Denmark WOD World Ostomy Day 2018

Speaking Out Changes lives

WOD October 2018

The ostomy day 2018 took place at the hotel H. C. Andersen in Odense. It was an one-day arrangement with different presentations, manufactures with displays of ostomy aids, sales pitches with healthy food and the patient association for people with bowel cancer “Tarmkræftforeningen” and COPA.

Participants from the whole country came, owing to the fact that the local branches had arranged collective driving.

Chairman, The Danish Ostomy Association, COPA,  Henning Granslev opened the Ostomy day 2018 by unveiling an art object – a wooden sculpture – a kangaroo, made by a chain saw sculptor Peter Hausgaard Gregersen  “Art Tart”. Peter is the father to a child with stomach/bowel and defecation problems.

The first speaker was Thorkild Olesen, chairman for “Danske Handicap organisationer (DH)”, equivalent to the organization for disabled people. Thorkild emphasized the importance of patient associations being part of the greater joint community. There are 34 patient associations gathered in the context of DH. Each one fights for their own issues, but in case of greater mutual challenges, it is imperative and important to unite in order to influence the politicians  to  solve the problems and challenges, which happens to the disabled persons for them to live an almost normal life.

Søren Gade – present member of the parliament and former minister of defense – told about how it is to be the husband of an ostomate, who has had bowel cancer. Unfortunately his wife died after quite a long time with illness. Søren explained reflectively that there is nothing good to say about a progress of a cancer disease, only the fact that the family became more closely connected. As a maybe not so pleasant disclosure you become more aware of whom your real and close friends are. Very often it is not the ones you thought.

During the lunch break there was plenty of time to visit all the sales pitches to see the newest ostomy aids, talk with the manufactures and consume some sandwiches.

After lunch there was a presentation about alternative treatment with cannabis. Nana Cornelius from the cancer association told about this subject. Only 20% in Denmark use alternative treatment. Medical cannabis has been legal in Denmark since 2011. It can be administered either as tablets or mouth spray.

Nurse Marianne Krogsgaard made a speech about bulging in connection with colonic and intestine ostomy. Research shows that bulging often is connected with the weakness of the stomach muscles. Maybe training of the stomach muscles can prevent a hernia. It will socially cause a profit as a reoperation possibly can be avoided.  Furthermore the ostomy operated without a hernia will have a greater quality of life. COPA donated a cheque of 50,000 DKK for the project.

Scientific Candidate in clinical medicine Charlotte Rud explained about ostomy and high output. Persons with ileostomy often suffer from lack of salt and liquid. Earlier ostomates have been told that with high output they should drink lots of liquids. Though, it should not be sweet beverages as it could cause lack of salt.  Instead you shall drink “re-hydration liquid” and also supplement with milk and beef tea. Lack of salt can be shown by a urine sample and not by a blood sample. COPA donated a cheque of 25,000 DKK for this project.

After all these topics it became time for coffee and tea with sweets, and again time for a visit to the sales pitches.

Morten Holmgaard, chairman for the COPA parents group told about the activities, which can be offered to parents with children, who have stomach/bowel and defecation problems. There is also a face book group especially for the parents.

The last presentation was hold by Sophie Due Rasmussen, who is the webmaster for Sophie showed a film cut with a friend of a young ostomate. This friend told about how she experienced the ostomate as a “complete normal young person”, who also wanted to live the life on equal terms as all other young people without a bag on the stomach.

A long day ended with thanks to all the speakers, the manufactures, the suppliers and the participates, who all took part in celebrating the ostomy day 2018.

Henning Granslev
Chairman COPA