October brings us guest Melissa Hood of Coloplast. The Coloplast story began in 1954 when a nurse’s sister has an ostomy and is afraid to go out in public because she’s afraid of leaks. The nurse, Elise Sørensen, conceives the idea of the world’s first adhesive ostomy bag. Today their idea has grown into Coloplast, and includes Ostomy Care, Contience Care, Wound and Skin Care, and Urology Care. Coloplast products are available worldwide and they are celebrating 60 years of service this year.
Looks like Fall is around the corner here in Colorado. Leaves are falling and there’s already snow in the high country in Wyoming. I love Fall, but I hear the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a snowy winter for us. Well, this IS Colorado!
World Ostomy Day is sponsored by the International Ostomy Association (IOA) and celebrated every three years. This year’s celebration takes place on October 6 with the theme “Speaking Out Changes Lives“. The aim of World Ostomy Day is to improve the rehabilitation of ostomates worldwide by bringing to the attention of the general public and the global community the needs and aspirations of ostomates. Awareness this year is highlighted by Run For Resilience 5K races in various places around the country and virtually. One way to participate is by providing a Letter to the Editor of your local paper. The UOAA has provided a template for this, and I’ve found it to be effective in the past.
Jeanine Gleba, UOAA Advocacy Manager, notes in a recent article that the most critical component for living well with an ostomy is finding the right type of ostomy supplies. In a 2017 study called Peoples’ Experiences With Pouches (P.E.W.P.) a majority of ostomates felt they did not receive all of the information that they wanted or needed while in the hospital after ostomy surgery, with lacking product information as the second highest category for inadequacy. In particular “about one quarter of the patients were NOT told that there were other products on the market available to them that may work better for their type of stoma or situation”. I agree! About once a year I review what I’ve been using and then contact all the Manufacturers for free samples. Not only are they great to keep as extra supplies, it’s always good to know if an alternative pouching system will work for you.
I’ve recently run across a webiner sponsored by Hollister Secure Start Services for Ostomy Insurance Reimbursement. Topics covered include Medicare, Medicaid, other Insurances, and Managed Care. Coverage limits are also discussed and broken down by type of ostomy and product. I found this webinar to be really interesting, and particularly useful for new ostomates trying the navigate insurance requirements.
Continuing the theme of pouching and supplies this month, I ran across an article in OstomyConnection profiling a man in Tanzania that faced a permanent colostomy. He was looking forward to the surgery, until he realized the expense of his supplies. His story was recently documented in The Citizen Tanzania and highlights that people all over the world are faced with this decision. OstomyConnection has created Kindred Box, a pay-it-forward initiative connecting people who have excess ostomy supplies to donate to those who need them. Additionaly, organizations like Friends of Ostomates-USA, FOW-Canada, and Ostomy211 are useful agencies accepting donated supplies for those that need them.
Have you heard about or seen the latest kerfuffle surrounding the recent Canadian tobacco warning labels? One of them used an image of an ostomy pouch as a deterrent against smoking. Many found the image to be offensive, and a public campaign was able to get that particular label removed from the campaign. I personally found the image quite offensive, and some have noted that perhaps it wouldn’t have been so insulting had it not shown a full ostomy pouch. VeganOstomy has an interesting article profiling this discussion in a recent blog post.
What? It’s September already? We had a really great presentation for our August meeting by our own WOCN, Charles Sloan. He reviewed his talk “Ostomies 101” that he gave to the staff at Longmont United Hospital last month. This presentation was truly excellent. Thank you, Charles!
For September, our guest is Physical Therapist, Jenn Davia, Integral Physical Therapy. Jenn is passionate about women’s physical therapy, and specializes in pelvic PT. She is also a board certified women’s health clinical specialist (WCS). I met Jenn when I learned that she could help to break up my abdominal adhesions after my surgery. Her presentation will focus on scarring after surgery, risks and advice regarding hernias, and exercises for ostomates. We’ll meet at Longmont United Hospital, September 6 at 1:00 pm in the Gauguin Room.
We had a nice turnout for our Summer lunch outing in July. Charles Sloan, supporting WOCN at Longmont United Hospital, was able to join us, and he’ll be our Speaker for August. He’ll be sharing the presentation “Ostomies 101: Assessment and Nursing Interventions”, that he and WOCN Julie Paul prepared for the staff at LUH. If you missed this presentation last month, try to join us on Thursday, August 2 at 1:00 in the Gauguin Room at Longmont United Hospital.
Our next meeting will be lunch! We’re meeting at the Village Inn in Longmont, CO, 1216 South Hover St. at 12:00 noon. Please RSVP to BoCoOstomyGroup@gmail.com, or leave a message at 720.378.8411. The latest July newsletter is now available on the Newsletter tab. Hope to see you there!
Our guest this month is Gloria Martinez, Chronic Care Specialist at B.Braun Medical. B.Braun has been a major medical supplier in Europe and other parts of the world, and is now expanding it’s wound and ostomy products here in the U.S. Eric Polsinelli, at VeganOstomy.ca recently reviewed their latest pouching system and gave it a “recommended” rating. Gloria will be bringing samples for us to examine, including ones for continent diversion. B.Braun has an extensive medical supply history that includes not only wound/ostomy products, but nutrition (TPN) therapies, local anesthesia, and infusion therapies. B.Braun ostomy information can be found at myosto-mylife.com. Thank you, Gloria!
CORRECTION: We have learned that Jon Egan of ConvaTec will not be able to present at our May 3rd meeting (he has left the company). Instead, our own Charles Sloan, WOCN extraordinaire, has agreed to step in and answer all of our questions. He will present a slide show of what a wound ostomy nurse does in a day, and the services that they provide. Come prepared for an informative session and a unique opportunity to ask questions.
For April, we will have a presentation from Stealth Belt V.P Collin Jarvis. At 21 Collin was a nationally ranked middle and long distance runner when he was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2013, Stealth Belts fit snugly against the body in order to provide support, comfort, and protection for ostomy and urostomy appliances. They have belts for all kinds of activities, from sleeping to water sports. And they are a NASCAR sponsor with driver and ostomate Ray Ciccarelli!
The speaker at our next meeting at Longmont United Hospital will feature our own Debra Noel. Debbie spent her career in non-profit social services work for people struggling with life issues as well as children and adults with disabilities and the elderly. Now in her 60s, she is able to enjoy retirement and her art work. Living more than two decades with paralysis from an accidental gunshot, Debbie understands body pain. She has a colostomy and like everything else in life, it doesn’t stop her from doing those things she enjoys. Come hear her dramatic story.