May Newsletter 2015

   Charlotte County Ostomy Support Group


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



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

                                Vice President ….. Bonnie Coker 941 423-8542                      

      Treasurer …Karen Chalfant….623-0088

  Secretary:  Lovelle Meester…637-8167    

                                                                                              Directors: Richard Greenstein………743-7720                                                                                    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 /Webmaster      Bonnie Coker

50/50:             Robert Tousignant

Sunshine:       Mary Rockvam

Hospitality      (Greeter): Joan Huber and Karen Chalfant

                                                                            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 May 12, 2015  2PM

Town Hall. South Port Square

23023 Westchester Blvd. Port Charlotte

Program: Dr Andrew Weitzel (Urologist)

Election of Officers  Chance Drawings:

Subway meal, Phil’s $20, Dub’s Subs $10

Winn Dixie $20, Glamour Puss Salon Hair cut





Presidents Corner:  My first year as the President of this amazing group is fast ending.  As I reflect on the time,  I see our group’s tremendous capacity for caring and helping those with ostomies.  You are all special people.  Thank you for allowing me to attempt to lead you.  This will be our last meeting until September.  Please come and let us know where you would like to see our support group go this coming year.  To all you Mothers out there, have a very special Mother’s Day. You ladies are the bedrock of our society. Thank you for all your sacrifices.  Jerry Downs, President, CCOSG

 2015 Newsletter for the Charlotte County Ostomy Support Group

Gloria Patmore, RNET Retired, Editor


At our April meeting we had 27 attending to hear our wonderful speaker, Valerie Miller, RN. Company representative for Convatec, a very old and respected Ostomy Manufacturer, who listens to the concerns of the ostomate, and have kept their products continuing to advance with research and development personnel working to find the answers to your problems. Valerie came to us although she had just 45 minutes she could spend on this day. She came on short notice when I asked her, fitting it in on an already busy day. She took the time to answer every question that came her way, and to introduce the new products.


When she asked at the start of her talk if anyone had questions or issues that they needed to have covered, skin problems and leaks were quickly addressed. Playing detective is essential when you have sore skin. You need to ascertain just where the problem is occurring. If it is just close to the stoma it would indicate that effluent is contacting the skin for a variety of reasons. The stoma shrinks from the size that it is immediately following surgery and the size of the opening used needs to be adjusted to have the proper skin protection. The opening cut in the wafer should be only an eighth of an inch larger than the stoma measures if it is an ileostomy or urostomy. For a colostomy a larger opening is needed because the stoma will expand to allow the thicker output of a colostomy to come through.


Convatec has come out with an easier solution with the Convatec Moldable Technology.  Effective skin protection is made possible without cutting. You simply roll the opening to the size of the stoma, apply, and mold forward for a worry free fit. There are two skin barrier choices. The Hydro colloid collar offers secure and gentle performance. It is ideal for sensitive skin, gentle enough for those needing to change more often, and is unlikely to cause skin stripping.


The Acrylic collar offers secure performance wanting a collar more resistant to environmental moisture. It is not recommended for sensitive skin, but is recommended for individuals who exercise and for those who perspire. For a sample call 1-800-422-8811

As we always recommend, skin test yourself with any new product to be sure you aren’t allergic to it. Place a small patch on the opposite side of your abdomen and leave it there for 24-48 hours. If no skin reaction it is safe for you to use.


There is a one piece Pouch with Moldable Technology.” Esteem.”The thin flexible design is made to move with the body. Easy to apply and easy to remove, this unique pouch offers a soft comfort panel, advanced filter and an easy view window on the front of the pouch. It is available in drainable or closed end..


Natura accordion flange lifts easily to provide the most finger room available today. With ample room for coupling it’s ideal for tender post-op abdomens. In the “down” position it gives the wearer a flat low profile that is extremely flexible and conforms to body contours. Compatible with their state of the art comfort pouches.

Another new product is called “Diamonds”. They are gelling and odor control sachets, designed to gel the liquid contents of an ileostomy, or when a colostomate is having liquid output. They reduce and often eliminate unwanted odors and ballooning. Get a free sample of five “Diamond Sachets” in a discrete day bag by calling the Convatec Customer Interaction Center 1-800-422-8811


Valerie also brought along “Great Comebacks”. The voice of change. (Persevere, succeed, inspire.) Living your life with passion.

