November Newsletter 2014

Charlotte County Ostomy Support Group December 2014 Newsletter

By Gloria Patmore, RNET Past President and editor

A message from your President Jerry Downs

“As we enter the Holiday Season I find that we are all busier than usual! It becomes a time filled with joy, and also stress. We want to remember to be “flexible” this year. That point was driven home to me when Bonnie Coker called with the distressing news that the Wound Care Nurses Annual Fair was going to be on the same date as our Ostomy Fair and that all of the vendors would be there. Soooo we were “flexible” and quickly switched our date to Saturday March 28th, 2015!


I’m reminded of the old saying, “If you bend with the wind, you won’t break!” Therefore let us all stay flexible this year!


Wishing you happy and healthy holidays!!!

Jerry Downs, President CCOSG


PS: Don’t forget our Christmas Luncheon at Noon December 9th at the Golden Corral in Punta Gorda.

“If you want to attend the meeting and need a ride or help to get there, call Roger Wilson @ 941-743-7285 and he will try to help you”.

Cost is $10 including tip.

We will have a chance drawing free for a full hour massage by Dan. You will get your chance ticket when you pay your $10 to Treasurer Roger Wilson as you enter the room in the rear of the restaurant where the party will be held.


Gift fun is being handled by Joan Huber. Bring a gift. It doesn’t have to be new (although this is permitted) unwrapped. It can even be a “white elephant” You will be given a number for the drawing. When your number is called you pick a gift from the table. If, however, the gift you want has already been chosen by someone else you have the option of taking the gift from that person, and they can choose another.


Report from Secretary Lovelle Meester: Speaker Melanie McCall RN


Melanie McCall RN, Infection Control Practitioner from Fawcett Hospital was our November speaker. Melanie discussed infections and what can be done to prevent and treat them.

1) Staphylococcus is a bacteria that lives on the body and is a normal flora. It is present mainly in the nose. It can cause an infection in an open wound. An antibiotic ointment can be used to treat the infection on the skin.

2) Fungus infections are treated with anti fungal ointments and powders. For fungal infections around the stoma prescription anti-fungal powders are needed. When a fungal infection is suspected around the stoma your ET/WOCN nurse should be consulted, and she will diagnose this and obtain a doctor’s prescription. (ed. Note: Reddened weeping areas around the stoma edge can be due to skin exposure to your output, or an allergy to a product. Cause must be determined before treatment is initiated.) Skin should be kept clean and dry to treat a fungal infection.

3) Influenza. She asked if everyone had received their Flu shot, and emphasized its importance. Each year the medication is made to fight the most recent organism. It changes and a shot is needed every year. A stronger dose is administered to the at risk elderly population to prevent the flu.

4) Ebola was discussed. It originally came from a fruit rat. The hospital personnel are being trained in proper precaution techniques.

5) Shingles: If an individual has had chicken pox (most humans have had it as children. Sometimes a case is so slight that you may never remember having had it.)  Chicken pox bacteria are in your body, and an event may occur in your life causing stress and allowing the dormant chicken pox bacteria to attack the nerves. This can occur along nerve pathways in most of the upper body and face. Blisters erupt along the nerve and are extremely painful. The Shingles shot is an important preventive measure that is well worthwhile.

6) CDIF (C Difficile) is caused by a spore. In can run rampant through an institution, Washing hands between patients is a must in an institution. The diarrhea that occurs can be treated with an infusion rectally of healthy fecal bacteria.

7) Pneumonia. A Pneumonia vaccine is given to most elderly patients by their doctors. It should be repeated every five years. Pneumonia has been a frequent cause of death in the elderly. Here an ounce of prevention is essential.

8) Probiotics can be of use added to the diet and can be purchased at health stores.

Your President, Jerry Downs, reported that the date for our Ostomy Fair has been changed to Saturday March 28th 2015 from 10AM-3:00PM in eight rooms that have been reserved in the Cultural Center on Aaron Street in Port Charlotte. We expect about 20 vendors. Our previous date was in conflict with  a Wound Nurse conference and our vendors had committed to that event. Fortunately the Cultural Center did have March 28th still open and we were able to make this change. There will be speakers and a free lunch for those making reservations. Jerry has an active committee working to have a wonderful Ostomy Fair with expectations of ostomates attending from many groups around the state. If you haven’t been able to attend a Fair before, your opportunity awaits you right here in Port Charlotte. Being able to talk with manufacturers and distributors of equipment first hand and to receive samples and catalogs from them is exciting. You will see many new faces in our Fair too, even from our community, since it will be held on a Saturday when some of the younger working members will be able to attend. We will have doctor speakers during the conference in a separate room. You are in for an educational treat.

