The Newsletter of The Winnipeg Ostomy Association

September/October 1996

World Ostomy Day

World Ostomy Day

Inside This Issue

September/October 1995 Issue
November/December 1995 Issue
January/February 1996 Issue
March/April 1996 Issue
May/June 1996 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



Mayor Susan Thompson has declared October 5, 1996 as World Ostomy Day in Winnipeg.

The WOA will have two information booths as part of our observance.
October 4, The Mall, main floor, Thorlakson Bldg., Health Sciences Center, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
October 5, Basement, by main elevator, St. Boniface General Hospital, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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New President

The Winnipeg Ostomy Association welcomes Mr. David Page as our new President. He has big shoes to fill! Stan Sparkes will stay active as the Past President. Thank you to both of them. Stan for the excellent job that he has done as President the last three years. Dave for stepping forward in a time of need!

We need a person to take over the Library/Tapes. This position involves taking care of the WOA library and tape collection and bringing them out to meetings. Please speak with Mary Beth Sparkes for more information.
We also need a person to assist Betty Friesen with the Treasurer's duties with a eye to taking over from Betty in the future.

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Winnipeg Shield


WHEREAS it is estimated that over 750,000 people in the United States and Canada have had ostomy or related surgery and approximately 70,000 new surgeries are performed annually;

AND WHEREAS the word "ostomy" has caused concern to people faced with such surgery; fear of the unknown; of not being able to live a full and productive life; and of being discriminated against for unemployment or in obtaining insurance;

AND WHEREAS ostomy surgery can often result in a cure for cancer of the rectum, colon or bladder diseases and for some types of inflammatory bowel diseases;

AND WHEREAS ostomy surgery can also be the cure for certain birth defects or internal damage caused by accidents;

AND WHEREAS for over thirty years the United Ostomy Association, Inc., has assisted and provided support services to those who face such surgery as well as their families;

AND WHEREAS for twenty-four years the Winnipeg Ostomy Association, Inc., with a current membership of over three hundred, has provided visiting services for pre and post operative patients;

AND WHEREAS through education and awareness, it is hoped that much of the fear and misunderstanding associated with ostomy Surgery can be alleviated;

AND WHEREAS the United Ostomy Association, Inc., will celebrate World Ostomy Day, October 5, 1996;

AND WHEREAS through this celebration, we will inform those many persons with ostomies of the help and assistance that is available through one of over 500 chapters in North America;

NOW THEREFORE, I, SUSAN THOMPSON,Mayor of the City of Winnipeg, in the Province of Manitoba, do hereby proclaim October 5th, 1996 as:


DATED at Winnipeg this 10th day of September, 1996.

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Walk For Health

Walking is more than a way to get from point A to point B; it's good exercise. And it can inject some welcome variety into your life. How? By varying your walking speed and style, you can step out and see different places and sights. You can also socialize easily with friends and neighbors while you're walking.

Something for Everybody. Walking is easy, inexpensive, and relatively safe. A pair of comfortable shoes is just about the only equipment required. You don't need to be a star athlete or in top physical condition to feel natural walking - or to get good health benefits from it. Walking is a low-impact activity, so it's kind to your knees, ankles, and back. Also, when compared to jogging and other aerobic exercises, the injury rate is very low. And you're in control; you can walk at a pace that suits your level of fitness, from mild to intense.
Another great thing about walking is you can do it just about any time and almost any place. However, if you decide to take up walking as a regular form of exercise, and you have a health problem, talk to your doctor before launching into a rigorous walking program.

Running shoes Suiting Up. Loose-fitting clothes, absorbent socks, and comfortable, yet sturdy, shoes are your best bets to make for a comfortable, self-aced walk. Here are some pointers on choosing your gear.

The proper sock should be a blend of cotton and synthetic material. Besides providing warmth and cushioning, this type of sock will draw perspiration away from your skin.

Proper walking shoes require a low heel, approximately 1/2" to 3/4" high. Your shoes should be snug at the heel, but roomy enough in front so you can spread your toes comfortably when you roll forward on the ball of your foot. Shoes should also be flexible. To test this, hold a shoe in your hand and bend the tip back to the laces. The easier it bends, the more flexible it is. It's also important to make sure the shoes give you the arch support you need.

Set Your Own Pace. Strolling - this pace involves the least exertion and intensity. You could define strolling as walking fewer than three miles per house. A 60-minute stroll would burn up about 250 calories. If strolling is just the pace for you, try to schedule at least three 50 to 60 minute walks each week.

