You'll find hundreds of files on cleft lip, cleft palate here on widesmiles.org.

This one is about: Stress Balls -- Pre-Surgery Project

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Stress Balls - Pre-Surgery Project

Joanne tells about how Joey (10 years old) handles a surgical procedure:

He was nervous to start in -- we talked a lot about how to handle his nervousness. First --- I told him to breathe in real deep, then let it out slowly through his mouth.  I saw him do that several times - especially as we got closer to the IV. (It's the IV that made him most nervous).

Nervousness is often the result of the adrenaline that we get from our "fight or flight" response to a stressor. One way to combat nervousness is to expend that adrenaline. I told him to grasp both arms of his chair firmly, and lift himself up off the chair in a sitting position and count to ten. This exercise expends that adrenaline that is collecting in the muscles. It worked -- he did it again when it got closer to them time for them to call him back.

Joanne later wrote:

Here's a fun project -- wish I'd have thought to do it before Joey's surgery yesterday, (but we did it after, and Joey loved it).

Remember how I mentioned that nervousness is usually caused by the adrenaline that is building up in a fight-or-flight response to stress??? And that expending that adrenaline will help curb the nervousness?? Well -- maybe it would help (for our older ones -- like those getting ready for bone graft -- and any who need oral surgery done) to make a stress ball to take with them.

Take a large, heavy latex balloon -- fit the lip over the end of a funnel -- and fill the balloon with flour through the funnel. Use a pencil (eraser end) to tap the flour into the balloon -- and as the balloon fills, use your thumb to squish it down and work it away from the neck of the balloon, so that you can put even more flour inside. Continue doing this until you really can't work any more flour in -- the balloon will look only very slightly "inflated" with the flour. Tie off the end -- and there, you have a stress ball. They are great for squeezing and squishing, and pulling into various shapes...and as you squish and squeeze, you are using up the adrenaline that is collecting in your muscles.

The beauty of it is -- when the child goes in for the procedure -- MOM gets to hold the stress ball!!!!! LOL

Anyway - just thought it might be a fun pre-surgery project, and a nice thing to have along at the time.

Joanne

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And Andrea adds:

As this is something I have experience with:

You can also fill the balloon with sand ... and I suggest that you put one balloon inside of another, as a double reinforcement, (and if for some reason you are imprinting balloons specifically for use with this, have the imprint put on upside down) ... the tidbits that stick in the corners of my brain :-)


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