How Does Occupational Therapy Help Children With Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is the most common disability that affects children’s motor abilities. According to the CDC, about one in 345 children is diagnosed with cerebral palsy. While there is no cure, these individuals can remain healthy and active through various treatment options. One of the most integral parts of cerebral palsy treatment is occupational therapy.

What Is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is an interventional treatment focused on improving motor skills, balance, and coordination in children with cerebral palsy. It enhances their independence and hones their potential. Through practical activities in OT, they can perform daily tasks confidently and become productive members of the community.

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Cerebral palsy causes a wide range of motor impairments, from stiffness to uncontrollable spastic movements. It has different types, so occupational therapists must tailor their treatment plans to the child’s specific needs.

An occupational therapist will assess the child’s motor, cognitive, and developmental skills. After determining the patient’s strengths and weaknesses, they will create an individualized program. This plan aims to improve the areas that will help the child reach functional independence.

What Do Children Do In Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy aims to enhance functional abilities. In simpler terms, OT develops the day-to-day skills required for a child to perform confidently and comfortably. Some activities include:

    • brushing their teeth
    • using silverware
    • turning a doorknob
    • dressing up
    • reading and writing
    • painting, drawing, and coloring
    • moving around with mobility aids

By enabling children to do these simple tasks, they are encouraged to interact with their environment and function as independently as possible. These empower them to:

    • accomplish self-care and grooming tasks
    • create and maintain manageable routines
    • effectively use adaptive tools
    • interact with others
    • behave in socially appropriate manners

What Are The Benefits Of Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy activities are practical and personalized. As a result, children acquire skill sets that will be useful to them throughout their entire lives. These practices teach and reinforce short-term and long-term skills, such as:

    • completing basic tasks
    • improving bodily control
    • breaking down physical and psychological barriers that would hinder them from participating in society and exploring their passions and careers
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The primary benefits of occupational therapy are:

    1. performing daily tasks and routines independently,
    2. improving motor and coordination skills so they can move more easily,
    3. developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills,
    4. learning interpersonal skills, so they can freely interact with others, and
    5. encouraging social integration.

Children with severe cerebral palsy could also benefit from the use of assistive devices. In these cases, occupational therapy would teach children how to use specialized tools, such as:

    • rotating desks,
    • equipment that shifts them from a lying to sitting position,
    • computerized environmental control systems,
    • specialized chairs for proper eating and breathing, and
    • computers with pre-programmed language.

Parents can benefit from occupational therapy, as well. Therapists can counsel parents. They will suggest some activities they can do at home to support their children and optimize their skills. Parents can also receive tips on how to handle and teach their kids. They are encouraged to participate in the child’s treatment actively. Through occupational therapy, parents would find value in understanding how they can assist their children.

Occupational therapy addresses a person’s physical, sensory, visual, and social difficulties. It improves a child’s functioning in these areas. By developing their skills, children are encouraged to be more independent and enhance their self-esteem.

How Can You Find A Good Occupational Therapist?

The easiest way to find an occupational therapist would be through referrals from your primary healthcare provider. However, you must consider certain factors to ensure you get the best possible therapist, such as background, credentials, cost, and insurance.

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You can conduct a simple check on the therapist through the Internet. Scheduling an appointment and asking them in person is also possible. You would want a therapist with significant experience in dealing with children with cerebral palsy. Make sure that they don’t possess false credentials or a history of malpractice.

In addition, occupational therapy can be expensive. So if you’re operating on a budget, make sure that the costs align with that. You can also check if your insurance covers them. If not, consider applying for legal compensations that could offer financial assistance, granted that you meet the criteria and requirements.

But undoubtedly, the most crucial factor is how they are with your child. If you notice anything off about the therapist, listen to your gut. Also, listen to your child and do not dismiss their discomfort. It’s essential to find an occupational therapist you can trust—someone who will treat your child with kindness and patience.

What Are The Effects Of Occupational Therapy For Children With Cerebral Palsy?