Brisk Walking - This is the pace used by most exercise walkers. Walking briskly enough to cover a mile in 15 minutes, your should be able to give your heart and blood vessels a good workout if you keep that pace up for 50 or more minutes. You'll also bum about 550 calories an hour. The vigorous arm swinging needed to maintain this speed should provide some conditioning of your upper body as well. To get the most from brisk walking, schedule your walks every other day, increasing your speed and distance until you can maintain your brisk pace for 20 to 60 minutes.

Aerobic Walking - This type of walking is sometimes called power walking. Moving at this pace, you should be able to cover a mile in 12 minutes, burning about 540 calories in an hour. While this pace isn't appropriate for everyone, aerobic walkers are likely to get the same exercise benefits as joggers who run for the same amount of time.

If you're interested in walking, but feel that aerobic walking is too vigorous for you, consider this. Although intense and vigorous exercise promotes athletic fitness, it doesn't add much to the health benefit you can get from brisk walking. So if your style is to charge along at top speed, it should be because you really love moving fast at a constant pace.

Easing Into It. Brisk walking and power walking make demands on your muscles that are different from those required when you stroll. If you walk too strenuously at first, you'll likely wind up with sore shins, buttocks, and abdominal muscles. And if you find yourself gasping for breath, or you are unable to carry on a conversation without huffing and puffing, you're exercising too hard.

The main goal of fitness walking is to feel comfortable and stimulated while you're doing it. Once you achieve this very attainable goal, you may just stay with the exercise indefinitely.


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World Ostomy Day - Press Release



The United Ostomy Association, Inc., (UOA) is the largest self help organization dedicated to helping those individuals who have or will have ostomy or related surgery. UOA and its international partner, the International Ostomy Association, Inc., has designated October 5, 1996, as World Ostomy Day. This global celebration will promote awareness of ostomy surgery, the services of ostomy associations, and the benefits of working together as members of the healthcare team.

The word "ostomy" signifies the type of surgery required when a person has lost the normal function of their bowel or bladder because of birth defects, injury or diseases such as, colon-rectal or bladder cancer, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's.

It is estimated that nearly three-quarters of a million (750,000) people are living full productive lives after having had ostomy surgery. Ostomy surgery has been the surgery no one talked about due to its personal nature, misunderstanding and misinformation. Many people are reluctant to let others know about their surgery or seek the help they need.

The United Ostomy Association offers support and education through the services of its 500 local community chapters throughout the United States and Canada.

If you or someone you know has an ostomy, or is faced with having ostomy surgery, and need information or referral, call the United Ostomy Association Headquarters office, at 1-800-826-0826.

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Passing the Buck

by Tom Hacker, President, Lethbridge, AB Chapter.

Recently, I received a letter from a friend, on whom I admit I had not seen or spoken to for quite some time. I knew this person was having health problems and often thought I should give him a call, but with today's lifestyle, I just didn't get around to it.

As I read the letter, I was reminded of my past problem, and how, eventually, through the support of family and friends, I was able to overcome my fears and restart my life. I suddenly realized that I had also been "passing the buck". I had come to terms with my ostomy and as a result had slowly slipped into my new lifestyle and began to not fully pass on the care and concern others had passed on to me.

As my friend pointed out in the letter, two of our members had become very helpful, simply by doing what any support group should do. As I thought about these two people, I couldn't help thinking of all the other past members that have taken what they needed and moved on.

I personally felt glad for them, if the reason for leaving the Chapter was because their lives are back to a happy routine, but I also wonder why they chose not to be here for others in their time of need. Perhaps they have become just like me and let someone else do it.

Via Snohomish(WA) INSIGHTS & s. Brevard (FL) OSTOMY NEWSLETTER

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Visitor's Report

By Christel Spletzer

Patients with the following ostomies were visited in May, June, July and August, 1996:
Colostomy - 10
Ileal Conduit - 3
Ileostomy - 13
Pelvic Pouch - 4
Urostomy - 1
Total = 31

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The Ileoanal Pouch (IAP) Info Column

By Sue Gingerichy

What is an Ileo Anal Pouch anyway? It is an internal pouch made out of small bowel. It actually goes by many names, such as: the "J" pouch, the "S" pouch, the Park's pouch, and Ileo anal anastomosis.

Who can have one? The only people who can opt for an IAP are people who have or have had ulcerative colitis (UC) or familial polyposis (FP). If your large bowel has already been removed, you may or may not be a candidate for this surgery, as sphincter muscles must still be in place for this surgery. Yet not everyone with UC or FP are recommended for this surgery, as many factors must be taken into consideration. It is best that you discuss with your surgeon and G.I. if you are a possible candidate for this surgery.

