The role of friends and family during your treatment

You’ve probably heard the lyrics, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

In this week’s new Kids4Kids video, patients from C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital talk about the important role their friends and families play in supporting them during treatment or living with chronic illness.

Tell us:

What tips do you have for letting friends and family help you through illness?  Use the “reply” tool at the bottom of this post to share your advice with others!

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Big Pains in the Little Leagues — Preventing and Treating Little League Shoulder

Shoulder injuries in young baseball players are so common, there’s even a condition called Little LLS.fwLeague Shoulder, or proximal humeral epiphysitis. Little League Shoulder is an overuse injury that involves a fracture to the growth plate near the shoulder. We see it most frequently in kids ages 11 to 16. Young athletes who play baseball year-round are most at risk for this injury.

Symptoms of Little League Shoulder are pain in the shoulder when throwing. The pain gets better with rest. Anyone throwing overhead can get this condition, but it is most common among young pitchers. Treatment involves something many young athletes don’t want to hear — rest. Without proper treatment, the injury can get worse and may even cause permanent injury. In addition to rest, we also recommend icing the shoulder. The period of rest depends on each individual. Continue reading

Keeping up with medications

Advice for kids, from kids

Living with a chronic illness often means taking medication…sometimes, a lot of medication.

In this week’s new Kids4Kids video, patients from C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital talk about their experiences keeping up with complicated medicine regimens, and some of the tips they’ve used to stay on top of taking meds.

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What tips do you have for kids and teens on keeping up with medications and treatment regimens?  Use the “reply” tool at the bottom of this post to share your advice with others!

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Adjusting to the reality of your diagnosis

Coming to terms with the realities of chronic illness or a new medical diagnosis can be difficult.

In this week’s new Kids4Kids video, patients from C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital talk about what worked for them to “keep it real” while adjusting to their diagnosis and treatment.

Tell us:

What tips do you have for kids and teens on how to adjust to a new diagnosis or changes in your treatment plan?  Use the “reply” tool at the bottom of this post to share your advice with others!

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Transition Readiness for Congenital Heart Disease Patients

Children born with congenital heart disease are thriving thanks to advances in diagnosis and treatment. Currently, 85 to 90 percent of these patients survive into adulthood. That’s great news. Unfortunately, studies have shown that as many as 50 to 75 percent of these patients fail to follow up with their care as they become adults and are then more likely to be admitted to the emergency room with urgent problems.

We studied 165 patients from 13- to 25-years-old to assess their readiness to transition to adult care. Patients completed a Transition Readiness Assessment and Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory using an e-tablet. For patients under age 18, we also had a parent complete a Transition Readiness Assessment that helps us better understand the parent’s perceptions of the child’s transition knowledge and behavior.

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Patrick Nolan’s story: Managing congenital heart defect from birth to adulthood

A fix for congenital hearts without another zipper scar

Approximately 40,000 babies are born each year with congenital heart defects — the most common type of major birth defect in the U.S. But, a new valve being used at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital Congenital Heart Center is helping patients delay or avoid multiple open-heart surgeries.

Patrick Nolan, left,hiking with friends.

Patrick Nolan, left, hiking with friends.

The new Melody Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve is inserted through a catheter into a vein in the patient’s leg during a heart catheterization, rather than an open-heart procedure. On Sunday, U-M’s Dr. Aimee Armstrong presented data to the American College of Cardiology that reaffirmed the safety and efficacy of the valve, which has been FDA approved for Humanitarian Use Device designation since Jan. 2010. Read here for more details on that presentation. C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital’s Congenital Heart Center was the first hospital in the state, and one of the first in the country, approved to use the valve in patients. 

25-year-old Patrick Nolan is one of those patients. Under the care of Dr. Armstrong, Patrick was able to get the heart valve he needed in 2011 without having to undergo yet another open-heart procedure. Today, he is a hard-working med student hoping to become a pediatric cardiologist, in part due to his experience as a cardiac patient and the dedicated doctors he’s met along the way. 

Patrick shares his inspiring story…

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