Acidic Urine and its Importance for Urostomates

Ostomy Nutrition and more by Allen & Price via West Texas Group UOAA update 08/20/14

Urine odor from the urostomy pouch indicates possible infection. More often, however, it is due to stale alkaline urine residue (or poor hygiene), although some medications or foods can produce odor in the urine.

In chemistry, “pH” defines the degree of alkalinity or acidity of substance. When food you eat is burned in the body, it yields a mineral residue called ash. This ash can be either alkaline or basic (acidic) in reaction depending on whether the food burned contains mostly acidic or basic ions. The reaction of urine can definitely be changed by foods. Most fruits and vegetables actually give an alkalinized ash and tend to alkalinize the urine. Meats and cereals will usually produce an acidic ash that will acidify urine.

By taking Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) one can actually acidify urine pH. The normal dosage is 2000mgm a day, taken in four doses of 500Mgm each. (Check with your doctor) Do not take the total daily amount all at once. Several doses a day give the best result. High Alkaline urine can actually cause stoma stenosis (Narrowing of the stoma) often caused by bacteria in alkaline urine. High alkaline urine may also cause blockage of urine and subsequent urethral and kidney damage. Persons with urostomies should maintain acid urine with a pH of 5.5 to 5.0. This range can be determined by dipping nitrazine (litmus) paper into a drop of fresh (not from the pouch) urine that has come directly from the stoma. Never take a sample directly from the pouch. Stale urine is almost always alkaline.

Ed Note: It is important to prevent urine from pooling around the stoma when in bed at night. For a good night’s sleep hooking the urinary pouch to a drainage container that holds 2000ccs makes sense. You do not need to get up to empty your pouch and the urine won’t back up because of a full pouch, causing an infection.

 Chemotherapy and your ostomy

Edited by Bobbie Brewer UOAA Update 08/20/14

If you are receiving Chemotherapy you should be aware of many chemo agents that affect the body differently. Below are side effects of chemo that an ostomy patient should be aware of.

Stomatitis– is an inflammation that can develop anywhere in the gastro intestitinal tract. It may appear as white patches in the mouth, on your stoma or elsewhere in the intestinal tract. You must be very careful when caring for your stoma, using care in gentle removal of the pouch and barrier and using plain tap water to cleanse the stoma.

Dermatitis– is an inflammation of the skin. Skin reactions are worse when you are on chemo; therefore if leakage occurs, change your pouching system as soon as possible. Again, cleanse your skin with tap water only, making sure to get it clean. You will want to look for areas of increased redness, weeping areas, or a red rash that may have a white head on it. If the skin is open, or you identify a rash see your doctor or ostomy nurse.

Dehydration-is a big risk, along with losing two of the body’s minerals: sodium and potassium. If a colostomate develops diarrhea discontinue irrigations if you normally do irrigate. You will want to eat foods that slow the bowel down such as bananas, rice, applesauce, tapioca, or yogurt. You should notify your doctor if diarrhea occurs. He or she may want to prescribe some medications to slow bowel activity.

Constipation-on the opposite end of the spectrum, some agents can cause constipation. If this occurs see your doctor. He or she may want to give you a laxative or stool softener. Remember to increase your fluid and fiber intake if you are constipated. Chemotherapy can be taxing on you. Nutrition and rest are essential. Do your routine stoma care when you are well rested.

Simple Yet Profound Words from a Five year old By Kathy Ward, Admin asst-UOAA

“When my granddaughter was five she had many problems with her digestive system. Her surgeon placed a stoma over her stomach so that a feeding tube could be inserted. One day she looked at me and said, Grandma did you name your stoma?

I replied “Yes I did. I call it Rose because it looks like a flower to me. Did you name yours?”

“Yes, she said, but I named mine Jack.”

Thinking this was an odd name for a little girl to name her stoma, I had to ask, “Why did you name it Jack?

Her response, “Because Jack is the name of the lifeguard at the beach and my stoma saved my life.”

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