The Newsletter of The Winnipeg Ostomy Association

January/February 1998

WOA's 25th Anniversary Party

The WOA Executive. (l. to r.) Stan Sparkes, Elenore Schmidt, Bill Aiken, Dave Page,
Christel Spletzer, Betty Friesen and Harry Tucker.

Inside This Issue

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Articles and information in this newsletter are not necessarily endorsed by the Winnipeg Ostomy Association and may not apply to everyone. It is wise to consult your E. T. or Doctor before using any information from this newsletter
Cutting the Cake
Past-Presidents Abe Foreman and Stan Sparkes cut the cake.

WOA's 25th Anniversary Party

The Winnipeg Ostomy Association celebrated in style on December 7th. Over one hundred people attended the 25th Anniversary party and a great time was had by all. Past President Abe Foreman gave a speech on the early days of the WOA, emphasizing that it was the work of many dedicated ostomates that got the WOA off the ground and running

MB ET Nurses
Gay Hordienko presented the WOA with flowers and congratulations on behalf of the Manitoba ET Nurses Interest Group, who were all present at the celebration. ETs obviously love to party!

HollisterConvaTecConvaTec and Hollister had booths with all the latest ostomy products. New Hollister Rep, Desiree Ranger got to meet many of our members and had a good introduction to Winnipeg Ostomates. Old Friend, Bonnie Schmidt is back at ConvaTec and we were glad to see her again.

President Dave Page oversaw the proceedings very efficiently and presented Stan Sparkes with UOA Canada's "Unsung Hero" award certificate.Unsung Hero This was presented at the UOA Canada Annual Meeting in June, but Stan was not there so Dave held on to it to present it to Stan at a similarly auspicious occasion. This award is given for outstanding service at the local chapter level and Stan's work, particularly his skill at lobbying the government, have been invaluable to the WOA. Congratulations Stan!

The three hours went very quickly and the refreshments and cake were excellent. Thanks to Elenore Schmidt for all her work on the catering and party setup!

Funds to assist in covering the cost of the event were gratefully received from ConvaTec and Hollister, Thanks! The remainder came out of WOA's pocket.

The silent auction was a bit of fun and most people went home with something nice. There were many great gifts. Thanks to everyone who donated prizes. The money raised will nearly cover the WOA's cost for the party.

I had so much fun, I'm looking forward to the 30th Anniversary already. Let's keep the WOA strong and vibrant for the next 5 years so that we have an excuse to do this again in 2002.

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From the President's Desk

Elsewhere in this newsletter you will read of the passing of Maria Seigl, President of the U.O.A. Canada. The national office has received condolences from around the world, as we all have not only lost a great supporter of the cause of ostomates but a great friend. Helen Dubois, President of United Ostomy Association Inc. USA, writes "Maria was a good friend, not just to me, but to all who had ostomy surgery. This great lady will be missed by people around the world".

Maria long had a vision that U.O.A. Canada should be a completely independent organization, and as of June 15, 1997 U.O.A. Canada did just that. So where do we go from here?

Di Bracken, the new President writes; "Although it fell to Maria to carry out her vision (we know) that despite her passing, U.O.A. Canada will move forward. We, all of us, share Maria's vision and I pledge to you that I will do all I can, with your help, to make U.O.A. Canada into a strong viable, caring association for all who have or will have ostomy surgery."

"Our moment has come. The door has opened and we have accepted our future and passed through. Together, let us proceed boldly, confidently, with determination and also with humility".

Locally, the Winnipeg Ostomy Association is now 25 years old. We observed the anniversary on December 7, 1997 with a delightful party where old friendships were renewed and new ones made. I had the opportunity to meet many people, longtime ostomates who I had not previously met. Desiree Ranger, our new Hollister products representative was kept busy displaying products, as was Bonnie Schmidt for ConvaTec. Now, as we begin a New Year, we look forward to new opportunities as we meet with members both old and new.

