Home Page

Schedule of  Upcoming Meetings

      • (Virtual) Dcember 12th, 2023 07:00 PM Pacific Time
        • Zoom Meeting. For more information please contact support@svosg.org or call (408) 365-4452
        • 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 2023.

What Happened at our November 14th Virtual Meeting

President Chloe Moody called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm.  

Chloe and Joanne shared their experience presenting to approximately 20 people participating in San Jose State University’s WOCN training class on October 15, 2023.   Member Sharon Yamate also participated so colostomy, ileostomy and urostomy ostomates were present.  As part of the class exercise each attendee had worn an ostomy pouch for several days.  The group was curious to know whether we had support from family or friends post-operatively and how that shaped our personal experiences.  Tips for assisting ostomates from post-surgery to many years later were shared, such as how to manage skin issues, products to manage odor, TSA support when flying and always having an extra change of clothes and pouching supplies nearby.  

We reviewed the speaker/topic requests received and Dave will be setting up a 2024 schedule.  Please contact Dave or me to provide any topics or specific speakers you are interested in.  Sharing information and membership Q&A is an important part of supporting and learning from each other so the target will be a guest speaker every other month.  But we do want to hear from you, as your presence and input is what makes our meetings educational and so worthwhile!

A lively round robin followed, and tips and concerns were shared regarding hernia prevention, hernia belts, online DMV renewal vs. in person appointments, long airline flights and pouch ballooning, and optimal clothing styles.  Raji shared tips on how she managed her 18-hour flight to India.   Another person was impressed with the materials received when she became a member of UOAA.  

I found this information re: air travel with an ileostomy, pressurized cabins and gas buildup from The Phoenix magazine (Spring 2016, but I believe it to be still relevant!):

The air pressure inside an airplane cabin at cruising altitude (approximately 33,000 feet) is corrected to a pressure normally experienced between 5,500 and 8,000 feet above sea level.  As the altitude increases, the pressure decreases.  At this lower pressure, due to the laws of physics, the gas in our gut, sinuses and middle ear expand as much as 25%!  This means your pouch will expand as the plane ascends and “deflate” as the plane descends.

The changes in air-pressure are mostly noticed with the popping of your ear drums during changes in altitude.   The increase in volume of GI gas can also cause bloating and flatulence.

Typically, the gas passed by an ileostomy is mostly related to behaviors that cause the ostomate to swallow air.  These behaviors include smoking, drinking carbonated beverages, snoring, sinus conditions that cause post-nasal drip, and gum chewing.  Skipping meals can also allow for increased gas from an ileostomy.  Longer term ileostomy patients may even produce gas as a byproduct of digestion.

I recommend limiting the air-swallowing behaviors listed above for at least four hours before and during the flight.  You might also consider wearing a pouch system that has a filter to passively allow the gas to empty the pouch.  Being proactive may help you be more comfortable on your flight.”

A Friendly Reminder:  Silicon Valley Ostomy Support Group requests members help cover our expenses with a voluntary annual donation of $20 per year.    While sending out your holiday cards, please remember to send your check to Annette Kaiser, Treasurer SVOSG.  Please make checks payable to Silicon Valley Ostomy Support Group.   Thank you!

The next meeting will be Tuesday, December 12 on Zoom.  Meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm.  The board would like to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels to all!  

Respectfully submitted,

Joanne Harris

Secretary, SVOSG