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There’s something special about working with pediatric patients. With adults, you can walk into a room and strike up a conversation, allowing you to develop trust and a relationship. But with kids, you have to gain the trust of Mom and Dad AND your young patient.

The baby who is feeling miserable and doesn’t understand why. The child who was poked once, twice, maybe even three times for an IV and blood draw. A teen who would rather be somewhere (anywhere!) else but here – thank you very much!

As adults, we are able to censor our responses to appropriate. The beauty of innocent children is that they don’t waste their time with being socially acceptable. Their honest responses can make providing care a bit more challenging, even when I am trying help. No, really, I am!

Some real-life examples:

“I don’t know you.”

This usually translates to, “I don’t trust you to come near me. Or my mom. Or my sister. Or my stuffed animal Rufus. Back off.”

“You look big and scary.”

This can mean, “If you step foot in my room I’m going to scream as loud as I can until you leave. Unless you brought me stickers, then you may have a chance.”

“I don’t want you to touch me.”

This is often followed by pulling a blanket overhead “so you can’t see me and then you won’t know I’m here. Oh, and by the way, I can leave this blanket over my head for a very.long.time.”

Long story short, nurses in the world of pediatrics, babies, kids, tween and teens work hard to gain trust. A seemingly simple task can take twice as long as usual, but the reward is that much greater. When I start out the day with a toddler who is terrified of me and doesn’t want me near them, and end the day coloring with that child, with a “Thank you for taking care of me,” it really doesn’t get much better than that.

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Incontinence treatmentAlmost 12 million people in the United States experience urine control issues. Many things contribute to the condition:

  • Enlargement of the prostate (men)
  • Narrowing of the urethra due to scar tissue
  • Obesity
  • Older age
  • Bladder stones
  • Blockage
  • Frequent bladder infections

Stress Incontinence
This is the most common type of incontinence. It means urine is lost with activity like coughing, exercising or laughing. Any activity increasing pressure on the bladder will cause a urine leak. Many people go years without telling their physician or loved ones about this form of incontinence, because they don’t realize that it’s a treatable condition.

Urge Incontinence
Remember those commercials, “Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now?” That’s what urge incontinence feels like. The bladder muscle contracts spontaneously, causing a sudden strong urge to urinate which results in a sudden, uncontrollable rush of urine. With an overactive bladder, you may even feel the urge to urinate if you hear water running or you put your hands in water.

Overflow Incontinence
Overflow incontinence is usually experienced as a frequent or constant dribble, in which the bladder is unable to empty itself and the urine just “overflows.” A Neurogenic Bladder is a condition where the nerve supply to the bladder is disrupted, causing multiple bladder problems, depending on injury or disease.

November is Bladder Awareness Month, now is the time to take charge of these bothersome issues. To receive the best possible treatment, it’s important to talk openly and honestly with a physician or urologist. A Fort HealthCare urologist is a specialist in the treatment of genital and urinary conditions and can suggest many non-surgical and surgical options to treat incontinence.

In the meantime, some therapies that you can put into practice on your own include:

  • Drinking water. It seems counter-intuitive, but some beverages can act as a diuretic, making the urge to go even stronger. Two-thirds of what you drink during the day should be water.
  • Avoid bladder irritants if struggling with excessive urges, such as: caffeine, aspartame, carbonated beverages, alcohol, chocolate, spicy foods, sharp cheese, tea, citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, vinegar, plums, strawberries, lemon juice, onions, tobacco and pineapple. 
  • Go to the bathroom no more than every 2-4 hours. Your bladder should empty for at least 8 seconds or it was “too soon” to go.
  • If you have the urge to go but it is too soon, stop moving, sit or stand still, contract you pelvic floor four to six times, breathe deeply and relax until the urge passes. Suppress the urge if it is less than two hours since you last went to the bathroom.

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Hunters face a unique hearing dilemma: They must be able to hear the soft footfalls of approaching deer or other game, yet need ear protection when they fire a high-powered rifle or other high-decibel firearm.

The BAD News: When you lose hearing, it almost never comes back.
The GOOD News: Hearing loss due to noise exposure is the only type of permanent hearing loss that can be prevented.

When noise is too loud, it kills nerve endings in the inner ear, eventually permanently destroying hearing. There is no way to restore dead nerve endings.

What many hunters don’t realize about noise exposure is that the sound pressure level of many shotguns is such that it only takes that brief moment of the blast to sustain permanent nerve damage, so every year of that brief exposure has a compounding effect on the hearing nerve. Each year, with every shot, the damage increases.

Preventing hearing loss is always better than trying to aid it after damage has been done, but there are a lot of options available that can help. I do specialize in custom ear molds for electronic earplugs, such as Game Ear, which can make the gaming experience as rewarding as possible. These devices provide amplification to put a hunter in touch with the environment and game while protecting hearing.

Hearing protectors come in two forms: earplugs and earmuffs. You should wear hearing protection whenever you’re around loud noises, as when using power tools, noisy yard equipment, firearms or riding a motorcycle or snowmobile.

Earplugs 

  • Small inserts that fit into the outer ear canal. 
  • Must be sealed snugly so the entire circumference of the ear is blocked.
  • An improperly fitted, dirty or worn-out plug may not seal properly and can result in irritation of the ear canal, making custom-fit ear plugs the best option.

Earmuffs

  • Fit over the entire outer ear to form an air seal so the entire circumference of the ear canal is blocked.
  • Held in place by an adjustable band.
  • Will not seal around eyeglasses or long hair, and the adjustable headband tension must be sufficient to hold earmuffs firmly in place.
  • For longer-wearing periods, they can be cumbersome.

If you’d like to get in for a fitting before gun deer season, call my office today to schedule an appointment and FREE adult hearing screening.

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Daniel Webster said it best when he remarked, “If all my possessions were taken from me with one exception, I would choose to keep the power of communication, for by it I would soon regain all the rest.”

grandparents talking to granddaughterSecond to being alive, the ability to communicate is the most critical human function allowing for full participation in society.  Few losses have a great impact than losing this ability. Negative feelings like anger, frustration, depression, anxiety and low self-esteem are common following loss of speech and language skills – even among those with minor impairments. 

Being unable to express yourself or to understand the speech of others is undoubtedly a cause for lowered spirits.  Many people feel isolated and alone and this loss of can be heartbreaking for the family.

One reason speech loss is so unsettling, is that it cuts you off from other people.  Whether the loss is gradual or sudden,

  • Friends tend to drift away,
  • Family may withdraw,
  • Work may become difficult if not impossible,
  • Hobbies may lose their appeal,
  • Simple household task may be given to others because of the inability to communicate.

These life changes can be stressful and felt in family matters, financial aspects of life and work-related activities.  Further, those with communication challenges are often shut out of child-rearing, decisions affecting adult children and issues related to grandchildren.

Speech therapists serve the invisible and voiceless minority who cannot always speak for themselves, yet deserve to be treated as equitably as those with more obvious disabilities. It’s not uncommon to make modifications to a building allowing easier access for those in wheelchairs, for example; why not provide a person with a speech handicap similar accommodations?  Step One is to have a speech and language evaluation.

At Fort HealthCare, we offer services every weekday at the outpatient Therapy and Sport Centers and in the hospital.  Clinicians have experience working with all age groups and encourage family members to contact their physician to request a speech evaluation. Call us for yourself or on behalf of someone you care about. Let us help keep you talking!

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