November 2020

Charlotte County Ostomy Support Group

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

Website www.ccosg. org


President: Jerry Downs………….941-629-7568…….fldowns@embarqmail,com Vice President: Ken Aukett……609-315-8115 Secretary: Lovelle Meester….612-240-2175 Treasurer: Lorelie Godbout….. 603-474-9063

Directors: Janice Creutzmann….910-382-2509 David Sandora….941-828-1076


Newsletter: Lorelie Godbout Programs & Education: Jerry Downs, Gloria Patmore, RNET (retired)……..941-627-3077 Nancy Frank, RN, BSN, CWOCN ……………….941-629-5118 Marie Michel, RN, CWCA, CHRN, OMS………941-626-2607 Visitation: Nancy Frank, RN, BSN, CWOCN Library: Lorelie Godbout, RN (retired)

Professional Advisors:

John P. Rioux, MD, F.A.C.S. Nancy Frank, RN, BSN, CWOCN Marie Michel, RN, CWCA, CHRN, OMS

Next Meeting:

There won’t be any meeting this November, but the newsletters will continue to be printed and posted on line. Hopefully the meetings will be able to resume soon.





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Charlotte County Ostomy Support Group Newsletter for November 10, 2020

Happy Veterans Day and Thanksgiving

I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe through this pandemic. The weather is getting a little cooler and dryer here and some places up north already have snow. Veterans Day is a time to honor all veterans who have served in the armed forces of the United States and say Thank You for their service to help preserve our Democracy. Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to get together and think about the past year and what we really have to be thankful for. This year with the pandemic and many families having to struggle about finances, if they could lose their homes, being able to eat properly, and losing loved ones and not being able to see or be with loved ones through this pandemic, it may be a little more difficult to think of things we have to be thankful for. I think there are still things we can be thankful for, for instance people stepping up to help others in need, organizations and businesses coming together to feed people or to make sure people are getting groceries and the help they need for housing. I see neighbors getting together to help neighbors that may need more assistance during this trying time. Many children see what is happening and are finding ways to help in their own unique style. We may not be able to get together with our families, but we still can keep in touch. We can still be thankful that we are able to get up each morning, have food and a place to stay.

UOAA sent several articles to share and I also included a few other articles I thought would be of interest.

Is This Normal, Even if it is Different?

Source: Miami Ostpmy Aftercare The Promise Ask Mary Lou Boyer, BS Ed, RN, WOC Nurse

Whether you are new to an ostomy or you have had one for a long time, you may sometimes wonder of what is happening to me is normal. Figuring out your new normal can take some time and even over many years, changes can take place. This is a recurring column addressing issues that may cause you to wonder “Is this normal even if it is different?”

With everything that is happening in our world right now, fear, worry, and anxiety are running rampant. Social distancing, lack of everyday groceries, reduced income, and avoiding the COVID 19 virus doesn’t give us our usual outlets. Certain life altering situations, such as death in the family, divoce, certain diagnoses or even upcoming health care tests can cause anxiety.

If you have a urostomy, you may notice more mucus around the stoma or in the ostomy pouch. If you have a colostomy or illeostomy, you may notice more noise and/or gas coming from the stoma and more mucus on the stoma. This is different because it is not your usual normal, but it is normal if you are going through traumatic circumstances. These changes happen when you are anxious because the lining of the intestine produces more mucus and the intestinal muscles are more active than ususal. Remember that with a urostomy, the stoma is created from a piece of the intestine. These changes should improve as your world calms down.

See your physician if you have changes that do not resolve.


Eight Reasons for Pouch Leakage

Source; The Houston Area Ostomy Group: The By-Pass On Line

  1. Poor adherence to peristomal skin–Apply pouch to dry skin. A warm hand over pouch for 30-60 seconds assures a good seal.
  2. Wrong size of pouch opening–Be sure that the size of your stoma has not changed. Remeasure and adapt accordingly.
  3. Folds and Creases–Ostomy paste can be used to build up an area in order to avoid leakage. Consult your WOC nurse for proper methods.
  4. Peristomal skin irritation–Avoid irritated or denuded skin. If any of these problems develop, consult your WOC nurse.
  1. Too infrequent emptying–Pouches should be empied before they are full. Weight of the effluent may break the seal causing a leak.
  2. Extremely High Temperatures–Wafer melt may cause leakage. Change pouch or try a different wafer.
  3. Pouch wear and tear–If you are stretching your wear time, leakage may be due to wafer wearing out. Chang pouch more frequently.
  4. Improper Storage– Store your ostomy supplies on a cool, dry place. Humidity may affect your pouch adhesive. Apliences don’t last forever. Ask your vendor what the recommended shelf life is for your brand of pouch.

