Guest Blogger: IMPRESS (Incontinence Management and PRevention through Engineering and ScienceS)

Hi everyone,

How are you? Today is my first ever Guest Blog post. Thank you to the team at IMPRESS (Incontinence Management and PRevention through Engineering and ScienceS) for all your hard work and dedication with #Incontinence research, and I look forward to collaborating with you more in the future. Here is what they’re all about and where you can find out more information.

Take care everyone,

Dimity

IMPRESS (logo)

About IMPRESS

IMPRESS (Incontinence Management and PRevention through Engineering and ScienceS) is a UK research project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). We are based in the School of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds and co-ordinate IMPRESS in collaboration with the Applied Biomedical Engineering Group at University College London.

Our aim is to bring about a radical change in the research and development activities in incontinence technologies.

Why are we doing this?

Firstly because incontinence impacts significantly on quality of life for thousands of patients and it places a massive burden on the UK National Health Service (NHS). Secondly because where many areas of medical engineering share a growth in the engagement of research engineers and scientists to push forward the exploitation of emerging technologies, incontinence receives little attention within this sector and consequently current technological interventions remain limited in their function and effectiveness.

How are we doing this?

Since IMPRESS began in 2014 we have been facilitating the education of 20 Incontinence Technology Advocates, researchers chosen from the engineering and science community, about the current clinical challenges faced in treating and managing incontinence. We are using their knowledge and interactions to create a Self-Sustaining Network of patients, healthcare providers and engineering and science experts that will stimulate collaborations towards novel technological solutions for incontinence. To feed these new collaborations we have funded a first round of five pilot projects whose concepts encompass both urinary and faecal incontinence and may ultimately lead to a next generation of treatments and management products for this condition.

Where are we going next?

IMPRESS recently received further funding to continue its work until 2018 with a substantial budget to support more pilot projects, to develop selected projects into early-stage research work and to fund an IMPRESS Research fellow.

Results from our FI Workshop

In February 2016 IMPRESS ran a faecal incontinence workshop which focussed on ‘Technologies for Incontinence: What can we do better?’ Our delegates were a mixed audience of healthcare professionals, academics, patients, carers and industry representatives and we asked them to bring their personal experience and expertise to discuss this topic to help identify areas where we should focus future research. Four basic themes emerged.

PEOPLE who could benefit from new technology

Children, young adults and those with physical impairments are not well catered for. Many products don’t consider the complexities of designing for children and there are few options for those with limited dexterity or spinal cord injuries.

TECHNOLOGY how it influences people’s quality of life

It has the ability to empower, to address stigma and taboo with discreet solutions, and it has the potential to make assessment, treatment and management methods less invasive.

PRODUCTS where technology could be improved

Many products have seen little innovation for decades and issues such as skin irritation, smells and leaks are still a significant factor for patients.

POTENTIAL area for new technologies

It’s clear that much could be done to incrementally improve existing products through improvement in materials, applying smart systems that could sense, monitor and feedback, and by developing data collection tools that can assist patients and inform healthcare professionals.

Website: http://www.impress-network.com

Twitter @IMPRESSleeds

 

“When they gotta go, they gotta go” (article)

Hey everyone,

How are you? I hope you are all safe, healthy and happy. I found this article posted online recently about a 2 year old boy experiencing a “poo explosion” at the shops, in public. I don’t know if he has Encopresis or not, but the moral of the story is what I love. Here is the link to the article:

http://www.kidspot.com.au/parenting/real-life/reader-stories/mum-rescued-by-shoppers-as-her-son-delivers-almighty-poo-explosion?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=editorial

Everyone in that shop was kind and very empathetic in helping the family with the clean up and waiving the bill. After reading this article and how the parents can see a happy side to it all (and how the general public handled it too) it makes me feel happy inside. This is more preferable than to be yelled at or be told that I was “an embarrassment to be out in public” with during my personal experiences with Encopresis. I wish I was there to lend a hand and support.

At the end of the article it says this:

As for advice for other parents who find themselves the victim of a public poo explosion, Amy says try to remember that it will be funny … one day.

“You’ll get through it, even though it doesn’t seem so at the time, and at least you’ll have a good story to tell at their 21st Birthday!”

The Encopresis journey may be hard now, but it does get better. There is light at the end of the tunnel. You are not alone anymore. Let me know what you think about this. What are your thoughts/experiences? Tell me below or you can e-mail me: naturegirl015admin@themagicwithinus.com

Stay strong, happy and never stop being who you are inside. Take care and enjoy the weekend,

Dimity

 

The Right To Go campaign (school toilets and Encopresis)

Hi everyone,

How are you? I hope you’re all going well, and returning to school life (for those that do). I found this picture recently on Facebook about a comic strip of a school and a pass to be able to go to the toilet during class time, as an excuse to do something less constructive. See diagram below:

School Hall Pass for toilet breaks (found on Facebook, 14th February 2016)

I’m not sure if this is meant to be humorous, however it did get me thinking. During my time as a student, going to the toilet during recess/lunch wasn’t a positive experience. The few times I went in there (especially in High School) made me want to get in quick and get out. Bullies in the classroom are hard enough to deal with on a normal day to day basis. Students laughing, gossiping and pressuring me into smoking cigarettes isn’t something that I was comfortable with. It was easier to go at home in peace and quiet. Already self conscious and low self esteem because of living with Encopresis meant that doing anything other than a tinkle was out of the question. Unfortunately neither  of the schools that I attended was aware of Encopresis, and how to treat their students with it.