See you at the next meeting,


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Notices and Notes

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Folliculitis is an inflammation within a hair follicle. This is usually caused by traumatic hair removal, that is, hair under the skin barrier of the pouch is pulled out when the skin barrier is removed. Prevention is the key to managing skin complications, so in this case, switch to an electric razor or scissors to clip the hair. A hair removal cream can be used, but it's best to patch test it on your skin before using it around your stoma. If folliculitis does occur, it can sometimes be confused with a yeast infection. The skin under the faceplate or wafer is red and small pustules may appear. On close inspection though, these pustules will be seen only at the hair follicles in folliculitis. Treatment includes modifying the shaving method and the pouch removal method as needed to prevent further damage. Usually the use of a skin protective powder such as Stomahesive Powder will permit the skin to heal. In a few cases, an antibiotic powder (prescribed by your doctor) may be required. As with other skin complications, your ET nurse can provide you with help in identifying and treating the problem

Source: Rita Pochard, ET, Franciscan Health System, Cincinnati; via Dallas, Metro Halifax News, April,1997

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Developing a Sense of Well-Being After Ostomy Surgery

by Sue Bergman, PhD, Owensboro (KY) OA

Some people see illness as being opportunity. It is hard to believe that such a negative experience as a severe illness could have positive aspects. Betty Rolling, author of First You Cry, is quoted as saying, "Although cancer was the worst thing that ever happened to me, it was also the best. Cancer enriched my life and made me wiser, happier. Although I would do everything possible to avoid getting cancer again, I am glad I had it." People in this position re-evaluate their priorities, and tend to take less for granted.

Rose Bird, Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, has spoken on the positive effects of her breast cancer, quoted in a Los Angeles Times article in 1983: "In a peculiar way, death can teach you what life is all about. It is a painful lesson and a difficult journey, but I am personally grateful that I was made to travel this path at a relatively early age. For I have learned much about myself, much about what I want out of life, and much about how precious life and people are."

When we go through a dramatic change like ostomy surgery, after the initial adjustment, we have to explore what parts of our old selves we still have, what parts we have gained, and what old dreams we can still hold on to. Somehow, life goes on, no matter what happens to us. Any crisis requires that we develop a new form of self-discovery and a reorganizing of all the pieces of our lives. This changes our relationships with others. We now have to make new rules for ourselves - a very new and difficult thing to do! The old sense of security - the old walls' now have to be rebuilt.

One might feel very much alone in this new situation. If you were able to cope well with life's setbacks before, you might be fortunate to experience a relatively good adjustment. A network of friends and concerned relatives is also very helpful to successful rehabilitation. But, if you feel all alone, it can be a tremendously difficult uphill and bumpy battle. Grief can show up as anger and fear, and the healing process might be a slow, tedious journey. People do best when things go smoothly and big changes are few and far between. Much more adjustment is needed for large scale changes.

Life is so often a series of challenges, some of which are capable of giving us renewed strength, and renewed personal growth. If we are able to overcome problems without being overwhelmed by them, we can move on and at times even become stronger. In the words of Leo Buscaglio: "Don't ever believe that you are going to be peaceful - life is not like that. When you are changing all the time, you've got to keep adjusting to the change... Once you are involved in the process of becoming, there is no stopping."

Via Austin (TX) Austi-Mate, via Ostomy Outlook Online, November, 1997.

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What To Do In Case Of Food Blockage (Or I Knew I Shouldn't Have Eaten Those Peanuts)

By Sharon Williams RNET, Oklahoma City

It might happen around midnight...that severe cramping sensation coupled with cessation of flow or watery projectile flow. When cramps strike, the memory of having consumed some problem food follows soon afterwards. What does one do now? Food blockage is an experience that many ostomates will have at one time or another. The enzymes of the digestive tract cannot digest the high cellulose of foods with high fibre content. Nuts, corn, popcorn, coconut, celery, Chinese vegetables, fruit pits, and tough cuts of meat are a few of the items that may cause blockage problems. Ostomates who chew their food poorly, eat rapidly, do not drink sufficient liquids, or have dental problems will be more prone to have food blockages.

