The Newsletter of The Winnipeg Ostomy Association

November/December 1996

World Ostomy Day

Inside This Issue

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

World Ostomy Day in Winnipeg.

World Ostomy Day was observed in Winnipeg and was a great success. The booths at both the Health Sciences Center and the St. Boniface Hospital were staffed by eager volunteers. Thanks to Dave Page, Bill Aitken, Elenore Schmidt, Keith & Irene Beard, Barb Price, Stan & Mary Beth Sparkes, Albert & Audrey Foreman, ConvaTec's Claire Poliszczuk and Hollister's Wade Weimer for coming out and letting people know about ostomies.

We reached many people at the booths. The kiosk in the Mall at HSC particularly got a great response.

Many nurses and medical staff showed a lot of interest in the WOA and we gave out many pamphlets and newsletters. We caught a few people who were on their way to visit new ostomates in the hospital and they seemed very pleased to be able to find information about ostomies available so openly.

It is very likely that we will continue to have booths in public places on a regular basis. It seems to be a good way for the Association to reach out to people.

Many WOA members took copies of our brochure and put them into doctor's waiting rooms, hospitals and their local pharmacies. Thanks to everyone who made the effort to do this. Brochures are available for distribution anytime. Just contact an executive member.

The press releases resulted in an excellent article on the Manitoba Ostomy Program Nov. 7th in the Winnipeg Free Press by Alexandra Paul. Great picture Evelyn! The next World Ostomy Day will be in 1999. Lets make that one even better!

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President's Message

A little over two months have passed since my tenure as President of the Winnipeg Ostomy Association began. Two months which have been quite busy. Two monthly meetings, three executive meetings and the two observances around World Ostomy Day. If my feet are not wet yet, at least they are quite damp! I have found the experience to be challenging and uplifting and I look forward to serving the association to the best of my ability. We have an excellent organization and a strong executive.

I realize that there are many reason for are membership number dropping, according to the files ten years ago WOA had over 380 members, we now have about 290. At one time we were the fourth largest chapter in North America, now we are tenth and dropping.

WOD served as an excellent opportunity to raise the awareness of the association to the general public. New ostomates now receive a wallet sized calculator embossed with the words "Compliments of the Winnipeg Ostomy Association", included in their box of supplies before they leave hospital. Our brochure has been placed in many pharmacies and Doctor's offices.

Through these activities and others am sure interest in the WOA will increase.


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A Brief History of the Brandon/Westman Ostomy Association

This group came into being in 1976. Winnipeg had formed an association a few years earlier and had raised monies to enable a registered nurse to take specialized training in enterostomal therapy and had enlisted, three more nurses to take this training.

The Cancer Society in Brandon then contacted some ostomates here and with their assistance our group was formed to offer assistance to Ostomates and their families. There was very little help available and no where to go for any kind of advice other than to the family doctor and they in turn, could perform the surgery but did not have much advice as to equipment and care after surgery except in the medical. sense.

Due to much effort on our part and many visits, and much correspondence with the Brandon General Hospital and Dr. Hampton, the Medical Director at that time, it was agreed that an E.T. would be allowed visitation privileges for persons undergoing ostomy surgery - but only on a trial basis. These visits turned out to be very helpful both to the patient and to the nurses on the surgical floor. The E.T. then began lecturing to the nursing students and also nurses on the surgical areas. The nurses in turn, then began to develop a teaching program of their own. during this time the Ostomy Group requested that the hospital make room for a clinic to be held at definite intervals to allow ostomates to come and visit with the E.T. for problems that could be solved without attending the doctor's office. This has since grown to be a very important part of the life and health of an ostomate. The clinic is a very busy place every month and it is seldom indeed when the hours are not filled with appointments each month.

The Ostomate now upon leaving the hospital, is a well-informed person and is well aware of what has been done and how to look after and take care of his/her stoma. The Ostomate is also made aware that help is available whenever needed by attending the Ostomy Clinic or if unable to attend, having the E.T. visit at home to offer the needed assistance.

The Brandon/Westman Ostomy Association consists of members and their families who at one time, needed the support and assistance that this type of group could bring to them. As such, we meet together once a month to exchange ideas, and suggestions and to give moral support to one another.

We, in this group feel like family as we have come together for a common cause and in doing so, have made friends of others and enjoy meeting once a month to have a visit, listen or take part in a program and to learn about the latest in appliances and health care in the field of ostomy surgery.

