The factors in succeeding with TAI are:
Be prepared and give yourself time to adapt to the new routines. Set a realistic timeframe. It may take up to 12 weeks to find the optimal irrigation routine and have a satisfying outcome for you. When the initiation period is over and you have found a routine that works for you, it may suffice to irrigate every other day, but this is highly individual.
Your body will have to adapt to the treatment. Have patience, and it will be worth it.
Comprehensive training is very important when you start. Your healthcare provider should guide you and your child through his/her first session and continue to support you until you feel confident to do it on your own.
For some children it may feel scary or uncomfortable to insert the catheter, for others it’s not an issue at all. For some children, who have had longstanding constipation, when they first experience the peristalsis (movement of the bowel) with the water pushing the poo out it can be perceived as unpleasant. With reassurance and support these initial fears and concerns soon disappear.
Letting your child be involved in the TAI routine already from start can be a good way to take away resistance, suspicion and hesitation towards the therapy. It can also ease acceptance and give your child confidence. From the start it can be as simple as carrying the system to the bathroom. Helping take pieces out of the bag is
a good way to learn the use and name of all parts. Let your child become comfortable with the system itself – to hold and feel the different parts, perhaps play with it on a teddy or doll.
When older or ready, the child can be more involved in the procedure, perhaps help filling the water container. Eventually you can let your child hold the catheter while you hold and steer the child’s hand and catheter during insertion. Give your child attention for every step learned.
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