When a food blockage occurs, if no nausea or vomiting is present, start forcing liquids. Coke, tea, or whatever liquid produces a rapid peristaltic movement is best. A few crackers may be eaten to serve as a pusher.

Sometimes a change in body position, such as assuming the knee-chest position, may encourage movement of the bolus of food. Massaging the abdomen may produce the same effect. Diarrhea may follow the blockage; it then becomes necessary to replace fluid. Gatorade may be used for replacement of both fluid and essential electrolytes. Cheese, bananas and peanut butter will help slow the diarrhea. It is normal to have a sore spot in the abdomen following an episode of blockage. A low residue diet should be followed for one or two days to allow the intestine to rest.

If nausea and/or vomiting occurs, go to the emergency room immediately. A lavage may be necessary, but this should never be attempted by the untrained ostomate. It is in no way like a colostomy irrigation.

Via Tri-City Mail Pouch (Mesa AZ) via The Redstoner, April, 1997.

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Visitor's Report

By Christel Spletzer

Patients with the following ostomies were visited in November and December:
Colostomy - 5
Ileal Conduit - 6
Ileostomy - 3
Pelvic Pouch - 2
Continent Urostomy - 0
Total = 16

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The Power Of Word Processors

Question Guy? Eye feel won of the things that makes hour knew word processors sew grate, is thee ability to Czech thee spelling of words. Everyone nose thee biggest problem in letters today is spelling errors. Spell Cheque, witch is provided with most word processors, ensures that words are spelled write! Know matter how hard eye try, I always seem too make a spelling error along the weigh. Finding errors with Spell Cheque is as plane as knight and day. With won press of a key, Spell Cheque provides the write spelling and ewe no you're letter is dun wright. Just encase, ewe should ewes the ultimate test... scan it with a close I for mistakes! You're now able to send it with piece of mind, a writer whose work can bee completely trusted.

(From FCI News, St. Paul MN & Tacoma, WA, Anonymous Contributor via OA Boston, Sept/97)

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Just One More Day

Don't try to wear your pouch "just one more day" because you have heard that some ostomates can. If it is itching, TAKE IT OFF! Your skin will pay for it if you don't. When your tape or adhesive starts to bubble, it is coming loose, so change it NOW. Paper tape can be made more waterproof by covering it with Skin Prep after it's in place. Also, please take note that a camera bag, diaper bag, or an insulated six-pack bag is an excellent way to carry appliances and equipment needed when traveling. The six-pack carrier is especially good as it keeps everything from getting too hot if you are traveling by car. Keep your extra pouches handy so you can change without delay. Quick changes will prevent discomfort and skin damage.

Via Metro Halifax News, via Hamilton & District, 9/97

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A Very Good Idea

If an ostomate happens to be in an accident, or should become so ill that he/she could not talk, would anyone know to change the appliance when necessary?

Have you ever thought about what a bad situation this might be? To eliminate the chance of that happening, it would be a very good idea to always keep extra appliances on hand, all made up and ready to use. They should be kept in a special place at all times so they could be picked up and taken to the hospital or wherever the ostomate is being cared for. As well as made-up appliance, full instructions, spelling out all the little steps necessary for a change and for the care between changes should be written down and kept with the supplies. All of us should prepare for the worst, and perhaps it will never happen.

Via The Semi-Colon, MOA & Green Bay News Review Oct/97

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New Addition

Karen Spencer ET gave birth to a baby boy on December 9, 1997.
Craig James Spencer and Mom are both doing fine.

We wish Karen and her family a bright happy New Year!

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Editor's Comment

This is the electronic version of The Winnipeg Ostomy Association's newsletter, Inside Out. The newsletter includes articles from other Ostomy Association chapter newsletters and these are credited at the end of each article. Please credit the source as well as Inside Out if you wish to use any of this newsletter.


Submissions and Letters to the Editor can be mailed to:
The Editor, Inside Out,
130 Woodydell Ave,
Winnipeg, Manitoba,
Canada. R2M 2T9.
All submissions are welcome, may be edited and are not guaranteed to be printed (but I'll make every effort).
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Last updated June 15, 2001. Comments to: Mike Leverick