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Archive for December, 2017

Enriching Lives: Brent Gregerson

Tuesday, December 26, 2017 @ 02:12 PM  posted by jbuytaert

I helped Brent Gregerson set up a specialty bed and deliver a standing frame on Thursday, July 20th. The condition inside the homes, especially the bed set up, were literally sauna like. I observed three different things during my day with Brent that I feel were unforgettable, above and beyond service.

The manufacturing on some parts of the bed were not complete. Instead of waiting for the correct parts to come and potentially putting the customer at risk during the wait, Brent finished the manufacturing on site. I was very surprised that he even had the parts required with him!

After several hours we completed the bed set up, and the mom of the home asked if we could help her get some of her children out of a locked room. Brent immediately agreed to help. After a few minutes, the children were freed from a potentially dangerous situation.

After the bed set up, we had a standing frame to deliver before completing our day. The address we had in our system did not match where they now lived. Even though this would add another hour to an already long day and make us late to return to Handi Medical, Brent insisted that we complete the delivery and not reschedule. He made this decision even though he had plans after work.

Brent enriched the lives of several people that day, including mine. Because of his actions, the customers we served that day received their much needed equipment in a safe and competent manner. These actions also saved Handi at least two follow-up visits preventing extra workload for our internal customers and inconvenience to our external customers. A mom was also put at ease after a scary situation. Thank you for your great work Brent!

Enriching Lives: Nick Loye

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 @ 12:12 PM  posted by jbuytaert

I received an email from a customer regarding Nick Loye. It read, Nick, I can’t thank you enough for the time you spent with us last Friday. You answered so many concerns about finding a smaller oxygen unit for me to carry on trips from home. It’ll keep us from blindly buying such a unit only to find out later that it couldn’t do the job. We appreciate the care you showed in explaining how such equipment performs. It was a great learning experience to try out one model on the little walk we did. I don’t think there could be any better way to determine the usefulness of a lighter unit, which in my case, is not sufficient for the task. It was disappointment, but good to see for myself. You went to great lengths to be sure we really understood why this equipment is the answer for me.

This customer’s life was enriched because Nick took the time to listen to the customers struggles. He was able to help the customer understand why he provided the equipment and educate the customer on the reasons another unit would not meet her needs.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 03:12 PM  posted by jbuytaert

Enriching Lives: Nancy Petrun

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 09:12 AM  posted by jbuytaert

Nancy Petrun had a customer’s son call her around 4:30 pm to say he and his mom were on their way to Handi for an appointment. They live in North Dakota, and were not used to driving in the Twin Cities area. He called back about 20 minutes later and from what I could hear, sounded close to our building; but a bit lost. Nancy asked him what their car looked like and proceeded to go outside to track them down on University Avenue. She was able to locate their care as they were driving by, flag them down and get them to our parking lot. Her appointment then started and she was here until after 5:30 pm making sure everything was okay.

Nancy went above and beyond to assist this customer with finding Handi – I don’t know how many people would physically go out to the street, look for a car and direct them to a parking lot. Thank you Nancy for taking such good care of our customers!

7 Tips to Help Ostomates Survive the Holiday Season

Friday, December 8, 2017 @ 10:12 AM  posted by jbuytaert

Editorial Team

The holidays are fast approaching and that means parties galore! Office get-togethers, family gatherings, and neighborhood celebrations are filling up the calendar now until New Year’s Eve.

As much fun as the holidays can be, it can also be a time of stress for ostomates. It’s important to recognize that this can be a crazy time, and with so much going on it’s sometimes easy to forget to take care of yourself and manage your ostomy.

Here are 7 tips to help ostomates enjoy the holiday season, from what to wear, to what to talk about and more.

1. Plan ahead and prepare for ordering challenges. Do you have enough ostomy supplies on hand? If not, now’s probably the best time to place an order. Online medical suppliers and shipping companies are extra busy during the holidays, so you may experience delays due to staff shortages or bad winter weather.

2. Let family rituals change. If you’re attending a family event, it doesn’t mean you need to eat food that you’re not comfortable with just to please them. Consider updating holiday meals with some new recipes to go along with the familiar dishes, it’s a great opportunity for everyone to try something new. Most holiday celebrations are potluck style anyway, so offering to bring something won’t be too out of the ordinary. If you are the host, suggest that your guests bring a dish so that everyone can enjoy their favorite food.

3. Know what to say. Relatives and friends who know about your ostomy understand and won’t insist you eat everything that’s being served. If you encounter a situation where people do not know you’re an ostomate, there’s no need to go into any long explanations at the dinner table. Saying “no thank you” should work if you’re passed a dish that you prefer not to eat.

4. Drink plenty of water. I know this is probably something you hear every time someone talks to you about an ostomy (especially an ileostomy or urostomy), but it’s true that staying well hydrated can help. Water is essential for the proper circulation of nutrients in the body. Sometimes headaches can be caused by dehydration, so drinking water can prevent or alleviate the pain. Make a conscious effort to stay hydrated during the holidays!

5. Wear whatever feels right. Loose clothing that is not too tight around your belly can help you feel more relaxed about your ostomy. Whether the party is casual or formal, don’t stress over your outfit. Be comfortable and remember to pack extra ostomy supplies and clothes if you’re taking a road trip somewhere far from home.

6. Slow down and eat for pleasure. Eating slowly and chewing your food well is important to help prevent blockages when you have an ostomy. It may sound obvious, but enjoying the flavor of food makes it a pleasurable experience. When you savor your food, you’re less likely to overindulge which can cause unwanted digestive issues.

7. Make time to express gratitude. Letting your family and friends know that you are grateful for their support during your ostomy surgery and recovery can actually make celebrations even better. If this is your first holiday with an ostomy, it might be an important thing to do. Sharing love and appreciation with others has such an uplifting effect.

Advice from our friends at the Minneapolis Ostomy Support Group. Check out their website at