We had no December Meetings
What Happened at Our November Meeting
We had 27 people at our November meeting, since our first co-president Jennifer F. was out sick. Crystal I. chaired the meeting, It looks like we may be getting Goggle Voice for a phone line for 2014 (more to follow on our communications link for our SVOSG members).
Judy Canepn field representative from Active Life Medical Products Inc. she made a presentation on their line of products and they have a wound specialist on staff, she can be reached at 209-943-2118 and she represents the Stockton area, www.Activelifemed.com.
Tim Suit one of our members past away and his wife and daughter brought in a large box of supplies for members and what was left was taken by Kathy R. (Santa Clara Ostomy & Medical Supply) for distribution to others in foreign countries and are given freely and not resold.
One of our members attended the UOAA National Conference Aug 7-10 held at the Hyatt Regency Riverfront, In Jacksonville FL. (Theme was Bridge to acceptance) She brought back handouts and photos of life-size walk-in displays of stomachs with various problems, check out our library display to see the material at our January meeting 2014 meeting.
Our meeting was a sharing/ support meeting on stress related problems because of the kind of foods we eat, Skin problems caused by barrier rings and the type of adhesive and how to remove it, some of our members are still having problems.
The subject of Diarrhea was brought up and the various on how to deal with it and stop it and are to numerous to mention here. All I can say its an individual thing, work with your WOCN nurse/ doctor, if diarrhea is continuous,with signs of dehydration seek help. Our next meeting is on January 14, 2014 Happy Holidays, a very Merry Christmas and Happy new Year and most of all Happy Health.
What Happened at Our October Meeting
The meeting was led by our co-presidents Crystal and Jennifer, and the evening was devoted to questions, answers, problem solving, and sharing what works for ourselves and others. One person had concerns on clothing shirts: to tuck in or out so the bag won’t stick out and be noticeable. The subject of how much water to drink was brought up and the quantity varied among the attendees. A good period of time was spent on the topic of passing gas in meetings, the classroom, and other social situations, and handling the embarrassment that goes along with it. The group had various suggestions in dealing with the gas noise by coughing, speaking at a higher pitch, or just by saying that my stoma is talking again. The group agreed that what it boils down to is being positive- it’s great to be alive, for many the ostomy saved their life, and everyone has good days and bad days. Another topic of discussion was the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and their searching persons with an ostomy. Some people have had problems, but most had positive interactions. The group was reminded that it’s always a good idea to have the ostomy notification card on your person as it lets the TSA know about your situation. Additionally, it was suggested that ostomates inform the officer before the screening process begins. Another tpic that was brought up was dating: do you tell the person your with on the first date that you have an ostomy? Many felt that it’s best to be open and up front. Overall, the consensus of the group was that it’s an individual decision. From that discussion came the topic of intimacy after surgery. Sexual relations are a natural part of life, and for ostomates post-surgery, being patient, being yourself with your partner, and being open to discussing your feelings with your date can help with self-esteem and confidence.
What Happened at Our September Meeting
We had 22 attending the September meeting, including guest speaker Susan Ashworth, RN WOCN nurse from Stanford Hospital. We had one new person who attended with his wife. The gentleman just recently had ileostomy surgery. Also in attendance was Robyn Home, WOCN nurse and Coloplast representative.
The meeting was opened by Co-President Crystal, followed-up with Co-President Jennifer going over some Silicon Valley Ostomy Support Group (SVOSG) business, including getting new phone service. She also reminded everyone in attendance that the SVOSG is a non-profit group and we are in need of donations, which are tax-deductible. The SVOSG does have bills and would like to sponsor some members to attend the UOAA Conference, but this requires funds which are received from members and attendees.