If I am a good candidate and I opt for this surgery, what are some of the things I'll have to look forward to? Well, first of all, it usually requires a two step surgery, sometimes three, but occasionally has been done in one step. (The success rate on the one step surgery appears at this time to be much lower, although at present no statistics are available.) The first surgery required is to create the pouch. This is the longer of the two operations. The second surgery usually follows anywhere from 8 to 18 weeks later depending on the patient and the physician. During the first and second operation the patient has an ileostomy, usually a "loop" ileostomy. The second operation is to close the ileostomy and to return the patient to as near normal bowel movements as is possible without a large bowel.

The patient will usually find that after closure they will have anywhere from three to eight bowel movements a day. Often they will require medication such as imodium to ensure that proper absorption occurs and that bowel movements don't become excessive. Modifications in the patients diet are often necessary at first, and can sometimes be fairly restricted, however over time the small bowel pouch adapts and more and more foods can be added and less medication is required. Many patients find Metamucil very helpful in regulating absorption. Other changes can be beneficial for some people, things like restricting fluid intake while eating and eating smaller amounts more often. One other major concern, like anyone missing a large amount of bowel, is to remember to drink plenty of fluids.

Although some of this may seen restrictive, most find the adjustment easy and are soon back to normal' or even better than normal now that they are no longer dealing with fighting a disease.

Via Edmonton Mail Pouch, 05/96

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Heard You're An Ostomate

by Louis J. Wray

I heard that you're an ostomate.
Is it true what I heard about you?
That you have no guts, or your bladder is gone.
That you're all washed up and through?

And yet, whenever I look at you,
you're beaming with joy and grace.
You never hint at the strife you've borne,
disguised by that smile on your face.

You seem to be a special breed,
bent on helping others to live.
Your suffering must have bettered your life,
you reach out and always forgive.

I'd think that you might be angry at the way
fate has picked upon you,
But I'd never suspect it if you are,
for your love always seems to shine through.

I assume your second chance at life
makes each new day a pleasure.
And your thankfulness for health and friends,
makes itself a treasure.

Now I better appreciate the Phoenix bird,
the symbol of your dear U.O.A.,
"Reborn from the ashes of disease",
what a message to help to convey.

Yes, I know you are an ostomate,
a pattern you have set for me.
Like you, I'll try to help others cope,
with their new way of life cheerfully.

A second chance, reborn to serve,
and as happy as they can be,
Ostomates inspire me and my friends,
with service offered so free.

So out in the open your secret is now,
Your formula for success is in view.
You're an asset to this weary old world,
we're blessed having ostomates like you.

Via: So. Nevada's Town Karaya, Ostomy Toronto & Highland Tidings

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The Invention Of Toilet Paper

Toilet paper may seem like a modem convenience, but it actually has a long history. Excavations of public lavatories in ancient Rome suggest that people used small sponges attached to the ends of sticks, while evidence in Scotland reveals that moss was a common form of toilet paper well into medieval times.

Other archaeological sites throughout western Europe indicate that piles of straw and hay were kept next to lavatories in castles and monasteries. But it was the Chinese who invented the first toilet paper actually made from paper.

In AD 589, a Chinese Imperial Court official wrote: - Paper on which there are quotations or commentaries from the Five Classics, or the names of sages, I dare not use for toilet purposes, - proving that the concept of toilet paper was alive and well. Then, finally, in AD 1391, the Bureau of Imperial Supplies in China started producing as much as 720,000 sheets of toilet paper a year, each sheet measuring two feet by three feet. The Bureau later made another 15, - softer, perfumed sheets for use yearround by the Imperial family.

Source: from James & Thorpe Ancient Inventions; via Mesa, AZ; S. Brevard, FL; Metro Halifax News, June 1996.

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Canadian Chapters In Top 50 By Membership in UOA Inc.

As of May 6, 1996, 9 of 48 Canadian chapters are among the top 50 of a total of 538 chapters in the US and Canada. Congratulations!

Rank Members Chapters
9 303 Vancouver*
10 301 Winnipeg
11 287 Halifax*
14 256 Hamilton*
20 224 Toronto
25 211 Calgary*
26 210 Edmonton*
29 201 Regina*
44 172 Saskatoon*

*Gains since March 4, 1996 rating.

From UOA Canada's The Connection, June 1996.

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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 United 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