MARCH 2019
General Announcements
Our March 16th Meeting will be held in the first floor Conference Center of AdventHealth - Winter Park (formerly known as Winter Park Memorial Hospital). However, please check our website for any possible last minute room changes!

The meeting will begin at 10:30 AM. If you are a new member or guest, please try to arrive 15 minutes early (10:15); we'd love to introduce ourselves and give you a welcome packet!
The topic for our March meeting is, “Old Business, New Business…Open for Business!”
After quickly addressing old and new business our meeting will be “open.” Tables will be arranged so you can talk with friends, ask specific ostomy questions, discuss or argue current issues, help organize supplies and fold pamphlets, or make suggestions for upcoming meetings. Look for table toppers to guide you. You can “table hop” all you’d like. If you’d like to help with refreshments, please let us know.
Greetings Everyone,

Our ranks are growing slowly, but steadily. Typically, we have about twenty people in attendance at any given meeting. Some members attend faithfully and have for many years. Some members, with busy lifestyles attend whenever their schedules permit. A few members attend when there is a program of special interest. And, other members attend solely for the purpose of offering support to new ostomates, support they wish they themselves had been given, but perhaps, were not. 

One of our primary meeting goals is to welcome new ostomates and their families to our group. Although we might be sad at the circumstance, we are always glad to see new faces. At first glance, what most will see at our OAGO meetings, are small groups of people in lively conversation, some obvious couples or families, some members hustling to get things done at the last minute, and a few people sitting quietly in thought.

Attending a support group for the first time can be a little daunting. “Does everyone in the room have an ostomy? Will I have to say something? Will anyone even notice I'm here? Some first time guests to our meetings may have only had their surgery weeks before (some may not even have had their surgery yet). Some are long-time ostomates who have recently moved to our area and are looking for a community.

No two meetings will be exactly the same. Some consistency at meetings is important. We must always remember our mission - to offer emotional support, information, and outreach. We must always make new guests feel welcome, but not pressured. But, to meet the needs of all our member we have to mix it up a little. Some meetings have to be structured, with specific programs and agendas. Others must provide an opportunity to socialize - to be with people who “get it,” and laugh when you describe a major “blow out.” Some meetings have to be low-key and safe enough to ask hard questions or to share the pain of hearing, “It’s back.” And some meetings have to provide an opportunity to “give back.”

We have to be many things to many people. That’s a good thing! It’s also easier to do when “many people” get involved. If you haven’t yet attended a meeting, we look forward to meeting you; if you haven’t attended a meeting in a while, we look forward to seeing you again. If you are one of our “regulars” ...well, we couldn’t do it without you!

Here’s to smiling when you walk in the door and thinking, “That’s a familiar face!” Here’s to smiling and saying, “You’re a new face, welcome!”

Yours truly,
Erica Michaels

It’s important to note that for every member or guest who is physically present at a meeting, there are at least two other members who are not, but wish they could be (this was highlighted by our survey). These members are every bit as valued and one reason our website and newsletter are so important for keeping us informed and connected.

This is just a gentle reminder. If you haven't yet paid your dues, we need them as soon as possible. Our chapter dues to UOAA are due this month and they are based on our membership numbers. If you'd like, you can pay them (to us...OAGO) directly from our website, or, you can bring them to our next meeting, or mail them to: Patrick Rodgers, Treasurer, 309 E Citrus Street Altamonte Springs, FL 32701
Your Story and Your Picture Belong Here!

Each month we'd like to feature the story of one of our members. Each of us has made this journey, in a different way and for a different reason. Sharing benefits both the reader and the writer. If you would be interested in contributing, please let us know (E-mail:

We are also still looking for a new Newsletter Editor!
Last Month's Meeting Notes
If you missed our February meeting...

Winter Park Memorial Hospital, will now be known as AdventHealth - Winter Park. Since it is likely that there will be more scheduling difficulties in the future, we are considering a change for next year. If we meet on the third Sunday of the month instead of the third Saturday (Starting time 1 PM) it would greatly reduce competition for the Conference Center space. Members will be able to provide input about this at the March meeting.

The meeting program was all about “Fashion with an Ostomy.” Included was information about protective wear for your stoma, hernia belts, specialized ostomy underwear, decorative pouch covers, lingerie, swimwear, selecting the best types of regular clothing (in terms of design, color, style) to minimize the appearance of a pouch, and much more. We hope to have a full fashion article on our website by the end of the year. In the meantime, please feel free to check out these links for yourself. (See below)

We held a drawing for a custom-made pouch cover and the winner was, “Kay Cobb."

There was a short board meeting. A date and time will be set to help all officers and board members get registered on “Google Docs,” thereby making it easier to communicate and share materials when we cannot be in the same physical space.

