor alcove
South Port Square23023 Westchester Blvd Port Charlotte
Program: Hollister rep Paul Bixler

Chance raffle

Jason’s Deli $10jasons
Pork’s Roadhouse $25

2 Subway sandwiches

Golden Corral 2 Buffets


Our Valentine’s day meeting was called to order at 2:15 PM with five new members among the 25 present. President Downs and his wife Linda brought Valentine day spirit with little mint hearts and chocolate brownie hearts for most of us. New attendees are Ken and Diane Bangerter, Don and Peggy White, Dave and Nancy Brickley, Jim and Donna Cotton, and Nikki Goodman.

Dr John Rioux MD, a wonderful surgeon, came directly from his busy office to bring his expertise to us. He has been supportive of our group for many years and a professional advisor for our group. His office is here in Charlotte County close to Fawcett Hospital and the surgery center where he maintains his busy practice. He is the father of four, and will possibly have an offspring enter the medical profession with the good examples he has given them. He didn’t take the time to talk about this however but introduced his subject:

Peristomal Hernias: 80% occur at the time of the surgery itself. Young patients heal well and don’t get hernias, but this is not the case with older adults. There can be many causes for peri stomal hernias to occur.

In many ostomy surgeries preparation for the patient is not the ideal. If there has been a ruptured Diverticulum the surgery is an emergency and time can’t be taken to have the stoma site chosen by the WOCN nurse.

When the WOCN nurse can see the patient prior to the surgery, she can mark the ideal site. She will check the patient’s abdomen with him or her standing, sitting, and lying down so skin folds can be seen. The important thing is to locate the stoma bringing the bowel through the large rectus muscle so that there is maximum support for the portion of bowel that will be the stoma.

If your surgery has been done in an emergency situation there might not have been time for a proper bowel prep to be done with the colon being properly cleaned out. The stoma in these cases is usually temporary. It is best however to keep the stoma for a year in order to allow the colon to thoroughly heal before reconnecting and closing the stoma. Peristomal hernias are frequent in these patients.

Urinary Tract Infections do occur frequently. A tract from the colon to the bladder can occur. When this happens there is a sensation of feeling air. Air can be detected in the bladder with a CT scan.

When it has been necessary to use an indwelling catheter to keep the bladder deflated and to manage an incontinence problem, urinary tract infections will frequently occur. Another complication that sometimes does occur is the formation of a tract from the colon to the bladder. The individual will have a sensation of air in the bladder. A CT scan will detect this problem.

Absesses can occur on the back side of the colon and go undetected until they perforate. Antibiotics are used to treat these infections.

Any problem that causes the colon to dilate causes a thinning of the wall of the colon.

Another problem that causes slow healing is a low albumin blood level. Healing is poor in these individuals and peristomal hernias occur more frequently.

TPN: Total Portal Nutrition will be used to aid in healing when a patient cannot eat. Proper nutrition is needed for healing.1500-2000 calories are needed per day. Muscle mass is lost during an illness Carbohydrates, Amino Acids, Vitamins and fatty acids are needed. When the surgery is elective there is a careful check to be sure the albumin levels are in balance.

Infections predispose an individual for hernias. When anti biotics are used to fight the infections it may take only one dose. Too much antibiotic treatment predisposes a patient to another problem as the normal flora of the colon is killed off.

C Difficile is another problem that can occur and needs to be treated. Metrozole may be used. A fecal transplant can also be used to treat the patient and to restore normal flora in the colon. This can be a life saving treatment. A donor’s feces are instilled into the colon of the patient.

A patient having received a higher number of transfusions can also be a higher risk, overloading the immune system.

Poor healing is seen in patients who are smokers. Smoking affects the immune system and the blood vessels. Poor healing is the problem.

Diabetics heal poorly. There is poor arterial circulation.

Using mesh at the site of the stoma as part of the surgery can help prevent peristomal hernias.

Dr Rioux also talked of causes for a fistula to form. A fistula is a channel that forms from the colon to the outside of the body. They can form in Crohns disease and Ulcerative colitis.

Dr Rioux also answered questions from our group. Our members and newcomers were grateful for the time he gave to us to better understand what processes do occur that surgeons need to be vigilant about.

Thank you Dr Rioux

The Write Medicine

If you are suffering from chronic pain or illness, pen and paper might help. A recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that patients with Asthma or Rheumatoid Arthritis who wrote about stressful experiences in their lives felt their symptoms decrease. Researchers asked 83patients to write about their most stressful experiences for 20 minutes on three consecutive days; a control group wrote about unrelated topics.

All the study participants continued with their regular medical treatment and the groups were evaluated at two weeks, two months and four months. According to the study, 47 percent who wrote about their feelings showed considerable clinical improvement, while only 24% of the comparison group improved. Most notably the arthritis patients who wrote about their difficulties had a 28% improvement in their symptoms, while the comparison group had no change. The unique study adds support to a growing body of literature documenting writing’s health benefits. Healthy subjects have shown positive changes in blood pressure and a greater sense of well being after writing exercises.

Wellness-Becoming an expert on yourself

Have you heard about wellness?
It’s different from health. One specialist defines wellness as a “way of making sense out of life.” He points out that wellness is not a synonym for health or fitness. A person can be terminally ill, mentally retarded, or physically disabled, yet still possess a deep sense of wellness.

Health is a condition of the body. Wellness is a state of mind. It is, for example, entirely possible for an apparently healthy person to be in a state of unwellness. A quick tune in to almost any television commercial for Aspirin, Alka Seltzer, Rolaids, or other stress related drugs sold to millions every day gives you some idea.

Dr Halbert Dunn first coined the term in 1959 in his book “High Level Wellness”. He was a physician who realized true health is more than just the absence of illness. He described a lifestyle, 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 the time. But we can make a lifestyle for ourselves that allows moments like these to occur often and regularly.

The key, Dunn says, is finding a personal satisfaction and a sense of purpose in life. Others, like Dr Pilch, also include a) making free choices for ourselves; b) self-esteem; and c) knowing what one’s bottom line values in life are.

Easier said than done you say? You’re right, but don’t think it is impossible. It does take some learning; learning about yourself, learning how to change your living habits to make room for wellness.

One wellness center does nothing but offer classes that teach people “how to become experts on themselves,” how to understand, accept, and respect oneself for maximum enjoyment of life. Programs range from nutrition classes to counseling services. All are geared to teach you to

1) Learn to relax,
2) experience yourself
3) remove psychological barriers to happiness
4) improve communication skills
5) enhance creativity
6) envision desired outcomes
7) take full responsibility for yourself
8) love yourself.

2 thoughts on “March Newsletter 2017

  1. New newsletter?….Nice….Sorry I missed the last meeting….Hope to see you soon….Tony Ferlazzo

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