After surgery, or just living day to day with an illness, it may seem impossible to fulfill your dreams. How can I Travel? How can I play sports? How can I raise a family? So many questions, and lots of hurdles to overcome. But then it happens. The human spirit kicks in and you start to see that you will persevere and you will move forward and live life on your terms.


Keep dreaming. Whether your dream is to start a business, make the varsity basketball team, or teach kindergarten- your journey will be an inspiration to others. Convatec wants to hear your story. You have the power to inspire others who have big dreams but need hope and encouragement from someone who truly knows their situation. This is what the “Great Comebacks” Program is all about.

Sponsored by Convatec, a leading developer of innovative medical technologies, “The Great Comebacks” Program provides you with:

1) Real success stories from people all over the world.

2) Educational materials and support.

3) Informative news and events

4) Useful resources and connections.

Now in its third decade, the Program also aims to promote awareness about living with Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, colorectal cancer and other diseases that can lead to ostomy surgery and life with an ostomy. People are often afraid of things they really don’t understand. By educating patients, their families, and friends, as well as the general public, we can help remove the stigma associated with these diseases and having an ostomy.

To find out more visit

or contact customer Interaction Center at 1-800-422-8811 or email


Tony Bell-2009 Winner Bull Rider

Tony was born with a defect in his colon and had ostomy surgery immediately after birth. The surgery was later reversed, but at age 9 he received a permanent colostomy. Never the less, Tony embraced a bright future mounting his first bull at the age of 10, and joined the rodeo circuit to compete professionally.

Today Tony is working toward his special education teaching degree and works on the family farm when he’s not skydiving or cat fishing. To discover more of Tony’s story

Get involved. Each year several people are selected to receive Great Comebacks Awards. The Awards recognize inspirational adults, children, and teenagers who are living with these serious intestinal diseases or an ostomy. You could be one of them.


A Word From Great Comebacks Program Founder, Rolf Benirschke

Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative Colitis, and Colorectal cancer are lonely diseases that often involve difficult surgery. It’s hard to talk about diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever.

The problem is if you don’t talk about it, you don’t let anyone into your world and you can become reclusive.


After I had my ostomy surgery in 1979 and then returned to playing professional football nearly everywhere I went someone would say to me. “Rolf, you are the only other person I know who has what I have.” That’s really how the Great Comebacks program began, through the realization that by opening up you can find help and support.


For 25 years we have found incredible testimonials of courage, perseverance, and commitment. Yet one of the biggest challenges we still have is the lack of awareness and understanding that you can get through this, and the misperception that you have to put your life on hold. That’s why the need for encouragement and hope continues. Slowly, yet steadily, we are raising the consciousness of the public to where everyone will know someone who has faced these diseases, had the surgery, and is doing great.

That’s the goal of the Great Comebacks program.

With warm regards, Rolf Benirschke


Convatec also has available the TSA Travel Communication card. Although the card does not exempt you from being screened it does help identify that you have an ostomy and may need to use the bathroom, and prevent problems during screening. It is a help to have one when flying. To obtain a card call 1-800-422-8811


The Uncontrolled Colostomy

Montreal Canada &Ostonoma news UOAA Update March 2015

Some people in the medical and nursing professions are under the impression that people who have colostomies have very little difficulty in managing them, in comparison to people with ileostomies and ileal conduits. Very often a patient is told that in time he can learn to train the bowel to evacuate once evry24-48 hours. This that are told can be achieved either by irrigation of the colon or by diet, and then all that is required is a dressing over the colostomy or a piece of colostomy equipment if more protection is desired.

While the above situation is true in a large number of cases, there are those who find it an impossibility to regulate the bowel no matter what method they try. These people often become discouraged, especially after hearing other colostomates report how well they manage with a minimum amount of care, with no problems at all.

Usually the person who had an irritable colon prior to surgery will experience problems post op. Irrigations are recommended in these cases, to help regulate the colon. Persons in this category should consider being measured for a good appliance, one that will keep them clean, dry, and odor free. This is a possible solution to this problem.


Our May meeting is the last of the season. We need you to give voice as you elect your new officers. See you there

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