The Newsletter of The Winnipeg Ostomy Association

November/December 1997



December 7, 1997
1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
St. Boniface Hospital, Winnipeg, Manitoba.


Maria Siegl

President of U.O.A. of Canada and Chairman of the IOA World Congress Organizing Committee in Calgary this past summer died on November 6, 1997.
Our thoughts go out to her family. All Canadian ostomates have been touched by her vision.
She will be sorely missed.
Click Thumbnail for Photo (IOA, Calgary '97) Link to Maria Siegl Page

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




The Winnipeg Ostomy Association is celebrating its 25th Anniversary! The party is on December 7, 1997 at the St. Boniface Hospital in the Auditorium. It starts at 1:00 p.m. and goes until 4:00.m. Cake and refreshments included and it's free for all. Come out and met some old friends or make some new ones.

In June, 1971, a group of ostomates held their first meeting in the Auditorium of the St. Boniface Hospital. With advice and help received from Dr. Karl T. Riese and Margaret Hurl, R.N., the Ostomy Club of Winnipeg came into being in September of that year. It's first constitution was accepted and approved at a General Meeting of the membership at the St. Boniface Hospital on March 15th, 1972. It was signed by President Art Young, Vice-President Bob Ibison, Secretary Carolyn Birnie and Treasurer Bill Logan.

On August 30th, 1972 the Province of Manitoba granted our charter and the Winnipeg Ostomy Association Inc. was born. Mr. Earl Soloman was instrumental in obtaining the charter and provided the necessary legal work as well as donating the necessary fees. The Manitoba Ostomy Program commenced operation in July, 1974. This was directly due to the efforts of the WOA and the program still operates today. It is unique in North America and strongly reflects the dedication of past Winnipeg Ostomy Association members!

The next priority of the WOA, now under President Ab Foreman, was to obtain the services of an Enterostomal Therapist for Manitoba ostomates. The WOA lobbied strongly and Mrs. Genevieve Thompson, E.T. was hired by the St. Boniface Hospital in 1974.

The following years have seen the WOA serve ostomates in Winnipeg in many important areas. The Visiting Program has done thousands of visits over the years. The recent government deficit problems have put much pressure on Health Care in Manitoba and the WOA has had to work very hard over recent years to keep the Manitoba Ostomy Program intact.

The Winnipeg Ostomy Association has made great improvements in accessibility in recent years. We were the first ostomy association in North America (probably the World) to have our own World Wide Web site. We have became known world-wide due to this site. We have a permanent mailing address, an Email address and recently, a permanent telephone number with voice mail. Next year this number will go in the Winnipeg telephone book under both Winnipeg Ostomy Association and Ostomy and should make us much easier to get hold of. We are also considering putting a listing in the Manitoba Directory and in the Yellow Pages. By the way, the new number is 237- 2022.

We are hoping to see many you out at the Anniversary Celebration. If you need a ride please call Audrey Foreman at 269-6784.

So come out, meet some old friends and hopefully make some new ones. We have much to be proud of and lots to celebrate.

Mike Leverick, Editor
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A Visit from St. Ostomy

by Marjorie Kaufman, Los Ileos, via Austin (TX) Austi-Mate, Dec 1995

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the flat,
There was general confusion including the cat.
The bathroom was strewn with the ostomy ware,
That I had abandoned in utter despair.

The courage I'd had in the hospital bed,
To follow instructions, had suddenly fled.
It all looked so strange, and uncommonly new;
I swore I would never know quite what to do.

Now which goes to which, and what sticks to what?
I fumbled each step, with my nerves overwrought.
And then in my anguish, I went to my room,
To settle my brains for a night full of gloom.

With a household a-flutter in holiday matter,
I shut out the sounds of excitement and chatter.
When out in the hallway I heard from below,
The sound of a voice with a jolly "Hello."

As I peeked through the door, up the stairway she came;
And she smiled when she saw me, and called me by name.
And I, in my wonder, just couldn't believe,
That ostomy visits were made Christmas Eve.

And then in a twinkling she put me at ease,
And said she could lessen my anxieties.