Children can absorb new information and pick up new skills faster than adults. It’s attributed to the plasticity of their brains. However, neuroplasticity decreases with age. That’s why early intervention is advisable for children with cerebral palsy. By addressing the child’s needs early on, they can learn and progress easier and quicker and retain these life skills as they grow older.

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Occupational therapy for children with cerebral palsy promotes neuroplasticity, creating new neural connections and rewiring functions affected by brain damage. Optimizing neuroplasticity lies in repetitive practice. The goal of occupational therapy is to practice an activity or a specific movement so much that it becomes second nature to them.

Given these benefits, children with cerebral palsy need to undergo occupational therapy. Their brains are flexible enough, making it much easier for them to acquire new long-term skills, which would help build and increase their self-confidence and further optimize their functioning, independence, and potential. Finally, this would lead to a sense of belonging within their community and society as a whole.

Just because cerebral palsy is incurable doesn’t mean that children with the condition can’t and shouldn’t thrive in their environment. Have courage and patience. These, when coupled with therapy, can help children with cerebral palsy grow into healthy and happy individuals.

 

Counseling Cancer Clients

How does counseling clients with cancer help? Cancer counseling services organized through support groups offer cancer patients, caregivers, and families strategies to manage emotions and help improve their quality of life. Your treatment center provides support. Read more in this article about how professionals could help clients with cancer and their caregivers deal with it.

Diagnosis

Neurological conditions significantly affect the brain. The slightest disturbance in a neuronal connection can cause severe damage. And it can ultimately cause significant lifestyle changes. Some may even result in severe mental and psychological problems.

Emojis

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Similarly, getting a cancer diagnosis and treatment might be one of the most challenging experiences you can have in this lifetime. Finding out that you have a cancer diagnosis will make you feel the worst and heaviest emotions.

However, remember that there are various possibilities of treatment available. Having a healthy coping mechanism and a better outlook toward your treatment is needed to overcome cancer diagnosis, and one effective strategy is going to counseling.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how cancer counseling can significantly improve their mental health. Cancer clients or family members or family and friends with cancer should read this article.

Managing Anxiety

You are likely to experience anxiety after getting diagnosed with cancer. Mental health issues occur as you worry about the future of your relationships, family and friends, and plans. The stress that you feel can trigger anxiety and even make you require mental health services from a mental health professional.

This can help manage stress and provide family counseling methods to cancer survivors dealing with mental health issues. Having an open dialogue about patients’ stressors and triggers (e.g., cancer treatments, anxiety oncology social workers, mental illness, family members, chemotherapy treatments, etc.) with mental health professionals will help patients cope with personal issues, psychological distress, and other common concerns. Counseling people with cancer will help you adapt to your treatment and address any concerns that are affecting your mental health, especially for cancer clients or patients.

Cope With Depression

Your cancer diagnosis might also be a depressing experience. While getting treated, you’ll feel that everything was taken from you. With all of these emotions unattended, it’s not a surprise that many cancer patients can go through episodes of depression.

There are many ways how depression can affect your life and make your experience with cancer more difficult. This may include:

  • Hampered adjustment with your cancer treatment
  • Compromised determination to have a successful treatment
  • Possible friction in your relationships
  • Negative effects on your general outlook in life because of cancer

Counseling for cancer can help with depression. Your counselor can walk you through the heavy emotions you’re experiencing.

Address Relationship Issues During Their Treatment

Cancer will not only affect you as a person but also your current and future relationships. While some relationships may flourish, others won’t.

Married patients with cancer or those who are in long-term relationships can be affected by cancer. After the diagnosis, they may feel hopeless, depressed, and anxious. Counseling cancer patients affects your relationship with your family and your children. This is also where having licensed counselors cover for people with cancer is very beneficial.

Here are some ways individual counseling or group counseling might help with your relationship and other services:

  • Communicating Better

Family counseling helps you communicate better with the people you care about. Talking about your feelings and letting your loved ones know what you feel builds firmer relationships.

