October Newsletter


october newsletter header FULLCharlotte 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 October. Hopefully the meetings will resume soon.




1Charlotte County Ostomy Support Group Newsletter for October 13, 2020

Happy Fall and Halloween

            I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe. October is here and Halloween is right around the corner. Time seems to be flying by. Up north the weather is definitely changing . There are more wind and rain events which cause the leaves to fall and the temperature falls and sometimes snow falls towards the end of the Month. I don’t know how it will be this year, but when we lived up north we had so many children come on Halloween night that sometimes we would run out of candy. They would only come between 6:00 and 8:00 P.M., but it was nonstop. Since we moved here we haven’t had one child come to the door. They have community events, which I think helps keep the children off the street. Many streets around our neighborhood don’t have street lights and it is pretty dark.

Two articles I found that I thought would be of interest, especially for new ostomates.


                                                                  WHEN AN OSTOMY REYERSAL PLAN TAKES A U.TURN

                                                                  By Ellyn Mantell

                                Setting the scene for you, imagine the patient who has controlled ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s Disease, or diverticulitis and is suddenly terribly symptomatic with infection and unremitting agonizing pain. Or consider the patient who has an accident in the intestinal region of their body. Or the patient who hears the news

following a colonoscopy that there is colorectal cancer. Or the patient, like me, whose motility issues have made it impossible for the bowel to function. All of

these scenarios are happening every day, all day, in hospitals and households and they all may very well lead to either a colostomy or ileostomy. (I believe a

urostomy is always a permanent surgery) Frequently, depending upon the physicality of the ostomy, a reversal in a matter of six months to a year is either discussed or promised to the patient. It is usually explained that for the connection to heal, it requires that time, and once healed, the reversal is smooth sailing. Except, in many cases, it is not, and that is what I wantto bring to your attention, based on the people with whom I have spoken. Please remember, I am not a medical professional, but I interface closely with many patients in many situations, so I speak from my observations.  Sometimes, during those 6-12 months, the sphincter muscles of the rectum stop fully functioning, the patient may be tied to the bathroom as never before. Or the connection is narrow and there may begin a pattern of bowel obstructions due to the backup of stool. Other times, the surgeon had good intentions for a reversal, but the patient is simply not a good candidate due to illness or stepping out of remission of some disease process.

                        The reason I am writing this graphic and perhaps uncomfortable blog for many to read is that an ostomy can happen to anyone for a variety of reasons. UOAA

estimates there are 725,000 to one million of us in the United States who have ostomy or continent diversion surgery. I want to educate all ostomates that making

peace with their new anatomy may be safer and provide a more predictable future than hopes for a reversal. I believe and have heard from others who give ostomy

support that those who know they will be an ostomate for the rest of their life tend to be more open to embracing their new body, physically and emotionally. Those

who have been given (false, in some cases) hope for a reversal are frequently disappointed and angry, feel betrayed and lose faith they will ever be “normal” again.

                        Support Groups are a wonderful way to begin to think of the new normal. It is so beneficial to meet like people, learn about appliances, clothing, foods, sleep,

intimacy, maintaining health and to simply share experiences. If you cannot find one in your area, contact the United Ostomy Association of America or your local

hospital. Take a family member, caregiver or friend if it gives you comfort. I guarantee you will feel empowered by taking this step, whether you are having a reversal in your future, or are embracing your ostomy for life. Ellyn Mantell is a UOAA advocate and Affiliated Support Group leader from New Jersey. You can follow her personal blog at morethanmyostomy

Finding Confidence with an Ostomy

                    If you are struggling to come to terms with the idea of having an ostomy, you are not alone. Whether you are deciding to have surgery or have just gone through one, adapting to this change can take time. Have patience with yourself and your body. Like all new things, there is much to learn, and trial and error can feel discouraging. One of the ways to gain some control of the situation is to gather information. While you are in the hospital aske as many questions as possible of your doctor or healthcare professional. The more you know and understand about your body–and your stoma!–the easier it will be to adapt to your new routine.

                  Learning to love your body, stoma and all, might take time. It’s possible that, before your surgery, you were living with a debilitating illness that prevented you from living life to the fullest. Many people with an ostomy have said that this is the reason they learned to love their stoma–it has given them a new lease on life and they are able to live freer. The sooner you are able to accept and appreciate yours, the sooner your confidence can grow.

                                  Confidence Begins With Finding the Right Solution for You


                     After your surgery, you will already be wearing an ostomy pouching system. Your nurse or other healthcare professional will demonstrate how to empty and change it. As you figure out what your daily routine will look like, you will become more familiar with your stoma and how to use your ostomy pouching system. One of the most important things is figuring out what system works best for you. There are different styles and systems to choose from depending on body type and specific needs, and the better the fit, the more confident you will be wearing it.

                   There are also many other products to aid in your daily routine. If you are an active person, you will be happy to know that you can resume your active lifestyle. If you are worried about making sure your pouching system stays put, you may want to look into an ostomy support band or belt. If you are noticing leaks in your system, there are protective seals and pastes to help keep your skin healthy and dry. Having access to all of different products will help you feel at ease in your daily life.

If finding the unique combination of products (pouching system and supporting products) to fit your body profile and lifestyle seems daunting, it’s okay! It may be helpful to discuss your lifestyle goals and activity level with a healthcare professional or Care Advisor to help you find the right fit for your body.


                           Feeling Confident in What you Wear


                What will you be able to wear with an ostomy? The answer: Anything you want! It’s normal to initially feel self conscious about wearing your pouching system, but the reality is that others won’t even notice it. When it comes to pants or skirts, you may notice that certain waistbands or particular styles and fits might not be as comfortable depending on your stoma placement. Finding comfortable styles that you like is one way to boost your confidence and help you feel comfortable in your skin.

               While no one will most likely notice your pouching system underneath your clothing, there are some tips and tricks should you feel you need more discretion. Layering can be a helpful tool for both keeping things in place as well as hiding your pouching system. Camisoles or tight fitting tank tops work well for women, and t-shirts or undershirts for men can give that extra protection. High-waisted elastic underwear or shorts will help hold your pouch in place close to your body. Most active wear already has elastic waistbands to give you the support you need for times when you are active. If you are playing a contact sport like basketball, you may want to consider wearing a stoma guard to keep your pouch protected from impact.


                        Stories of How Others Found Their Confidence


              Feeling alone and isolated stir up feelings of inadequacy and doubt. What is very important to have the support of family and close friends, there may be times where you need to feel even more understood. Joining a group or network of other ostomates is a good way to fell even more understood. Joining a group or network of other ostomates is a good way to feel connected to others who share a similar story. If you’re not quite ready to do that yet, there are many inspiring stories online of ostomates who are overcoming fears and living life to the fullest.

             Confidence comes from within and is built on positive thoughts and energy. Be patient with yourself as you go through this transition. Be proactive in finding the right pouching system, supporting products, and clothing that make you feel comfortable in your daily life. And remember that others have gone through this before and you are not alone.

This article comes from Coloplast, a digital sponsor of UOAA.

If anyone has any ideas for future articles, please let me know. lagodbout@centyrlink.net.

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