She was dressed all in white, in a form-fitting sheath,
With nary a sign of what lay underneath.
So trim and well-groomed, a delight to behold,
No one would suspect, unless they'd been told.

That standing before me so calm and serene,
Was the very first ostomate I'd ever seen.
Her manner so friendly, with faith and good cheer,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to fear.

My questions, like leaves in a hurricane flew;
And with each knowing answer, my confidence grew.
Then under her guidance each part fell in place,
As I conquered the problem I'd just failed to face.

And all of a sudden I knew I was free,
To live just as normal and happy as she.
For only an ostomate is really akin,
To the fears and frustrations that lie deep within.

Her time and her friendship so willing to give,
Will keep me remembering as long as I live.
And my family was grateful for what she had done,
For once more the evening was festive and fun.

Now each time I meet her, more clearly I see
The "Saint" who came calling with blessings for me!!

From Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) Online Ostomy Outlook Dec 1996

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Stoma Laceration

BandaidWhat is the meaning of laceration? The definition of the word according to Taber's medical dictionary is: "A wound or irregular tear of flesh."Could it happen to your stoma? What type of stoma can be lacerated?

It doesn't matter if the stoma eliminates urine or feces. If the stoma protrudes or has what we call a "bud", it can be lacerated. Actually, the stoma that protrudes is the preferred stoma. Primarily because the protruding stoma empties the waste into the ostomy pouch. But since the stoma extends beyond the skin level, there is the danger that it can be lacerated. Almost any appliance that has a stiff or rigid backing can lacerate the stoma.

The symptoms that may indicate that laceration has taken place would be bleeding and/or swelling of the stoma. Since there are no sensory nerve endings in the stoma, usually pain will not be experienced. 1he fact that you may not feel pain does not minimize the seriousness of this condition. If not treated, surgical intervention may be the end result. It is not always obvious what has caused the laceration. And, of course, it cannot be corrected until the cause is determined. In my experience, there are many reasons for stoma laceration. The majority of times, improperly centering the flange or faceplate could be responsible. Whenever there is difficulty in centering the flange or face plate properly, enlarge the opening and protect the skin immediately surrounding the stoma with a paste or powder made expressly for that purpose. Applying the paste directly on the skin or around the hole on the flange or faceplate is appropriate. Either way this will provide a seal and will protect the skin. Using a mirror can be helpful when centering the flange to the skin around the stoma.

Remember. The entire stoma - all of the moist bright pink tissue must be exposed. Shifting of the appliance can sometimes cause a cut around the stoma. When the adhesive barrier washes away, the thin celluloid film remaining is capable of cutting the stoma. Positional changes, like bending or even turning when sleeping can cause slippage. Consider the ostomy belt, if the belt is not positioned to support the appliance and is pulled either upward or down- ward, this may cause the appliance to shift and lacerate the stoma. Outer clothing, whether it is a belt of stiff waist. band on skirts or trousers that ride over the appliance can cause it to shift. Never underestimate a lacerated stoma. Careful investigation will reveal the cause. The stoma will heal by itself when the problem is corrected - provided the stoma is not badly damaged. Lacerations usually heal slowly, taking from four to sex weeks. Careful measurement and application of your appliance is always necessary. As usual, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care.

Source: Stella Krouse, ET, Temple University Hospital: via Dallas, Corpus Christi: via Metro Halifax News. February 1997.
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Yes We Have No Bananas

bananaMany ileostomates include a banana in their diet to help replenish the potassium in their bodies. But did you ever notice that when you are fresh out of bananas, the ones you can buy in the store won't be fit to eat for at least another three days? Or, how about the times when the only bananas available, if not eaten immediately, will end up in the garbage because they are overripe. Of course, sometimes you can get those on sale for a good price, so here is an excellent suggestion for you.

Buy the bananas! Peel the bananas immediately, wrap them in aluminium foil and place them in freezer. The next day have a frozen banana delight. You will find you have a delicious sweet treat. At Disney World, they dip the banana in chocolate before freezing and get a very good price for this treat. You may not want to freeze banana every day, but when your fresh supply runs out, or the ones on hand are too green to eat, you will be delighted to have this delicacy on hand.