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A Second Opinion Leads to a Life-Changing Ostomy

In the spring of 2014, I had completed another colonoscopy for my ulcerative colitis. It was my fifteenth colonoscopy in twelve years and many prescriptions of drugs later to curtail the bleeding of the polyps in my intestine.

I had a very productive career and life with a CPA practice for 34 years. In Grapevine, Texas I served on the school board and as a city council member, and was named “Citizen of the Year.” But bleeding and bathrooms were getting on my nerves, so I called the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, unbeknownst to my gastro doctor. I told them that I wanted another opinion.

After four days of extensive tests, discussions, colonoscopy, the doctors at Mayo concluded that the polyps were entirely too large to remove by minor surgery without bigger risks, and that removal of my large intestine was recommended. Cancer was discussed at length including risks and possibilities with large polyps and various medical unknowns involving my circumstances.

My large intestine was removed January 4, 2015. The surgery was in my home town and I had a great ostomy nurse that taught me all of the intricacies of the ostomy pouch and supplies. I returned to retirement life again here in the Mountains of Texas where it is cool in the summer and we return to Grapevine for the winter where we had our careers.

I am 76 today and walk with my dog 3 to 10 miles each day. I play golf anytime I can. I am very active in my small town and I play the organ at our church each Sunday. I am not overweight and enjoy eating most anything. I find it necessary to chew every piece of food very well. I avoid nuts, corn, kale, popcorn, and tough fruit skins.

I love life and I am so happy for the decisions I made.

Article taken from UOAA September E-News

A Tribute to a real Life Hero

By Ellyn Mantell

The untimely, shocking and terribly sad death of Chadwick Boseman added to the pall in the air last Saturday morning. I looked at my CNN feed on my desktop with my mouth agape. How could it be that such a beautiful and talented man could die so young? And what evil transgressor claimed his life? Like so many, I admired his work for the past few years. He broke my heart portraying the challenging life of one of my husband Bruce’s baseball icons, Jackie Robinson in the movie 42. He played him with bravery, grit and quiet determination and I immediately fell in love with him! As the expression goes, “he had me with his smile,” when he was treated fairly. Sadly, Jackie Robinson was mistreated by the very society that valued him as a ball player. Chadwick Boseman got that, and made us all get it! And in the movie Get on Up, he portrayed James Brown, showing his incredible versatility, as well.

Black Panther, although I assumed would not be my jam, as the kids would say, turned out to be fantastic, and once again, Chadwick carried the film. He was such a likable actor, and his warmth and dignity always came through. And I felt the same warmth and dignity from him in Da 5 Bloods, as he captivated and commandeered the screen.

In real life, where there were no cameras, Chadwick Boseman was a true, real-life hero. Apparently, eschewing publicity and accolades, he visited sick children and became someone in whom they could trust. Little did any of them, or us, know what was happening in his own life.

Suffering for 4 years with colon cancer, he handled every series of meds, chemotherapy and surgeries privately and quietly. Bulking up or slimming down for a role in a movie, he did it with little fanfare, and certainly, no hint of what his body was enduring over the grueling months and months of treatment. His is truly not a story of how he died, but of how he lived.

However, in his death, there is a message for all of us. Chadwick was 43 years young when he succumbed to this horrible disease. We think of colon cancer as an older person’s disease, but clearly, it is not, and there are many younger with it. The statistics also say that black and brown young people are more vulnerable. Let this be a warning for all…get tested! A colonoscopy isn’t fun, but it is imperative. It isn’t the first thing people want to do during the pandemic, but it is not to be ignored. A test widely available, and not to be missed, could not only save your life, but save the demanding treatments that our poor hero endured. I have read he had a temporary ostomy, which was reversed, and we will probably never know if that is true. It doesn’t matter…in his usual way, our hero drew attention to the deadly disease that needs to be identified and treated early for best chance of survival.

Deanna Brown-Thomas, daughter of the late James Brown said Chadwick visited before filming Get on Up, and that he was “the epitome of Black Elegance.” May I take that comment one step further? I would like to point out that Chadwick Boseman was the epitome of Human Elegance, a man in full, to be appreciated, to be admired, to be emulated, and a leader for us all.

Ellyn Mantell is a UOAA advocate and Affiliated Support Group leader from New Jersey. You can follow her personal blog at morethanmyostomy.

My thanks to our wonderful Treasurer Lorelie who writes the newletter every month.  She is a Jewel.  Jerry Downs, President CCOSG


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