Via Brandon Oz-Tummy News, 10/96

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Which Foods Have the Most Vitamins

Everyone knows that vitamins are essential for good health. To find out if you know which foods are the best sources for these basic nutrients, try this multiple choice quiz.

  1. Vitamin A, which helps you have healthy skin, hair, teeth and gums is highest in:
    a)potatoes b) lima beans c) sweet potatoes
  2. Vitamin C, which helps defend against colds, bladder infections and some cancer- causing substances, is highest in:
    a)beets b) tomatoes c) carrots
  3. Vitamin D, which is needed for strong bones and teeth, is highest in:
    a) cheese b) yogurt c) sardines
  4. Vitamin B 12, which helps improve concentration, memory and balance, is found in:
    a)broccoli b) spinach c) liver
  5. Vitamin B 1, which helps your nervous system, muscles and heart work normally, is highest in:
    a)oatmeal b) parsley c) turnip greens
  6. Vitamin B2, which helps eyesight, growth and reproduction, is found in:
    a)yellow vegetables b) fish c) sunflower seeds
  7. Vitamin B6, which helps prevent skin disorders and night muscle spasms, can be found in:
    a)beef b) yams c) peanuts
  8. Vitamin E, which reduces fatigue and helps prevent blood clots, is found in:
    a)oranges b) broccoli c) eggs
  9. Folic acid, one of the B complex vitamins that's essential for the body to process sugar and form red blood cells, is found in:
    a) beans b) almonds c) bran

Answers: I)c 2)b 3)c 4)c 5)a 6)b 7)a 8)b 9)a

Vancouver Ostomy Highlife; via Kawartha District Association

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What a Night Before Christmas!

Xmas treeTwas the night before Christmas,
And all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even my spouse.

The children were nestled
In childish alliance,
And I had decided to
To change my appliance.

So donning my P.J.'s
My slippers and robe,
I started my chore
With the patience of Jobe.

All of the equipment
I laid out with care.
Then checked it all over
To see what was there.

Here's solvent, adhesive,
Now Kleenex and cotton
There's Benzoin, Karaya,
What have I forgotten?

Eye dropper and swab stick,
Skin ointment, detergent;
Then cleanser and brushes,
The bag - that's most urgent.

Then off with the old one,
I started forthright
To remove the cement,
When out went the light.

I reached for the switch,
Tho I don't know what for,
When I heard something clatter
And bounce on the floor.

I muttered an oath, then
I called to my spouse,
Who told me twas darkened
All over the house.

Then what to my wondering
Eyes should appear,
But a flickering candlelight
Coming too near.

"Ye Gads!" I screamed loudly,
Perhaps none too soon.
"Not that! You might blow us
From here to the moon!"

Then I viewed my dilemma,
In utter confusion,
And failed to come up
With a happy conclusion.

When all of a sudden.
There came on the wall,
The beams of a flashlight,
That danced down the hall.

Its rays were not brilliant.
Its batteries weary,
But the light that it gave me
Was welcome and cheery.

I aimed at the floor,
And the light gently twinkled;
For there in profusion
Karaya was sprinkled.

Now time was the essence,
On speed I was bent;
The cotton kept sticking
Upon the cement.

My face-plate was drying,
My fingers were gummy,
The stoma was oozing
A trail down my tummy.

Then swabbing, cementing
And fanning with vigor;
I knew that I had to be
Quick on the trigger.

The light was receding,
My nerves were a jangle;
I slapped on the bag
At a quite rakish angle.

I fastened my belt,
Gave a shake of my head;
Then closed the door tightly
And headed for bed.

But there's one thing I'll wish you
Fore saying Good Night;
May your Christmas be Merry,

Based on actual incident of a Los Angeles member.
Written by Marjorie Kaufman, Charlotte, N. C.

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The Ileoanal Pouch (IAP) Info Column

By Sue Gingerichy

The three questions I hear most from people who have a newly acquired pelvic pouch (or are about to receive one) are, how will my pouch act, when should I go to the bathroom and what should I eat?

I remember my doctor saying it depends on the person, and at the time I thought that was pretty vague advice. But ultimately he was right. However there are some things you can be aware of and try or not try initially, just to make life a little easier.

Over time the pouch will change in several ways making digestion and absorption better. Most people that I speak with immediately after surgery find that their "bowel" seems numb. Whether this is really so or not I couldn't tell you. Let me explain this. You may have had a temporary ileostomy prior to reconnection and it probably functioned very well with the stool being about the consistency of apple sauce. Yet immediately after surgery it goes very watery and everything seems to go through you very quickly. Over time it does seem to "settle" down. The pouch itself tends to increase its capacity over time too. As it become used to its new function as a holding area, it adjusts. Something to remember about this is the more you hold it, the more it can hold. Although, be careful, don't over do it. Just try not to run for the toilet every time you get a little urge. Many people I speak with say that those urges, if ignored, sometimes go away for up to several hours until they feel they have to go again. The good news is that these urges will not be any where as near demanding as when you had active ulcerative colitis and thus it is much easier to "hold things back".

