Home Page

Schedule of  Upcoming Meetings

      • (Virtual) August 13th, 2024 07:00 PM Pacific Time
        • Zoom Meeting. For more information please contact us.
        • With COVID-19 health measures currently in place, meetings are virtual until further notice. In-person meetings will be re-visited as an option in 2025.

What Happened at our July 9th Virtual Meeting

Treasurer Annette Kaiser called the meeting to order at 7:05pm with 9 attendees plus a guest speaker.   

Our guest speaker was Lorie Dankers, who has been a TSA media spokesperson since 2011, and covers 11 western states and 3 Pacific U.S. Territories.  She is the expert who explains the policies and procedures of TSA’s security operations to the public and to the reporters who reach out to her personally or via TSA Public Affairs, educating them about the agency and its responsibilities.  She joined the meeting from the Kauai airport where she had just finished a live radio interview!  Her presentation focused on TSA security screening and technologies and is attached to this email.  My notes are focused on the key points she emphasized.

While TSA has standard screening protocols, the procedures used depends on what type of technology is at the airport. 

  • If Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) is used at the security checkpoint, you do not need to show your boarding pass – only photo ID
  • You never have to have your picture taken when verifying your identity, however newer CAT-2 Technology has that capability and screener may ask
  • Real ID will be required starting 5/07/2025 (this date has been postponed several times)
  • DMV has app California DMV wallet to store your CDL on your phone which can be used now at LAX, SFO and SJC, and all CA airports by end of 2024
  • Rather than bringing your passport, can buy a Passport Card ($10) which is the size of credit card for travel within US, Mexico, Canada, Caribbean and Bermuda
  • Global Entry – Expedited re-entry when traveling internationally.  Includes TSA PreCheck, but you must enter your KTN (known traveler number) when making reservation.  Wait time for Global Entry interview is currently 6-9 months and costs $100.  
  • Children 17 and under can accompany TSA PreCheck parent/guardian when traveling on same reservation and they have TSA PreCheck indicator on their boarding pass 
  • Travelers in general screening lines must remove their shoes UNLESS ages 12 and under or 75+ 
  • Removing electronics or liquids – Not necessary with CT x-ray scanners (in 75% of US airports) or if you have TSA PreCheck
  • CT Screener bins had RF ID technology, which links the bin to the passenger
  • Metallic Screener vs. Body Scanners – body scanners will show your ostomy bag, but the metallic scanners don’t 

General Business:

We welcomed Carol L., who is considering a urostomy.  Steve and Joanne shared their urostomy history and life post cystectomy.   Diana has been troubled by severe constipation, MiraLAX not working and had just spent the day at the ER with no improvement.   R.M. shared that her nutritionist recommended treating constipation by drinking coconut water until you have output.  Others also use MiraLAX daily.  

Here is an excerpt from the June minutes from Joyce Moss’s presentation on Nutrition:

Blockages – Decreased or no output from stoma:

  • Common cause is poorly digested food
  • Poor pouch hygiene leading to peristomal inflammation or infection
  • Medical reasons are adhesions, strictures, bowel strangulation, bowel cancer, diverticulitis, IBD, twisted bowel, and strangulation of bowel due to hernias  
  • Blocked ileostomies exhibit symptoms within a couple hours while blocked colostomies occur more slowly, over 12 hours to days
  • Complete blockages require immediate attention for quick resolution – worst case is burst bowel leading to acute abdomen, sepsis
  • If colostomy output is watery, do not take laxatives – it will not clear the blockage
  • Partial blockages will allow some output – do not eat more in hopes it will “move things along”
  • If you have nausea and vomiting, go to E.R. and bring UOAA Ileostomy Blockage printout with you to the E.R.
  • Foods with seeds, skins, or Rx capsules can cause blockage in ileostomies

Blockage Prevention:

  • Chew thoroughly, exercise regularly, stay hydrated
  • Eat slowly – fast eating results in swallowing air causing bloating
  • Limit gas producing foods, eat natural probiotic foods (yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, buttermilk, etc.  
  • Monitor consistency of output, and if it is decreasing or becoming thicker or more liquid notify ostomy nurse or doctor
  • Pills may not dissolve, check with pharmacist for chewable or liquid forms

Home Treatment:

  • Stop eating solid foods, hydrate with water or warm liquids if no nausea or vomiting
  • If stoma is swollen, enlarge barrier opening accordingly
  • Change positions (lie on stoma side, fetal position) or try walking
  • Warm compress or heating pad on low (for 15 minutes, no benefit for longer)
  • Gentle circular massage of the abdomen

Next month we will dedicate our time to a roundtable discussion, an opportunity to share any tips and tricks or current issues with the group.  If everything is “status quo” here are some ideas:

  1. If you could go back in time, what would you tell your pre-surgery self?
  2. What words of encouragement or wisdom would you give a new Ostomate after surgery?
  3. Aside from barriers and pouches, what is the 1 ostomy product you can’t live without?
  4. Share 1 practical tip for living with an ostomy.
  5. If you were to invent an ostomy product, accessory, or service, what would it be?

Thank you to all the members who have submitted their 2024 annual dues.  If you haven’t, you can send your check for $20 made payable to SVOSG to our Treasurer: Annette Kaiser.  

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.  

Respectfully submitted,

Joanne Harris, Secretary, SVOSG

Previous Meetings…