Via Big Sky Informer (Great Falls, MT) via Redstone Area, June 1996.

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What to Say to Someone Who is Really Sick!

Sun and Rain"No set of guidelines for being a good friend can replace your own style," says former cancer patient Georgia Photopulos, "but if you'd like a few simple tips on how to talk to someone who's very sick, here they are."

  1. Don't be afraid to ask me what I have, how I'm doing or what my treatment will be. At worst, I'll say I don't want to discuss it. At best, I'll welcome the opportunity to talk about my situation.
  2. Worried about what to say? What did we talk about before I became ill-politics, art, religion, the PTA, grandchildren? I'm still interested.
  3. Don't try to cheer me up by telling me things could be worse-that I'm lucky my husband or wife hasn't left, or that I could have been hit by a truck. It doesn't help. In fact, don't try to cheer me up at all! What I need most when I'm depressed is a compassionate comforter and listener.
  4. Don't assume you know how I feel. If you're prepared to find out, ask me, for I need every sensitive, empathetic listener I can get.
  5. If I look horrible, don't tell me I look great. Your lie will hang between us and undercut anything else you say. You don't have to comment on my looks at all.
  6. Remember, I chose my doctor and unless I say otherwise, I'm probably satisfied with him or her. Don't bring me articles about other doctors, other hospitals, or other treatments unless I ask you to.
  7. Do bring flowers, books, games-whatever you know I like. Most of all, bring yourself. Illness interrupts so much; don't let it interrupt our friendship.
  8. If anything about my illness troubles you, if it makes you upset or sad or nervous, tell me! Your silence may hurt me-something I know you don't want.
From The Hope Heart Institute, via Northern Virginia The Pouch via Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) Ostomy Outlook Online June 1997

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Visitor's Report

By Christel Spletzer

Patients with the following ostomies were visited in September and October:
Colostomy - 12
Ileal Conduit - 2
Ileostomy - 7
Pelvic Pouch - 3
Continent Urostomy - -
Total = 24

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SiestaInsomnia is the inability to sleep long enough or deeply enough to refresh or rejuvenate you for the next day. Everyone needs a different amount of sleep each night - from just a few hours to 10 or more.

Insomnia can manifest itself in different ways: an inability to fall asleep, waking up frequently during the night or waking too early in the morning. Each of us has occasional problems getting to sleep because of stress or an upcoming event. But only when the trouble becomes persistent and begins to affect daytime functioning do we refer to it as insomnia. Generally speaking, elderly people sleep more lightly, and need fewer hours of sleep than when they were young.

Medications used to treat insomnia (hypnotics) should generally be thought of as temporary, short-term solutions. They should be used with caution, in the smallest effective dose.

There are numerous hypnotic medications available, both with and without a prescription. Some prescription hypnotics can cause drowsiness the next day, Those available without a prescription are less potent. In any case, you should always seek the useful input of your doctor or pharmacist, especially if you find you need a hypnotic for more than just a few days.

Over time, your body builds up a tolerance to some hypnotics. As a result, the drug effects become less pronounced. The drug effects wear off more quickly and you may have to increase the dosage to fall asleep.

These problems can he avoided by taking the medication for short periods, and only when it is absolutely necessary. Hypnotics are intended to help you get adequate sleep so that you can function the next day. But this is a short-term solution to help your body's sleep system get back on track. This can be achieved by the following strategies which will serve you better over the long term.

Avoid heavy exercise or effort before going to bed but continue to exercise regularly during the day or early evening.
Avoid all forms of caffeine (coffee, cola, chocolate, tea) within six hours from bedtime.
Avoid smoking before bed - nicotine is a stimulant. Avoid heavy meals before bedtime.
Try to relax for one hour before bedtime. A warm bath, wan-n milk or some reading might help.
Your bedroom should be calm, dark and cool, your bed should be comfortable.
Always wake up at the same time and avoid taking naps during the day.
If you can't fall asleep, get out of bed and return only when you feel sleepy.
If you take any medication on a regular basis, ask your doctor if this might be the cause of your sleeping problem. Some medications, such as decongestants or asthma drugs can disrupt sleep.
Getting back to a regular schedule is the ultimate goal - be it through modifying behaviour or perhaps in the short-term, through the use of hypnotics. But if insomnia persists or returns be sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist so that you can work on getting back to a regular sleep/wake pattern.