Poor communication will only lead to misunderstandings and unnecessary stress.

  • Changing Of Roles

Lung cancer, breast cancer, and other types may change your roles in your relationships. If you are the breadwinner of your family, you must come to terms with stepping out of that role while getting co-pay for treatment. This kind of sudden shift may be confusing at first, but your counselor will facilitate this process.

  • Addressing Intimacy Issues Between Partners

Some couples might have issues related to sexual health. Cancer treatment may take a toll on a person’s physical well-being, which might cause problems with intimacy.

Counselors will provide you with a safe place where you and your partner can discuss these issues. They can also provide suggestions on maintaining intimacy with each other or managing any sex-related side-effects of your treatment.

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Increase Your Self-Awareness

Cancer treatment is a long and arduous journey, and patients need all their strength to finish the life-threatening journey strong. Having solid mental health is one key to making your counseling today successful.

Counseling offers group support or group counseling to increase your self-awareness among group members. Being mindful of your mood, feelings thought processes, and behavior is helpful when dealing with your thoughts and emotions.

You can analyze your thoughts if you have a strong sense of self-awareness. It enables you to identify thought processes that are harmful and self-destructive.

Self-awareness helps to develop healthy coping mechanisms and break bad habits that affect your mental health. As you become more self-aware, you can manage your stress properly and identify your triggers and stressors.

Your counselor may suggest activities to increase your self-awareness and offer support, such as:

Apart from the physical toll of cancer itself and the treatments, you might also experience mental strain similar to the mental strain people with neurologic conditions are susceptible to.

Why Cancer Counseling

Remember that doing individual counseling today with the right counselor when people deal with anxiety, insurance company-related, or any mental health issue is always an option. Suffering from conditions such as depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions on top of a pre-existing condition, be it cancer or others will only be to your survived cancer care.

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For cancer, statistics show a higher mortality rate among those who have mental health disorders. Psychological stress could worsen the condition of people with cancer care needs.

Keep your mental health stable as it can greatly affect your diagnosis and treatment. Seek a trained professional help to cope with your anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns and let some of your daily life burdens go. Focus on having a clearer mindset and dedicate all of your energy to getting better.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the simple tips that can help cancer survivors and patients?
  2. What are some realistic objectives for cancer therapy?
  3. In tackling a cancer diagnosis, what are the stages that cancer patients go through?
  4. Why do cancer patients require an emotional support system?
  5. How is a cancer patient affected psychologically and mentally?
  6. How is cancer managed?
  7. What are the types of cancer?
  8. Are there new techniques for managing cancer? What are some of the most commonly used techniques?
  9. Do family members of cancer patients need counseling? Why?
  10. What are the primary objectives of a cancer patient?

 

Neurological Physical Therapy

What is neurological physical therapy? Who needs neurological physical therapy? How is it different from other therapies? Learn, understand, and talk more about neurological physical therapy here.

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Finding coping and support systems for people with neurological trauma can be difficult. Suddenly, you have a disability that can be extremely frightening and confusing at the start. You may also wonder how this condition can affect your daily life, and your personal and professional relationships. This is where physical therapy for neurological trauma can be helpful. 

How is neurological physical therapy for injuries done?

Treatment and neurological physical therapy (or physical therapy for neurological trauma) for people with stroke or spinal injury, for instance, requires a holistic approach. Medications and surgical procedures are known as primary medical treatments in addressing neurological injuries and diseases. Counseling and therapies (physical therapy and other types of therapy) may also go hand in hand to provide reliable psychosocial treatment. Some may also acquire both physical and occupational neurological physical therapy for faster healing and recovery period. 

Here are some effective counseling and psychotherapy types for patients with neurological problems:

Individual, Private, Or One-To-One Counseling

Individual counseling involves private and one-to-one support from a counselor or licensed therapist. This support may be in the form of effective listening about personal worries and concerns. Counseling is different from neurological physical therapy as the former involves merely interacting through conversations, while neurological physical therapy entails using exercise and other physical forms of treatment. 