Susan, our guest speaker, started out by telling us about her 25 plus years experience as a WOCN nurse. She then talked about different types of products and accessory items to use for what purpose. She talked about flat vs. convexity and when each should be used. Additionally, Susan shared some very helpful tips with the group (especially for the newer patients): 1) be sure to cut bag opening the correct size and shape of your stoma, 2) after surgery, the stoma can change shape and/or size for up to 8 weeks before stabilizing, so be sure to use a measuring guide for correct sizing each time you change appliance, and 3) change bag every 4 to 5 days on average, don’t wait until it leaks because it can irritate the skin! She then took questions from the group. After answering our questions, she proceeded to ask the group questions so she could learn more about being an ostomate. Several members spoke about their experiences, products they like, and tips-and-tricks. Co-President Jennifer reminded all in attendance that our inputs within the meetings are not as health professionals, and if someone is having a medical issue, they should seek professional medical health. Susan finished her presentation with a show-and-tell featuring different types of underwear and stoma body covers. The last fifteen minutes of the meeting we broke into two different groups, one for colostomates and one for ileostomates. Our next meeting is on October 8, 2013
What Happened at Our June Meeting
On June 11th twenty-eight people gathered for our June Silicon Valley Ostomy Support Group meeting. Of those attending, three were with us for the first time.
Our meeting was a sharing/support type meeting. Following the meeting we held a board meeting to elect new officers. Crystal I. and Jennifer F. will share the office of President. Miriam F. will be our Treasurer. Henry C. will serve as our Librarian and will also be our Liaison with O’Connor Hospital. Paul M. will continue to serve as our Webmaster and Cathy R. will serve as our Interim Secretary.
What Happened at Our May Meeting
Thirty two people atteded our May 14th meeting. Of thise eight were first time attendees, six of them being persons having had ostomy surgery within the last few months and one being a person about to undergo an ostomy operation.
With us was Stoma Care Nurse, Robyn Home from Coloplast who is a regular attendee of our meetings. Robyn spent part of the meeting giving advise as to how to take special care during the hot and sometimes humid summer months. She also had special advice for those who take part in summer outdoor activity including swimming and making use of hot tubs and how those activities can effect wafer adhesion. Robyn shared news about new skin care products that help to protect the skin around the stoma. She took considerable time responding to the questions group members brought to the meeting. was a great meeting.
What Happened at Our April Meeting
We had 23 attending the April meeting, including guest speaker Sally Talley, WOCN (Ostomy nurse) from Good Samaritan Hospital. We had 3 new people: A gentleman that has Ulcerative Colitis & he is contemplating surgery for an ileostomy versus a ” J “pouch, A lady whose husband just had Urostomy surgery 2 weeks ago & another lady who had a colostomy 6 months ago. We went around to introduce everyone, then Sally started out by telling us about the new WOCN program starting here in our area in September. She then talked about different types of products & accessory items to use for what purpose. She talked about flat vs. convexity & when each should be used. She had some really great tips (especially for the newer patients): 1) be sure to cut bag opening the correct size & shape of your stoma, 2) after surgery, the stoma can change shape and/or size for up to 6 weeks before stabilizing, so be sure to use a measuring guide for correct sizing each time you change appliance & 3) change bag every 3 to 4 days on average ~ don’t wait until it leaks because it can irritate the skin! We opened up for Q & A after her presentation.
What Happened at Our March Meeting
We met in our usual location at O’Connor Hospital. There were 16 people preseent at the meeting, includind two people who were new to the group.
The evening was devoting to questions and answers, problem solving, and sharing what works for ourselves and others. Much of the time was devoted to responding to the concerns of the two first time visitors.
What Happened at Our February Meeting
Our first second meeting of 2013 was held at O’Connor Hospital at 7 pm on February 12th. Nineteen people attended our meeting, that was led by our president, Peggy. One first time attendeee was there in preparation for urostomy surgery that will take place on Friday. A Wound, Ostomy, Continent Nurse was there, and she announced that San Jose State University is launching a WOCN specialty as a part of their Degree Nursing Program.
What Happened at Our January Meeting
Our first meeting of 2013 was held at O’Connor Hospital at 7 pm on 8th. Our president, Peggy presided over the meeting which was attended by fifteen people. Robyn Home, our favorite OWCN Nurse, from Coloplast, was with us and was able to show us some of the newest developments from her company.
Peggy urged all members UOAA Conference which will be held in Jacksonville next August (see below for more information). She also urged those who do not subscribe to Phoenix, the magazine for persons with ostomies, to consider doing so. For more information and to subscribe, click on the magazine cover that appears in the right hand column.