Treva Thomasson is a board-certified registered nurse in the Grace Health System® Continence and Urology Centers. With more than 30 years experience in urology, mostly working with Dr. Obie Stalcup, Thomasson runs “Take Control”, the program which helps people overcome incontinence issues. “Many of them have had incontinence either urine or fecal for years, but they never want to talk about it. They did not know who to tell or how to tell people, so it is an embarrassing situation that I try very hard to make them feel comfortable and confident that it will still be very private with me. I am the only one in the room with them and that we can make this embarrassing situation go away for them,” Thomasson says.
Bladder control is not a natural part of aging. “I see patients, my youngest is age four and my oldest is 101, and I believe that no one should be incontinent. There are many things we can do. There is biofeedback. There are medications sometimes that we give. There is surgery, but the point is no one should be incontinent,” she says.
Thomasson is one of only seven Texas nurses who are board certified in biofeedback and urodynamics. She explains urodynamics as a very comprehensive test done on the bladder which involves catheters. “It really tells us a lot about the functioning of their bladder, then we can make decisions on what the proper treatment is.”
Biofeedback involves attaching a sensor to the patient to see what’s happening with the pelvic floor. “When they go to squeeze, do they have any muscle tone. A lot do not. They have had several babies or chronic constipation, but sometimes people who say I have never been pregnant, I never had constipation, why is my pelvic floor weak, why do I leak? And the latest study is showing that some may be just born with a weak pelvic floor.”
When dealing with such a sensitive issue, Thomasson says she treats each patient with the utmost respect. “We are going to do our best to make sure that they get the outcome that they want also,” she says. On the first appointment, Thomasson will sit down with the patient to listen to their concerns to find out their history, the number of trips to the bathroom, and what could be causing the problem. After biofeedback testing, Thomasson says she’ll discuss the treatment options, which she says always involves exercises to do at home. “There is more than one exercise and they are used for the different diagnoses. We go into the expectations of what it should feel like to do the exercise properly, because you can tell a person all day long how to do an exercise, but unless they do it right, it is not going to benefit them.”
Thomasson says she also treats children of all ages with bedwetting issues. She urges parents not to punish their child after an accident, but talk with the pediatrician about their concerns.
Thomasson says she finds her work very rewarding because she’s able to help a majority of her patients. “It is such a good feeling that you can have that satisfaction of knowing you helped that person in their life because it really does make a difference in their life. So, if I can make even a little bit of a difference and make them smile that day and not think about their bladder, then I think I have done my job.
If you have bladder control issues, Thomasson says you do not need a doctor referral, and you can make an appointment with her to get control.
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