People with neurological disorders can safely express their concerns about their condition since individual counseling provide extensive communication of emotions and opinions. 

Your therapist may let you:

  • Determine what concerns your cognition
  • Adapt solutions for your primary bothers (example, neurological)
  • Adjust your lifestyle as a coping mechanism for your neurological condition
  • Figure out how to fix relationship problems in work and family despite the neurological condition

Individual counseling may also act as a preliminary step in getting psychosocial help. Apart from one-on-one counseling, the counselor may also provide options that enable you to undergo couple, family, or group therapy.  Individual neurological physical therapy can provide more personal therapeutic sessions for spinal cord injury, glaucoma, stroke, and other neurological problems. Neurological physical therapy is a specialized type of physical therapy where the neurological aspect is emphasized. 

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy (not an aspect of physical therapy) that helps patients understand and identify thought patterns. It can help determine why your neurological condition (or any type of condition)  is linked to your worries and how you can keep them from affecting your mood in the process.

Overall, cognitive behavioral therapy allows patients with neurological illnesses to reframe their unwanted thoughts to a reshaped and more positive outlook. With its overall effectivity as a method in psychology, it has been used to manage:

  • Uncontrollable stress
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Insomnia and sleep problems
  • Prevailing addictions and unwanted behavior (these may lead to more severe neurological problems)

Neurological physical therapy is more effective when done in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy. Doing neurological physical therapy while being able to talk freely through CBT allows the patient to be more determined to heal. Thus, neurological physical therapy for trauma becomes more potent as well.

Family Therapy

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More than a personal concern, neurological disorders may affect your family. Apart from sharing the financial burden, managing routines with a family member with a physical or neurological disability can be stressful and taxing.

To help eliminate fear and encourage collaboration within the household, seeking a family counselor is a good option. A therapist in this field allows each family member to express their concerns, thoughts, and opinions about the situation and create solutions in the process. 

Also, discussing the long-term effects of neurological problems with your child can be upsetting and challenging. A family counselor can help you in gaining a better understanding of what is going on with your kids. They can also help the kids to express their thoughts and emotions about their condition. Neurological physical therapy is only part of the large umbrella of therapies needed for faster recovery. Neurological physical therapy for neurological problems can work in conjunction with other types of therapy. Hence, neurological physical therapy plus family therapy works tremendously. 

Support Groups

Apart from individual treatments like neurological physical therapy, having support groups can certainly alleviate many issues caused by physical or neurological trauma.

Support groups allow people experiencing the same neurological condition to meet and talk about everyone’s concerns, emotions, or coping mechanisms. Support groups can assist individuals with neurologic conditions since they can help people manage their emotions and medication side effects.

Support groups may be available for people who have neurological and other medical conditions like:

  • Brain tumor
  • Stroke
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Frontotemporal Dementia
  • Brain and Spinal Cord Injury

Parents, relatives, and caregivers of these patients may also join support groups. It is a sharing session wherein people talk about relationship issues, effective support, and even how to deal with fears in the family that have resulted from their neurological problems. Neurological physical therapy is more effective when done together with group therapy and other forms of therapy.

Participants may opt to meet in person or via online media since tele-counseling and telehealth have become relatively common for psychosocial assistance. Regardless of the medium, there is no strict attendance in most support groups.

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Treating Neurological And Physical Problems

Treating both psychological and physical illnesses are essential for holistic rehabilitation. People who suffer from neurologic injury and diseases must receive individualized treatment plans, including counseling and therapies. 