For more information, call Sleep/Wake Disorders Canada at 1-416-787-5371.
Ostomy Highlife; via Ostomy News, Okanagn Mainline Ostomy Association

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Osteoporosis and Milk

MilkIt's an odd fact that Americans drink a lot of milk, yet American women get osteoporosis more often than women in countries where little milk is consumed. Why is this?

Osteoporosis (a loss of bone mass and subsequent disabling weakening of bones that occurs in older women and occasionally in older men) is not a new disease, nor is it occurring in epidemic numbers. It's just that the population is aging, and people are living longer, thus becoming more susceptible to the disease of old age. It is true that blacks (often lactose intolerant) have almost no osteoporosis and that women of northern Europe extraction have a high incidence of the disease, but so do Chinese women. Though milk-drinking people seem to be more susceptible to osteoporosis, that doesn't mean milk is the culprit. Many factors are involved in keeping bones strong.

Heredity - Osteoporosis tends to run in families. Being small-boned is another risk factor. Chinese women tend to be small-boned, which makes them susceptible. African women, on the other hand, tend to have more mass throughout life - a protective genetic trait.

Hormones - Estrogen aids in building women's bones, so when estrogen production drops after menopause, bone mass declines. How much it declines varies; a woman whose bone mass is greater in middle age will be less affected by the loss.

Knee Bone Calcium intake - It's vital to start consuming adequate calcium in childhood. People who don't drink milk get their calcium from plant sources, small animals and fish bones, and even from the lime (calcium hydroxide) used to prepare certain foods. Weight-bearing exercise - such as walking, running, and cycling. An active life style strengthens bones.

Smoking and heavy drinking - These are particularly dangerous for women with other risk factors, such as small bones and a sedentary life-style. Calcium intake is thus one factor in preventing osteoporosis - but an important one for bone strength and good health. Milk is the best source of usable calcium. If you don't drink milk and eat dairy products, you should turn to plant sources. Calcium supplements, once highly recommended for postmenopausal women, may do some good - especially for people who simply can't get enough calcium from food. Still, you're much better off getting your calcium from foods, and to get adequate amounts over your lifetime.

As with many other diseases, there's no single "cause" for osteoporosis. Hereditary risks can't be altered, but there are many steps that a woman can take to reduce her risk.

Source: Tidewater Tidings, Norfolk, VA; via Monterey, CA & Stillwater, OK; via Metro Halifax News, March 1996

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Fruit Fiber

Fruit bowlAll fruits contain fiber. An orange gives you 7 grams, an apple 5, and a banana 4. A half grapefruit contains 6 grams of fiber (half is insoluble which helps prevent constipation and the risk of colon cancer, and half is soluble which helps lower cholesterol levels). But to get that fiber, you have to eat the walls that separate the segments. Grapefruit juice contains no fiber.

Source: Nutrition Action, January/February 1997; Aviation Medical Bulletin; via Metro Halifax News, October 1997

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Phases Of Surgical Recovery

by Dr. Albert G. Wagoner Each patient, along with the family, usually goes through four phases of recovery following an accident or illness that results in loss of function of an important part of the body. Only the time required for each phase varies. Knowledge of the four phases of recovery is essential. They are:

Get Well Via Metro Halifax News

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Visiting Program Guidlines

From UOA Canada's Connection

Finishing touches are just now being put on these four-part Guidelines. After they have been sent to our Medical Advisors for their critique and returned, the finished product will be given to all UOA of Canada Inc chapters for use by their Visiting Coordinators. In order to keep replacement costs to a minimum, they will be in a loose-leaf binder, so any updated pages can be easily inserted.

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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 Online 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