ERIC UK (The Children’s continence charity) started a campaign in 2014 called, “The Right To Go” to highlight every child’s right to good care for a continence problem at school and to access safe and hygienic toilet facilities. Here is the link to their campaign for more information: http://www.eric.org.uk/Campaigns/TheRightToGo . I truly support this campaign, and plan on collaborating with the schools to help educate them on living with the condition, so other students don’t have to suffer a similar experience. Here in Australia and around the world.

Here is also a link to the “Toilet Tactics Kit” that the Continence Foundation of Australia have available as a resource. Link here: http://www.continence.org.au/pages/-toilet-tactics-kit-411.html .

 

Let me know what your thoughts are on this, or if you have anything else to share. Enjoy the new week ahead. Stay true to yourself, keep smiling and be authentic. @TheEllenShow #BeKindToOneAnother .

Dimity

Happy New Year 2016

Hey everyone,

How are you? Did you have a magical Christmas and a great start to the new year? I did.

I want to thank you all for your support, love, feedback and e-mails. You are not alone anymore.

This is the year to implement the new changes to the blog as part of its branding and evolvement, including new opportunities and monthly competitions, product reviews (including books) and welcoming my guest bloggers. Enjoy the journey with me. Keep an eye out for updates about my book and how it’s progressing.

The first of the month will be the start of new competitions, giveaways and/or a book review (it will vary throughout the year).

Always keep smiling and enjoy your life. Stay strong.

Thank you,

Dimity

P.S. “With an open mind, and an open heart, anything is possible.”

Beauty Personified

Hey everyone,

How are you all? I hope that you are all doing very well and enjoying the new week ahead.

I received a beautiful poem written from a fellow Incontinence (Encopresis) survivor that I have been corresponding with for several years. Let me know what you think about it. Here it is:

BEAUTY PERSONIFIED

Looking around in wide and breadth

I went in search for a place where beauty had no dearth;

Found myself on a museum called ‘earth’

Below whose bower laid beauty well covered

 

I noticed the beautiful ocean, ‘so blue’!

But the beauty of blue was not so true!

The sky never did give us a clue….

But without the brocade over it, never the ocean had the ‘true blue ’

 

Came after the cozy night, appeared there the golden moon!!

Shining bright, but I don’t fall for it that soon

Wondering at the moon I discovered, she is filled with scars,

She was just trying to brazen staying that far

 

My search took me around the globe

Tired I was full of grief, singing in my lament;

I closed my eyes, after which mother earth opened her latch,

My questions all answered, I found a beauty for which had not match

 

I was scandalized but finally had a reason to smile

I felt like I just came out of exile!

This search left me satisfied

Oh! Mother Nature you are a beauty personified!

The Skid Mark (with Encopresis)

 

Hey everyone,

How are you all going? Thank you for your e-mails & messages, and please keep them coming. Today this blog post is about Skid mark (with Encopresis). See diagram below.

The ENCOPRESIS SKID MARK diagram

 

A Skid mark is a very thin faecal line down the underwear and it can range from having a slightly soft texture to hard small faecal bits stuck to the underwear. Keep in mind that the skid marks also can appear when bottom hasn’t been cleaned properly, leaving a residue in the underwear. In my personal experience the smell is less noticeable as the stool isn’t as old in the body compared to normal Encopresis impaction.

As my Encopresis journey was nearing it’s ending, I noticed that the soiling changed from a heavy soiling to the skid mark. As the amount of soiling decreased, the skid marks were more noticeable. It can still leave a stain, and be aware of small pieces of stool deposits stuck to the underwear. The way I view it, and in my personal opinion & experience with Encopresis, if you see the skid mark the end is in sight. This isn’t a guarantee, just an observation. Always be vigilant, never let Encopresis determine WHO you are! There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Tell me: Have you seen any of the types of skid mark mentioned above or different?

Feel free to share your thoughts on this topic.

Take care everyone,

Dimity

P.S. “With an open mind, and an open heart…anything is possible!”

Encopresis survivor communication

Hi to all my readers out there,

How are you all doing? How is your weekend? Thank you for the e-mails, comments and posts and sharing your family story and experiences. I really appreciate it, respond and am here for you. As an Encopresis survivor myself, I know what it feels like to feel so alone with no one to talk to whom has gone thought it and open to talk to. Someone existing and real, someone that soils underwear with no idea why, someone that I can relate to. I’m here for you all.

I am available, open and interested in talking to your child/teenager/adult. Whether it’s on the phone, e-mail, writing a letter and creating a video message on YouTube. It doesn’t matter whether your child is 4, or in his/her 60’s. If receiving a personal letter from Santa Claus at Christmas time brightens up your child’s life, I know what it would be like to receive letters though out the year from a fellow Encopresis survivor.

I will give my postal address/phone number for the families that request it. The best ways to contact me are posting on my blog directly,

e-mail: naturegirl015admin@themagicwithinus.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helpencopresissurvivorseeellen

Twitter: @naturegirl015

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/naturegirl015

Enjoy the weekend everyone. Stay strong, be yourself and never give up.

Dimity