Depending on the emotional symptoms of their neurological problems, these individuals may experience depression and anxiety. Additionally, there are many benefits of counseling and neurological physical therapy for patients with neurologic problems. Seeking a counselor may let you and your family:

  • Learn how to cope when diagnosed with a physical disability
  • Manage forms of anxiety and depression
  • Develop coping mechanisms against the recurring symptoms
  • Manage emotions from experiencing great lifestyle changes
  • Eliminate fear and worries from affecting one’s mood

But it will only be beneficial if you are seeing the right therapist or counselor. Be sure you check a counselor’s background, reviews, and overall success as a health professional to verify whether they are the best fit for you or your family. Choosing a good counselor for neurological physical therapy would not only result in better and more engaging follow-ups in the long run, but it will also ultimately save time and money by avoiding needless professional adjustments.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What entails neurological physical therapy or neuroscience physical therapy?
  2. What are the most common neurological illnesses that physiotherapists are capable of managing?
  3. How relevant is neuroscience to physiotherapy or physical therapy?
  4. How can one distinguish a neurological physiotherapist from a physiotherapist?
  5. What is the typical treatment plan of a neurological patient?
  6. What can a physical therapist do to help one’s central nervous system?
  7. What kinds of central nervous system disorders can a physiotherapist manage?
  8. Can physical therapy treatments worsen CNS pain?
  9. What are the most common warning signs that physiotherapy should be stopped?
  10. What are signs that the treatment is working?

 

 

Kick Starting Stroke Rehabilitation Through New Technology

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The recent stroke rehabilitation tools remain focused on the concept of neuroplasticity, which has been used by caregivers and therapists for years. It’s old knowledge that the brain is capable of retraining itself, but researchers now know how critical it is to start the recovery process at an early phase, as brain tissue damage during stroke is a transient trigger for complete brain damage.

In the aftermath of a stroke, the healthy brain deteriorates within three months. Neuroplasticity makes it possible for the healthy parts of the brain to form new connections leading to the affected nerves and muscles. It is during this stage; however when stroke patients form contractures and other circumstances that cause further limitations, which will prevent them from utilizing their healthy brain tissue.

But with modern technology, stroke patients can now have more options for recovery, most of which are designed to focus on the early stage of stroke rehab. Some of these recovery tools help doctors and therapists to monitor their patients’ progress while preventing further complications as they move towards partial or full recovery.

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Therapeutic Robotics

Robotic exoskeletons and other robotic devices are among the newest innovations made for the benefit of stroke victims. They are directly connected to the patient’s affected part to assist or permit movement. Robotic arms slings and supports are equipped with sensors that keep track of the extremities’ movements.

According to The Wall Street Journal, robotic exoskeletons are specifically beneficial because of their adjustable features. Support can be reduced as the patient slowly gains more muscle control and balance. When caregivers or therapists want to observe the patient, they do not have to move the patient’s limbs but instead, monitor the patient’s movements from afar because of the device.

Video Games For Stroke Patients

Through the years, doctors and therapists have been utilizing conventional low-tech therapy options for stroke patients, which can be quite hard, not to mention boring for the patient. Now, with the advent of modern rehabilitation technology comes stroke-specific video games that are more engaging and very easy to integrate into the home healthcare program. Bandit’s Shark Showdown is an exciting interactive video game that engages players to play as a dolphin controlling its movements. For the stroke patient, he wears a robotic sling and uses this sling to control the movements of the shark. This video game coordinates the dolphin’s jumps and dives with his muscular movements, activating his body and his brain synchronously.

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One of the creators of the video game, John Krakauer, states that a simple muscular movement would need an exceptionally complicated set of algorithms. His video game is built to “break down the physical and mental distinction” and regain function to the weakened extremities.

Another equally useful therapeutic tool is the interactive canoe trip that the NYU Langone Medical Center has developed. Though still at its early stages of testing, the creators claim that their patients are more determined and are more compliant with their current regimens. This tool has also proven to be another encouraging option for stroke victims who are too impaired to go through conventional physical therapy.

 

Conclusion

Through the continuous progress and improvement in modern technology, stroke victims have a higher likelihood of getting quick and efficient treatment the earliest time possible, increasing their family and the patient’s hopes of recovering and living life as normally as they possibly can.

