Charlotte County Ostomy Support Group
A 501 (C) (3) nonprofit organization, (tax deductible donations)
President: Jerry Downs……. 629-7568…………..email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice Pres…Bonnie Coker 423-8542
Secretary: Lovelle Meester….637-8167 David Sandora…..941.828-1076
Treasurer: Karen Chalfant:…623-0088 Joan Huber………941.575-8708
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,
Marie Michel RN,CWCA, CHRN,OMS 626-2606
Visitation: Nancy Frank BSN,CWOCN
Library: Karen Chalfant
Products Bonnie Coker
John P. Rioux, MD, F.A.C.S. Nancy Frank, RN,BSN,CWOCN;
Tuesday October 10: 2:00PM
Gables East 2nd floor alcove
South Port Square 23023 Westchester Blvd Port Charlotte
Program: Dr Eric Lubiner, Oncologist with
Florida Cancer Specialists
Rap session to follow
Charlotte County Ostomy Support Group
by Gloria Patmore, RNET(retired?)
We really wanted to have that September meeting knowing there were several new ostomates
wanting it so very much, but that hurricane was really mean knocking out power to many of us,
including staff members at South Port Square. We didn’t cancel until the last minute.
I’m sure many of you were under the mandatory evacuation, as I was. Living on a canal when
storm surge is expected you need to be out of harm’s way.
Fortunately, my two kids are living close by and take great care of their mom. They took me up
to my son’s home and he prepared a “safe room” by taking his washing machine and drier out
of his laundry room so the four of us and 2 dogs would be safe when the storm came through.
We lucked out there in Deep Creek, and at 10PM realized we were safe and called it a night
without using that shelter. Neither of my kids lost power and took care of me for several days.
Didn’t it feel great when your power was restored? They say you never miss the water until the
well runs dry.
Missing the September meeting was sad, but hopefully we will be up and running for our
October meeting. Dr Lubiner from Florida Cancer Specialists will be our speaker. He always
brings us the good news about advances in Cancer Therapy, and answers all questions too. He
knows how important our support group in rehabilitation of his ostomy patients! New
We are such a fortunate group having the support of South Port Square. They provide the room
and refreshments for our meetings. They kept us on their schedule until the last minute. It will
make our October meeting that much more special. By the way, the restaurants in town have
been generous as usual and we will have our raffles each month. September’s prizes will be
awarded at the December Christmas party, so plan on being there.
Our President Jerry has headed out this week to the Cancer Centers of America for hernia
surgery. His surgeon is going to retire soon and Jerry needs another hernia repair. His surgeon
knows Jerry’s body so well that Jerry wanted to have the repair by this surgeon. Hopefully he
will be here for our October meeting. Jerry flies the air ambulance and is often in demand. After
the storm he had 3 flights in a row. Our president is an amazing man and very much needed by
many. Having his ostomy has not stopped him. Don’t let your ostomy keep you from doing what
you want to do in life.
My father had a colostomy and his response when I told him what the surgeon had to do was,
“So I’m bass ackwards.” Keep your sense of humor. It sure helps.
I do hope you didn’t lose your ostomy equipment from the loss of power. Homes were very
warm without air conditioning, and the heat and humidity may have affected the adhesives and
pectins. Good luck with yours.
Several ostomates came to our closet in the wound care center near Fawcett and stocked up
before the storm.
It was a wise move. Our closet there is a big help to many, but finding what you want isn’t
always easy. A specific brand may not be available and when coming for supplies you just hope
to find something you can use. It needs to be a proper fit protecting the skin. We have really
had to hunt recently, but whomever is in need is grateful for the free supplies. We do have an
excess of urostomy supplies in the closet and will be shipping some to Osto Group and to FOW.
We want them to go to good use, and we do have money in our treasury to cover for shipping
I have room here for some articles from our UOAA bulletins
“10 Things I wish I could tell myself before my ostomy”
By Amy Oestricher featured on ostomyconnection.com
When I first got my ostomy I felt very alone. I felt self conscious of the smell and sounds, and
sometimes I longed for my old body. When I couldn’t take self loathing anymore, I decided to
make friends with it. I reached out. I inquired about support groups in my area and realized
there were many people like me. I realized my ostomy is a beautiful thing and has enabled me
to all the things I have been able to accomplish through the years.. It is my uniqueness.
There are 10 things I would have liked to tell myself when I first had my ostomy- 10 things I
didn’t know but eventually learned, which I am so grateful for today.
1) What it was: I had no idea what an ostomy was before I had one. But I have a confession: I
didn’t realize until a year later! Coming out of multiple surgeries I had so many bags and new
anatomical surprises to think about that a little pink bulge on my abdomen seemed to be the
least of my problems!
I have learned things in the past ten years that have shocked, scared, and relieved me , such
as: you can’t actually feel your stoma (no nerve endings)! I have had three ostomies and
four ileostomies over the years. I didn’t realize how different they were. Once I learned
about the differences and functions of each, I was better able to take care of them.
2) What my limits were:
When I saw I’d have to live life with a bag stuck to my side, I assumed I’d be fragile for
the rest of my life. But believe it or not there are many active ostomates out there.
Swimming, Karate, ballet, yoga. Ive done everything I did before my ostomy, and more!
3) There are so many strong ostomates.
I was privileged the Eastern Regional Recipient of the “Great Comebacks” award and meet
five other amazing ostomates doing incredible things. There is a hugh supportive ostomy
community. Did you know “Great Comebacks” was founded by former NFL Linebacker Rolf
4 )Ostomates excel at innovation and inventiveness.
It turned out I was able to do all the things I thought I couldn’t.- but that doesn’t mean it
was easy. Some of the beast things in life aren’t easy. Some of the best things in life take
work, and that makes you appreciate it more. Let’s just say that ostomy wraps, stoma
guards, and pouch covers have become good friends of mine, all products that were
created by ostomates. I have created a workshop for ostomy patients and healthcare
5) How amazing my body is.
I have a new respect for my body and the way it can function now.
6) Judgement hurts but fear hurts more.
Stay informed and know the facts. The more I actually understood how an ostomy
works, the more I realized how wonderful it was. After that I took it as my responsibility
to educate others. Instead of wondering if I was being judged by others, I took it as a
privilege to inform others.
7) Everything is connected.
Take care of your full self: emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical. If you’re stressed
you might be bloated, or feel pain, or discomfort. Remember to take deep breaths in
8) The people who love you, Love You
If you are just getting comfortable with your ostomy , remember your support system
loves you for who you are. You are more than your ostomy. Reach out when you feel
alone and never forget how loved you are!
9) Eat fresh You are what you eat, so eat whole and nourishing foods. Your ostomy will thank you,
and so will you.
10) Life can go on.
Throughout the years, I’ve been strong. Determined, and willing to do whatever it took
to stay alive. I’ve dealt with tubes, bags, poles, you name it! And if this ostomy is all that
I’m left with after everything, then I am truly grateful. More than that I thank my
ostomy for enabling me to live life to the fullest; my fullest. I call it my Harry Potter
Thunderbolt scar: a symbol of strength, courage, individuality, and life.
There are a few things I didn’t know before my ostomy. But what I look forward to the
most is everything left to learn.
Thank you ostomy, for making the world a wide open door again.