-From the notes of Kelli-Ann Wallace, Secretary
Links from Our Fashion Presentation!
Helpful YouTube Videos

Vegan Ostomy
Sample Ostomy Clothing Sites

Ostomy Clothing for men and women

Intimate Apparel

Including for kids!

Women's Miscellaneous
Would You Like a Name Tag?
Can we make you a name tag? Please E-mail your first and last name and the correct designation (type of ostomy, family member, care provider, or medical professional) and we’ll try to have it ready for you at the next meeting.
Monthly Fund Raiser!
Each month, our newsletter is going to feature a quick and easy fundraiser. If you'd like participate, just "click" on the link below, and it will take you directly to the site. A percentage of the sales will be donated to OAGO and go directly into our general fund.

"Our February Avon Fundraiser was a Success!"
Thank you to all who made a purchase or shared our link. 



If you’d like to take advantage of the Fundraiser catalog, OAGO will receive 40% of all sales.

            TUPPERWARE FUNDRAISER Catalog 

If you’d like to take advantage of the Full Line catalog, OAGO will receive 20% of all sales.

Our Tupperware representative, Joanne Furlow, has graciously doubled our percentage (usually 10%)!

It's an Ostomy Cruise! This 7 day, Eastern Caribbean cruise will leave from Fort Lauderdale on May 18th, 2019 and return on the 25th. Not only will you enjoy a relaxing, yet exciting, journey with Princess Cruise lines, you'll have the opportunity to attend your choice of lectures, social activities, and product demonstrations, specifically designed for ostomates. A single room inside cabin will be $1600 (taxes not included). For further information, please go to: You can also contact Cindy directly at Cruise Planners; Phone 904-806-2067 or Email
"Ostomy Speak"
Adapting to life with an ostomy can a challenge. But what’s with these new words! Appliance? Pancaking? Barbie Butt? Some terms come from medical terminology, but others are “insider” words (slang expressions) used by ostomates who “live” them first hand.
Ballooning refers to the collection of excess air/gas inside the pouch (making it look like a balloon rather than lying flat). This is often caused by particular foods. Although different for everyone, major culprits often include cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, etc.), carbonated beverages, etc. Other culprits - eating too fast, stomach flu, even stress. Unchecked ballooning will make your pouch more obvious and it can make you uncomfortable. This can easily be remedied by “burping” your bag or using venting products.

For more information regarding food culprits: Veganostomy or Shield Healthcare
Burping refers to the physical removal of excess gas from your pouch (ballooning). This can be done several ways. If you use a two-piece, push any solid waste to the bottom, then slowly roll the bottom up like a toothpaste tube, gently pull back the top of the bag from the wafer, and let the air escape. Beware! This is one stinky expulsion of air.

Although some pouches come with built-in filters, they reduce, but not necessarily eliminate, the problem. There are also products that allow you to create a "vent" in any type of appliance.

Helpful hints: Spray the air with an odor neutralizer (Febreeze, etc.) before opening. Use a deodorizer in your pouch (Na'Scent, etc.) to reduce odor in the first place.

A blowout occurs when the pressure, speed, or quantity of stool is so excessive, it literally pops your appliance (wafer/pouch) right off your belly. The result is a spewing of poop that rivals Mt. Vesuvius. This can also conveniently (sic) occur when changing your bag or taking a naked shower. It is something that every ostomate experiences at least once. There is no need for embarrassment (it happens) and often makes for a good “war story.” 
If you'd like to attend the UOAA Conference in Philadelphia, but find it financially a little out of reach, please apply for the Conference Attendee Reimbursement of Expenses Scholarship (C.A.R.E.S.) Program. This program is open to first time attendees only.

The National Conference is being held this coming August 6th-10th, 2019. It is an amazing experience. You will meet hundreds of ostomates from all parts of the country, attend lectures by world-renowned experts, have private access to ostomy nurses and wound care consultants, and visit exhibits from manufacturers of many different ostomy products. There also will be social activities of every variety.

The scholarship can be used for registration, travel, and/or lodging (awards are made up to $600). Applications for these scholarships are time sensitive (due by April 8th). Please follow the links below, and be sure to contact Erica Michaels to let her know you are applying.

Please see the following documents for more information about the program and the application form.  

UOAA’S 7th National Conference will be held in Philadelphia, from August 6th through August 10th. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet with ostomates from all over the country (and world). Attend interesting and informative lectures, join in fun social events, and explore the latest ostomy products and innovations from vendors.

For more information, just "click" the bell. Do you want to know more from members who have attended in the past? Check out the conference's Facebook Event Page.
Our Supporters

Thank you sponsors, donors, and advertisers. Your support of OAGO allows us to reach out to fellow ostomates and provide quality information and programs.
Are you trying to contact us? Looking for an ostomy nurse? Supplier? Or, do you need a copy of our membership form? You can now access this information quickly and simply, by clicking the links below. From there, you can either save the documents to your computer or print them out to hang by your phone.