ConvaTec 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. 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.
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,
Source: Rita Pochard, ET, Franciscan Health System, Cincinnati; via Dallas, Metro Halifax News, April,1997
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.
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.
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
(From FCI News, St. Paul MN & Tacoma, WA, Anonymous Contributor via OA Boston, Sept/97)
Via Metro Halifax News, via Hamilton & District, 9/97
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
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!