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Going with the flow

By Michelle Fleming

Healthcare Umbrella

As Regina Brett, who wrote 45 Lessons Life Taught Me, once said, “Over-prepare, then go with the flow.”

As a person who is an extremely organized planner, the over-preparation part comes naturally; however, going with the flow, perhaps not as much.

Going with the flow can mean different things to different people. For some, it refers to remaining relaxed and calm, being peaceful and not allowing things to stress you. For others, during this pandemic, it means picking up necessary supplies, staying home and trying not to get cabin fever. To those who suffer from urologic disorders like over-active bladder or urinary incontinence, it can mean another thing entirely.

Urinary incontinence profoundly affects the well-being and quality of life of individuals who struggle daily with challenging medical issues. Some respected studies have shown that incontinence increases with age. The most recent data indicates that almost half of men and women over the age of 70 are affected by urinary incontinence. With 39 percent of our county being over the age of 60, that means we could have thousands of people in our community struggling with these disorders. Often, experiences with incontinence or over-active bladder causes people to limit their activity, time with friends or things they enjoy. This can become, not only a physical malady to address, but also an emotional stressor as well.

Imagine wanting to go see a performance at Tryon Fine Arts Center, only to be discouraged when you remember that during the show, you may need to go to the restroom at least four times; dreading a trip to the beach because the long drive would require multiple rest area stops; or avoiding all beverages before getting together with friends because fluid intake may cause you to spend too much time in the restroom which can be embarrassing.

Dr. John Walton, from Greer, has been serving as part-time urologist in our area for almost twenty years. He and I spoke in late 2019 about his desire to reduce his practice area to Greer only, resulting in the closure of the Columbus office. We are so very grateful for the many years that Dr. Walton has served our community on a part-time basis.

As we discussed this change with Dr. Walton, we began to evaluate community needs and received a great deal of feedback resulting in the realization that there is a definite need for full-time urology services here in Polk County. So, we began earnestly searching for a solution for continued and expanded urologic care.

We are very pleased to share with you that Dr. Barry Bodie will join us July 2 as our full-time urologist. Dr. Bodie was formerly the medical director of urology for Spartanburg Regional and is well known in the Southeast.

Since urology is such a broad specialty, recruiting a full-time physician with the expertise of Dr. Bodie will have a significant impact on our area. In addition to urinary incontinence and over-active bladder, Dr. Bodie will address issues with the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra as well as the male reproductive tract and prostate. Kidney stone management and treatment is also part of the scope of a urologist, so should you need treatment for this painful disorder, our urology program can assist. Dr. Bodie will treat all ages from pediatric to geriatric.

As we continue to evaluate the health challenges in our community, we hope to grow other services as well. We encourage you to let us know what additional health needs you have to ensure that you receive quality care, right here in our community. To be successful as a 100 percent locally and independently owned hospital, our community needs to choose us for their healthcare services. Providing what you need is vital to our survival.

As we continue to respond to your needs, healthcare changes in general and to opportunities that come our way, we hope that you will stay connected with St. Luke’s Hospital. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or visit our website at SaintLukesHospital.com. We are eager to hear from you, to connect with you and to serve you.

Michelle Fortune can be contacted at Michelle.Fortune@slhnc.org.

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