Some Doctors will prescribe immodium, however today, most like you to try to get by without it. Initially though, whether you are taking imodium or not, you will likely want to modify your diet. Many people have trouble with raw vegetables, fruits, nuts and popcorn for the first year or more. Some, but not all, have trouble with chocolate and coffee. Sometimes even too much sugar or pop can speed things up. The best way to start out is slowly. Limit your diet and add one new thing per week. This is very important if you really want to isolate what things you can absorb easily and what things speed every thing up.

Another key to slowing transit time and increasing absorption is how you eat. Most people find that if you eat six small meals a day you will go to the bathroom a lot less than if you eat 3 big meals.

Many Doctors recommend using Metamucil several times a day to slow things down. You may also be able to find it in wafer form if you don't relish the thought of drinking it every day.

One trick that I have found that works extremely well for me is not drinking while I eat. Once I have eaten I wait about half an hour to an hour before I do drink. For me this is the most significant modification I made to my diet with the best results. If you do start to add fruit back into your diet you may find it works better to eat it first. If eaten last it tends to speed everything up.

Although it may seem like work, for those who do not want to rely on medication or those who wish to reduce the number of bowel movements they have in a day, it is worth the effort.

Via Mail Pouch, Edmonton 9/96

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Visitor's Report

By Christel Spletzer

Patients with the following ostomies were visited in September and October:
Colostomy - 5
Ileal Conduit - 3
Ileostomy - 2
Pelvic Pouch - 1
Continent Urostomy - 1
Total = 12

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Thoughts On Ostomy Odor Management

Isn't it interesting that people with normal, intact bowel tracts and urinary systems manage odor problems in an acceptable manner in our society? But when disease or trauma strike, and the person is the owner of an ostomy, the one big concern is fear of offending society with an odor. Basically and simply, an ostomy is a man-made exit site that changes the point of exit from the bottom or rear of the body to the front. Our eyes and nose are obviously on the front of our bodies, which leads us to be more aware of our changed body image and our odor-producing products.

Ostomy management has come a long way, considering that as little as 10 years ago, we had very few 100% odor-free appliances. When ostomy surgery was first developed, ostomates wore anything to collect output. Tin cans, rubber gloves, cups of all sizes and shapes, bread wrappers, and plastic margarine cups, just to name a few, were standard equipment for the ostomate. Not only the feasibility but also the odor problems this type of equipment produced were enough to give ostomy surgery and the people who had it a very deplorable place in our society. Almost all of the ostomy equipment available to us today is made of odor-barrier materials. Therefore, if an ostomate does have a fecal or urinary odor, some detective work should be done:

  1. Check out the application of the appliance to the body. Is it leaking?
  2. Check out the closure of the appliance. Is it closed properly so that no fecal matter is oozing out after the closure is applied?
  3. Do not put holes in the appliance, as gas will seep out continuously and cause odor.
  4. The urostomate should rinse off or wipe off the spout of the appliance with a bathroom tissue after emptying it. Those few drops left in the spout after closing the appliance can cause a urine odor under the clothes. It's interesting to note that most urostomy appliances on the market are odor-proof, but the connector tubing and bedside and leg pouches are not. You must dispose of and replace them when they take on urinary odors or your entire living quarters will smell.
Emptying an ostomy appliance is comparable to a person with an intact bowel or urinary tract having a bowel movement or emptying his or her bladder. How does the non- ostomate handle the odor produced by these normal functions of the body? Room deodorizing sprays are popular; a quick flush after defecation occurs; striking a match or opening a window are some acceptable methods that have been used for odor management since the invention of indoor plumbing.

Why then, as ostomates, are we so uptight about the odor produced when our appliance is emptied? This constant concern has encouraged ostomy equipment manufacturers to create products to meet this "need" of odor-control. The trouble is, the internal and external deodorants do not work for everyone, and they are expensive.

Can we then consider ourselves as "normal as blueberry pie", as far as waste odors are concerned? Just remember, there is not a person on this earth whose wastes do not smell. If people tell you their waste products do not smell, then they need their noses overhauled!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From MOA newsletter via Green Bay News Review

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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