Are you going to this year’s UOAA conference?  The United Ostomy Association of America has a national conference every two years, and this year it takes place in Irvine, California.  I’m going, and here are some of the topics I’m most interested in:

–Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) – As a patient with Ulcerative Colitis I’m quite interested in research for FMT for those with Crohns and UC.
–Chemo and Radiation effects on an ostomy – Because I was part of the UC community for so long, it was eye-opening to see that most ostomies are due to other factors.
–Gynecological Issues for Women – I’m not sure I’ll have time for this session, but I’d like to hear a discussion about the unspoken complications and challenges that women face after ostomy surgery.

I assist the WOCN team at our local hospital, and I’m active with our local ostomy support group.  I’ll be attending the UOAA Affiliated Support Group sessions to learn how to grow our group and understand how we can best use the services of the UOAA.  Also, I’ve learned that I can actually get certified for doing what I’m doing, through the UOAA Visitor Program.  I’m quite excited about this and can’t wait to take the test!

The conference has the usual exhibitors (I’m looking for lots of samples and new product info), and there is a daily WOCN clinic.  At the Clinic you can schedule time with a WOCN nurse to evaluate your stoma and give feedback. I’m definitely doing this, as my stoma has retracted considerably since my surgery and I fear more surgery is in my future.

I plan to share lots of information!