My Experience with Incontinence
When we brought Angela Growse to the Studio this summer for our Wine & Lady Bits workshop series it was a bit selfish on my part. Since Isabel was born (13 years ago!) I’ve had to be careful when I sneezed and sometimes had to run cross legged to the bathroom when having a good laughing fit as caught on film above. I call it the cross legged shuffle. These issues are both considered incontinence and I thought it was something I was just going to have to get used to. I purchased some panty liners for emergencies and made sure my knees were crossed when I sneezed. I also added kegels to my workout, doing a few during breathing warmups. (P.S. I was doing them totally wrong, more to come on that)
Last year, around this time the issue became more advanced. Even with focusing on what I thought were kegels, it was getting worse. I would leak a bit after I had voided (fancy word for pee’d). Sometimes I would have to excuse myself in the middle of class due to urgency and crossing my legs during a sneeze no longer gave me protection. I had a hysterectomy in 2013 and I was really concerned that this was a result of the surgery. So I went to my family Dr and requested a referral to a Gynecologist.
Waiting for the Gyno Appointment
Anyone who has ever needed to see a specialist, you know it takes a while to get an appointment. Especially if it is not life threatening. So I continued working on my kegels and started talking about it to friends and clients while I waited for the referral. CRAZY thing, I am not the only one struggling. In fact many people I see daily were dealing with similar issues. I’ve said it so many times, if you have an issue, bring it up in class because someone will have the solution.
These conversations lead me to Angela Growse, Certified Pelvic Health Physiotherapist. This means that Angela has been trained to conduct internal exams to diagnose and treat various conditions that involve the pelvic floor or symptoms that manifest in this area. The pelvic floor includes muscles, ligaments, nerves and connective tissue. The conditions include back pain, hip and knee issues, pelvic organ prolapse, diastasis recti abdominis, pain during intercourse and incontinence (to name a few).
This connection lead to a series of workshops here at the studio called “Wine & Lady Bits”. A summary of each talk can be found in our blog archives. Angela’s talk on incontinence gave me new hope. I thought I had 2 options, invest in depends or have a surgical intervention. After Angela’s talk I started following her advice and making some changes. I was more aware of how much water I was consuming every day and increased the amount to insure a positive hydration at the end of the day. Really I focused on changing some of my habits that were contributing to my struggle.
The good news is, with this shift of focus I started to see improvements. Not amazing but definitely better. As seen in the picture above, I was able to have a wonderful laughing fit without peeing my pants! That is progress and after just ONE session with Angela. More on that and my appointment with the gynecologist in part 2. Stay tuned!