Don’t Let Your Bladder Hold You Back!
A healthy bladder provides greater independence and better quality of life. However, after a spinal cord injury (SCI), the body’s normal control mechanisms can go haywire.
The Bladder Project, led by Austin Health and in conjunction with Spire, advises SCI patients and hospital staff on bladder catheterisation and bladder health across a person’s lifetime. The desired approach to bladder health is prevention, so it’s important to attend to health issues before they arise.
The Bladder Project aims to provide education, prevention and management strategies for new patients. Bladder health can affect one’s travel aspirations, social life, relationships and sex life. It can cause UTI’s and infections, and result in having to take various medications.
Briabird and Spire worked alongside Austin Health on the Bladder Project to help improve bladder health of those living with a SCI. The workshop with Briabird helped to inform the design and development of web-based resources to support the project.
People living with SCI are the best advocates and spokespeople for bladder health and maintenance; knowing what works and what doesn’t, as well as the pros and cons of various treatments. A long-term approach to bladder health is paramount, rather than simply focusing on what people need at the time of injury.
Some of the more long-term issues regarding bladder management include a lack of information, bladder damage, infections, medication and financial barriers. It’s important to maintain a healthy bladder through physical activity, healthy eating habits, adequate fluid intake and using the right equipment.
My Bladder, My Life is a bladder management resource that provides tips and advice on various bladder issues which may arise after acquiring a SCI. Some of the topics covered include leaking after performing intermittent catheters, leaking with suprapubic catheters, UTI infections and troubles with passing catheters.
To achieve long-term bladder health, it’s important to inform yourself so as to make the right choices . A well-informed patient can actively participate in the decision-making process. After all, only you can know what’s best for you!
Spire looks forward to continuing to work alongside Austin Health in their Bladder Project. Watch this space for more exciting things to come!