 

 

 

Psychologists Recommend The Best Ways To Tackle Depression Post-Surgery

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As someone who loves her father dearly, it is hard for me to admit that my dad has had to get the services of psychologists to feel better mentally after his spinal surgery. A few months ago, he complained about being unable to walk and his lower back hurting. When we brought him to the hospital, the doctor diagnosed that one of the discs that were supposed to keep his spinal column from touching each other just got ruptured, and so the operation had to be done at once.

I can tell you now that the surgery has gone well. My old man is walking again, although there is a slightly noticeable limp now because his right foot has become a little numb post-operation. What has depressed him, though, is the fact that he cannot lift things and do heavy chores anymore either at home or at work. I cannot blame him for it; I can only imagine how difficult it must be to feel like you are incapable of doing the things that your family has relied on you to do before.

“Mental health struggles are real. They can be painful. You may feel alone. In some of the darkest times, you may feel like something is “wrong” with you to the core. ” –Erica Thompson, LMFT, LPCC

Nevertheless, thanks to the help of the psychologists that his surgeons have recommended, my father has managed to cope with his current situation now. The last few months have been tough for the entire family, but we have never doubted dad’s ability to get over his depression.

In case you are in the same rough patch as my father, you should know that you can stop feeling depressed over time. It is possible to live with the fact that there are some things that you cannot do anymore, and that’s okay. Here are some tips that I would like to share with you.

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Assess Your Feelings

The first thing to ask yourself is, “Why do I feel so depressed?”

Chances are, if you are like my dad, the doctor will only discourage you from lifting heavy objects or bending down too much. It does not mean, though, that you cannot walk, drive, go to work, or play with your kids. It does not mean that you cannot bring your spouse out on a date or be the main man in the family. So, you should figure out what genuinely causes your depression so that you can understand where the issue is coming from. “Many people mistakenly believe that if you can’t see it like you can a broken bone, it must be less significant and therefore can be overcome by simply using willpower. If not, they mistakenly believe that people who suffer from depression are weak.” Simon Rego, PsyD said.

Avoid Alcoholic Beverages

Alcohol is not the best companion when you are trying to recover from surgery or depression. It will fog your mind more than clear it. Not to mention, it will make you assume that you can drown your hopelessness with bottles of whiskey or gin. Thus, you should not even touch any alcoholic beverage if you want to get over your problems sooner than later.

Don’t EVER Say You Can’t Do Something

What has hurt me and my family members the most is hearing my father say, “I am useless now.” He said that one time, when my mom needed help to fix the curtains, and we all stopped him from stepping on a stool chair to do it for her. “The worst thing we can do is say to ourselves, ‘I can’t handle it,’ while the best thing we can say is, ‘I may not like it, but I can handle it,” says Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., a licensed clinical psychologist.

The truth is that being unable to fix the curtains does not make my dad useless. Not everyone can do everything, and it should not make anyone feel like they are inadequate because of that. You should remember that, too.

Uplift Yourself

Despite the physical restrictions that come with your current condition, I am pretty certain that there are activities that can make you happy without having to move much. For instance, you can go to karaoke with your friends if that’s your jam. You can go on a short trip out of town with your grandkids and show them your favorite place. Furthermore, you can stop thinking that the surgery has taken a huge part of your identity. By doing all of that and more, you will be able to get over depression.

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Stop Pulling People Into Your Depression

Often, when you’re feeling blue, the people around you can adapt your mood and then they’ll be depressed too. Instead of pulling people down to your depressed state, just pull yourself up so that you will not have to worry about anyone or anything in the future.

Read The Bible

Lastly, reacquainting yourself to the teachings of God might be the only thing that can move you out of your miserable state so if you haven’t started doing it or you’ve never even tried before, read the Bible now.

Final Thoughts

The people around you love you so much. You may be going through a tough situation now, but you are not alone. Let your family and friends in your life and follow the tips above to get over your depression post-surgery. Good luck!