Newsletter September 2019


Charlotte County Ostomy Support Group

September Newsletter


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

Our new Vice President, Ken Aukett, took over and ran our September meeting since Jerry Downs, our president, was absent from this meeting. How wonderful it is to have a Vice President so very experienced and knowledgeable who can just pick up the reins and very comfortably keep us running. Thank you, Ken, for being part of this very active group.

Your job this meeting was not only to take over in the absence of our president but to also present the program. This might have been a huge undertaking for some, but not for you Ken, since you and your wife actually formed the United Ostomy Association of America when the United Ostomy Association failed five years ago. You are very comfortable in presenting a program and in running the meeting with so very much experience under your belt. You are still actively involved in the United Ostomy Association on the international level as well. You and your late wife, Linda, traveled to 37 countries in your effort to launch the United Ostomy Association of America. You traveled to 27 countries as you launched this “20-40” group holding the first meeting in Denmark, attended by 27 countries.
UOAA plans to hold conferences every two years in various countries. In 1989 it was held in Miami. The next conference will be in Houston in 2021.

Ken estimates that there were 350 people at the conference this year. The speakers were very good. The WOCN nurses held stoma clinics that were well attended. It is always a very popular part of any Ostomy conference where those attending can receive whatever help they might need from the professionals so willing to give of their time.

Having said this I would like to point out to our group how much time has been given by those of us dedicated to our profession throughout the years. I have been an active member of the group since I moved to Florida from NJ in 1985. Here I am almost 92 and still trying to help. It isn’t as easy as it once was, but I take advantage of the good days to do things like writing your newsletter. I know I am not doing as good as job as I once did, but will continue to try as long as I am able.

So much good information is available. Ken Aukett is a blessing to our group, stepping comfortably into Jerry’s role of president when Jerry was called away.

Jerry, by the way, has many commitments in his role as a pilot. He often needs to fly patients in the air ambulance when a need surfaces. Jerry is always in demand and it is too bad he can’t be cloned, but thankfully we now have Ken ready and willing to step up to the plate.

Ken said the speakers at the conference were very good, and the stoma clinics were well attended.
People with ostomies experiencing problems could be seen by the volunteering WOCN nurses when seeking solutions. 120 people took advantage of this opportunity. It is so helpful to have these nurses willing and able to give of their time and knowledge where needed.
UOAA conferences are held every two years in various locations. It isn’t an easy job to plan and execute the conference with so many factors to be considered.

Ken spoke of the entertaining programs that were part of the conference. There was a Casino night among other things. Karaoke was also a program one evening. It isn’t just all about your stoma. There are many fun and entertaining things to enjoy at a conference..
There was Gospel music to enjoy by Damon Little from Baltimore.

Ken also told of the 10year old who committed suicide after he was picked on by others. The youth support meetings could have been a help if only he had been in one!

Ken spoke of the training given to the TWA for them to understand what an ostomy is, and what an ostomy collection system needs to do.

Much has gone into making life easier for all ostomates by the efforts of a few.

UOAA Vision Statement
“A society where people with ostomies and intestinal or urinary diversions are universally accepted and supported socially, economically, medically, and psychologically.”

Several new books have been written and were available to purchase. Among them were “Courage takes guts” and “Left Holding the Bag”.

As my dad said when I told him after his surgery that he had a colostomy, “So I’m bass ackwards.”
Having a sense of humor helps everyone accept changes as they occur in life.

The discussion of Medical Marijuana brought out a conclusion that it does help patients with Crone’s Disease.

There were 40 exhibitors in the exhibit hall. This is always an important part of any conference. It is here you get to see what is new, and possibly receive some samples.

In reading the list of Exhibitors I saw many we are familiar with, such as Byram Health Care, Celebration Ostomy Support Belt, Colo-Magic Enterprises ( the flushable liners), Coloplast (develops products and services that make life easier for people with very personal and private medical conditions.) Convatec, Edgepark Medical Supplies, Friends of Ostomates Worldwide (FOW), Hollister Incorporated, Hy-Tape int.(Waterproof tape that is used to picture frame a faceplate giving extra security when swimming) KEM Enterprises manufactures the Osto-EZ-Vent, Safe n Simple cost-effective ostomy accessory products.

Convatec, a manufacturer we usually invite yearly to exhibit and talk at our meetings had an ad in the conference booklet about me+. When you enroll in me+ you’ll receive:
Live experts by phone or Email for any questions you may have
Resources to make living with an ostomy work for you.
Inspiring stories, advice, and insights from others living with an ostomy………..and much more.

National Ostomy Awareness Day is Saturday, October 5, 2019. President of UOAA, Susan Burns, states, “We need to speak out about life-saving ostomy surgery. “

As I looked through the conference program my eye hit Coloplast’s ad. If you are having problems with leakage call one of the manufacturers. Coloplast is 1-800-869-0878.

Of course, you have the advantage of being able to call Nancy Frank at 629-5118 or Marie Michel at 626-2607 for an appointment to assess your needs.

I was excited when I saw my dear friend Penny Maki RNET attending our meeting for the first time in quite a while. Many of you have been able to function with your ostomy very well through the years because of her diligent and caring skills. She worked for Charlotte Regional for many years and is now retired. She is a very dedicated RNET. We gave many programs together including visitor training sessions, and nursing education sessions. As I write this it feels as though it has been a very long time ago, but memories are vivid. I feel great joy seeing her sitting close, and I know ready to answer any question.

Another surprise was Nancy Frank CWOCN made the meeting too. If you had questions and didn’t get them answered you missed a great opportunity. But there is always next month.

Speaking of next month, we have Dr. George Hoffman, a retired Urologist as our speaker. Dr. Hoffman is very knowledgable and had a very active practice before retiring. His wonderful wife worked in his office with other staff. Last year he did a great program on digestion, and he asked me what we wanted. We have many urostomates and I asked if he would talk on how a surgically created urostomy or ileal conduit is surgically created. Knowing Dr. Hoffman, don’t hesitate to bring your questions. I am sure he would have answers.

We are a most fortunate group to have so much to be thankful for.

Submitted by acting secretary
Gloria Patmore RNET (Retired?)


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