Wellspect has made a commitment to sustainability - but sustainability does not only refer to the critical initiatives we take at our production sites to minimize environmental impact. It also applies to the working conditions of our employees, the standards we demand of our partners, and the quality of life of our users. We spoke to Lucia in Italy about how these products have made a real difference to her quality of life.
Lucia is a 51 year old administrative employee, married with a 19-year-old son. About 16 years ago, she was found to have stage 4 endometriosis (the most severe): she could no longer eat or even drink, had become anemic and the disease had spread to her bowel.
My family's life was totally dictated by my illness, we couldn’t do anything because I suffered a lot, the medication only served as a palliative: I was better for a few months then everything would come back as before.
The gynecologist recommended a total hysterectomy, and after the surgery I had many serious complications. Later I began to suffer from constipation which gradually increased and I developed cystitis. On weekends I did everything I could to empty my bowels, and would have momentary relief. It was a terrible cycle.
The need for Intermittent Catheterization - IC
Realizing I couldn’t rely on my body to signal when I need to go was scary, and the need for IC made that very clear.
During the pelvic gymnastics sessions, a bladder problem was identified; it didn't empty. I had 500 ml of residue, which is dangerous as it can cause life-threatening Urinary tract infections. I wasn’t able to empty my bladder effectively yet thought I could – I have no sensation for when I need to visit the toilet to urinate, and the effort I used to empty the bladder was actually harming my kidneys. So I visited a urologist.
The nurse who taught me the IC ran some tests, showed me all the products, and calmly explained everything to me. She was very empathetic and advised me on the diameter of the catheter and type of product.
What benefits does a Wellspect product offer to a user?
I always have a heightened awareness of anything that could upset my health, so I'm very careful
Above all, the catheter must be effective, reliable, and painless for me. It also has to be as discreet as possible, because IC is a very personal and intimate issue, and I want it to stay that way.
For me the most important thing in choosing a catheter is that it is easy to use and that it promotes the avoidance of infections, because a UTI can be very dangerous. That the catheter is also environmentally friendly is also a positive.
I am very happy with LoFric Elle:
- I chose it because it's a very discreet catheter, I keep it in the drawer of the desk in the office, it looks like a pen, and it's easy to dispose of
- LoFric Elle is more practical when it comes to insertion thanks to the L-shaped handle: you open and empty it.
It’s also very hygienic because it is difficult for the catheter to come into contact with anything external, it’s all self contained
Introduction to Transanal Irrigation - TAI
When I’ve had to call the gynecologist I have felt a burden; I felt that they did not believe me when I spoke about the issues I faced with my bowel, and I felt ashamed and isolated.
As the situation got worse, I went to a proctologist and started with laxatives. I turned to a specialized center for pelvic gymnastics and thanks to a perineal electromyography they noticed the injury to the pudendal nerve ( the main nerve of the perineum which helps in evacuating stool ). The proctologist advised an ostomy ( a surgical procedure ), and TAI had to be tried first to see if it was effective - I didn’t want another surgical intervention.
The proctologist referred me to an inter-disciplinary team who listened and understood my condition.
The continence staff were kind and encouraging, it gave me confidence and reassurance in starting and committing to this therapy. I
TAI was a liberation: constipation made me feel heavy and tired, I had little energy and even regurgitation, so I didn't eat anymore. Now it feels like a memory of a whole other life!
It’s a very simple, straight forward device - both in its use and maintenance.
The Navina Smart™ Device
For Navina, I have my routine: every other day, as soon as I wake up in the morning, I perform TAI for 45 minutes and then I can start the day. It's a non-invasive tool, equipped with all the necessary spare parts without having to worry about replacing anything or a lack of availability.
I also have the ability to track the activity via the app on the smartphone as an alternative to keeping a daily diary. This allows me to view my progress over time and adjust details like the amount and speed of water so I have an optimum setting.
After the procedure, I have a feeling of infinite lightness, I can start the day with an extra gear, even breakfast has a different scent, I start the day on the right foot.
Now that I have found a way to solve my problems, thanks to the IC and TAI, my quality of life has clearly improved,
I feel like a woman again!
I have suffered so much, and finding IC and TAI makes me very happy, relieved and leaves me with a sense of wellbeing. Since I started with IC and TAI, I have had two instances of cystitis in a year, before I had two a month. I can do what everyone else does when it comes to independently using the toilet – just in in a new way.
I don't feel different, I feel free from problems. I'm not ashamed anymore.
Our ambition when we develop new products is to make a real difference for the user, while reducing our environmental footprint and production costs. This is, and will continue to be, our greatest challenge within sustainability.
Svenn Poulsen, Group Vice,
President Wellspect HealthCare and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Dentsply IH AB
The image used is for illustrative purposes and the person in the image is a model.