Exercise can be an intimidating routine to pick back up after having pelvic pain or dysfunction. Fear of urinary incontinence (both urge and stress), increased pelvic pain or re-injury, or just feeling like you are so out of shape that you can’t even start a routine up again, can all be reasons women avoid exercise or returning to the workouts they used to love.Read More
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It's so hard to accept any bad days after suffering so many bad years. I think that, as my pain continues to recede in my rearview mirror, that will become less challenging. With time, I expect that I'll even come to appreciate the occasional "down day" with some minor ailment. But for now, I'm desperate to enjoy my still-fresh health.Read More
Healthcare providers may be aware of the presence of yellow flags in a patient’s history, such as a major accident, depression, catastrophization, or prior trauma or abuse (to name a few), but not consider it related to the patient’s clinical presentation of pain. But it is. Prior pain experience shapes pain perception.Read More
Exercise feels good, it’s empowering, and it’s taught me to be in-tune with my strengths in a way I didn’t realize possible. I’ve formed friendships, gained confidence, and found community. And, had I listened to those providers who long ago told me I should live more gently, I would’ve missed out on the entire experience.Read More
My months at the dog daycare were some of the most powerful in my recovery. When I started work, I struggled with the basics – keeping a routine, maintaining enough energy to get to work, and learning new tasks. The job was fun and challenging; it was manual labor, and it gave me confidence in my strength – and, importantly, in my ability to integrate my strength into my responsibilities. Previously, I’d kept the two separate: my responsibilities lived in my laptop, which I used from the security of the sofa; meanwhile, my strength lived at the yoga studio, but I didn’t push its limits outside those walls. This job, though, combined the two, and it taught me how to harness my energy and [literally] play well with others again.Read More
Today, as I ran from my physical therapist's clinic to my yoga studio, I was reminded of something that I can't afford to moderate: my courage. At one point, as I've shared, going to my PT's clinic ("my PT") for tune-ups was a challenge. I wanted to be "better," and I thought that meant "having no need for any medical intervention." As I've grown these past two years, becoming an athlete, a yogi, a 40-pounds-heavier, living, breathing woman, I've changed my mind. My PT is vital to my enjoyment of life, because she allows me to continue to be courageous. She'll be there if I fall (as she's demonstrated oh-so-many times before).Read More
I walked out the door of the clinic that day proud and nervous. Was I really better? She assured me that I was. My doctor and husband and family and girlfriends assured me that I was. So, I figured I’d take this “healthy” thing for a spin.
If health is a state of existing in perfect comfort and contentment, it was short lived.Read More
When I stopped seeing my PT regularly, I tried to avoid coming back in for visits. I wanted to feel like I was actually healthy, and not relying so heavily on her help. This sounds silly now, but at the time, I hadn’t gone more than a couple of weeks without PT for years. But after seeing my health through this goofy construct for a few months, I began to understand that a much better goal is a state of “supported independence.”Read More
So you have pain with sex, or you leak urine when you sneeze, or you feel a bulge in your vagina, or you have chronic constipation or any other “down there” health concern. Where do you begin? Having suffered from pelvic pain and an assortment of related health issues for years, these are my suggestions for finding the right provider, getting the help you need, and speaking candidly about tough issues.Read More
My physical therapist, Sandy, has asked me: "How many good things, feelings, and inputs is it going to take for you to no longer fear that the pain will return?" My answer has always been: "I don't know." She also admits to not knowing. No one knows.Read More