Disclaimer #1: This post is deeply personal. I have been deliberating over writing it or not, but decided that there are women who would benefit from hearing my story.
Disclaimer #2: If you’re male, or know me in real life, or ever want to look me in the eye again, you may not want to read this post.
I was on the way to work when it happened.
I wasn’t running, jumping, coughing or sneezing. I was simply walking, when all of a sudden I wet my pants.
It wasn’t a little trickle. It was … a lot. Prior to it happening, I didn’t even have the urge to go to the toilet. It came completely out of the blue.
Since having my two daughters, I’ve been no stranger to minor leakage. I’ve brushed it aside not wanting to deal with the issue which, let’s face it, is embarrassing.
When I was forced to buy a new pair of undies before work that morning, I decided it was time to stop ignoring things.
While it started off as a little problem, it has gradually become more, and without warning.
As I don’t want to be wearing adult nappies by the age of forty, I decided it was time to get serious and see a specialist.
My initial appointment involved a chat about the problems I was experiencing. I revealed to her that I had minor leakage when playing netball even before I had kids.
I told her that I had done pelvic floor exercises (halfheartedly) while pregnant, but now had no feeling down there and just stopped bothering.
Once I revealed all, the specialist gave me an in depth lesson about the pelvic floor and pelvic floor dysfunction.
After the ‘why I wet my pants’ 101 was out of the way, I had an internal exam.
The exam revealed to me what I’ve known deep down since giving birth to my first.
I have prolapse and nerve damage.
After my first was born four years ago, I had a weird falling out feeling, kind of like a tampon becoming dislodged.
I was so scared and embarrassed at the time that I only revealed it to a physio, who was treating me for a separation in my stomach, in the last two minutes of my appointment.
I was given some exercises and recommended pilates, but with a newborn baby I didn’t have time to go to pilates or think about pelvic floor exercises. I could barely remember my own name.
My new specialist and I have discussed surgery, but we’ve decided to hold off for now.
I’ve promised to be vigilant with my exercises and take it from there.
To be honest, I wasn’t hopeful when I left the specialist.
It’s scary to know that my insides are caving in and falling out and I’m only in my thirties.
Seeing a specialist is the best thing I could have done. It’s been a wake up call that things are serious.
Since my initial appointment, I have been doing the following:
Pelvic floor exercises … and then some
My specialist trained me how to do pelvic floor exercises properly. I found it difficult at first seeing I have limited feeling down there. The first hundred or so times I nearly went blue trying to engage the right muscles. I did about 90 exercises a day in various positions as prescribed. I did them even though I felt nothing. And then one day, I felt something. It was a very slight sensation, but it was something.
Every time I lift one of my children, cough, sneeze or exercise, I brace. I engage my pelvic floor muscles to ensure as little pressure is placed on my pelvic floor as possible. Apparently this is meant to be an automatic thing, but I am having to retrain myself.
Did you know there’s a correct way to sit on the toilet? It’s all about leaning forward with your hands on your knees and relaxing your stomach to take pressure off the pelvic floor.
Sadly, I have had to cut loose the high impact exercise videos I was having so much fun with. I cannot afford to have pressure on my pelvic floor. I need to stick to low impact exercise, no planks and no sit ups. Swimming and walking are best for me.
Six weeks after my initial appointment, I returned to the specialist.
I was told that I had an ‘amazing improvement’.
I couldn’t believe it. While my prolapse can’t be fixed without surgery, I can reduce the symptoms.
I was given a range of other ideas to help me and I now have a more positive attitude about things.
I urge you, if you have experienced any of the above, to see a specialist. You may think you’re beyond help, but trust me, these specialists can work magic.
If you need to chat to someone about it, I am more than happy to help. I’ve even thought of starting up a support group – the pants wetters club. What do you think?
I told Dave about the club and it highly amused him.
‘What would you do at each meeting?’ he joked.
‘Sit around and wet your pants?
‘What happens at the AGM?’
He went on and on with his stand up act until … you guessed it …
Have you battled with pelvic floor issues? Have you sought professional help?
Linking up today with EssentiallyJess for IBOT.