My Pelvic Floor Journey: Overcoming Urinary Incontinence Naturally
Glassy eyed from five days of intensive pelvic floor anatomy and physiology, it’s time to take what we learned and put it into practice with fellow rehab therapists.
I sit on the chair with my heels and knees touching each other, “Ok now squeeze like you’re holding back pee,” my colleague says with a giggle. I try not to laugh because that will just make me pee. I never thought in a million years that laughing would mortify me. But peeing my pants at work in front of my physical and occupational therapy colleagues is not an option. I’m grateful that the exercises don’t require any jumping or the floodgates would really open. It wouldn’t be the first time I would be embarrassed from leaking. The day I knew I needed help happened at the studio filming my PBS series, Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews®.
“Lights, Camera’s, Action” barked the director over the Godspeaker, (that’s a speaker that comes from the control room). After the warm up, I guided the Fat Burning Workout moves. There it was - an uncontrollable leak coming out of my lady parts and there was nothing I could do about it. Oh how I wished I was doing the seated version! Twenty people on set and five cameras on me – leaking! Now I’m not an actor, but at that moment, I managed to somehow keep my composure and called for a break. Fortunately I had another identical pair of workout pants and we resumed taping. No one knew or they were just really diplomatic.
In hindsight, pee problems have plagued me since I gave birth. I thought that only happened to old people! During the urinary incontinence courses, the professor told me that urinary incontinence is not a normal part of aging. So I really don’t have to live with this problem! Don’t need surgery. Have you heard all those law suits about the mesh? Don’t have to take pills that just make you constipated, give you headaches, upset stomach, dry mouth and eyes. According to Web MD, “The researchers estimate that for every 1,000 women who were treated with the drugs, less than 200, or 20%, achieved continence on the medications. Most women stop taking the medicine because of the side effects.” That means the medicine doesn’t work in 8 out of 10 women. Besides after the pharmacology courses I took, I vowed not to take medicines unless it was absolutely necessary.
Back in class the professor instructed, “now I started you all with these because they are the exercises everyone has heard about for getting control of urine. They are called Kegels, but Kegels alone are not going to work. You must do the other pelvic floor exercises too. What, there’s more?
Suzanne Andrews is a licensed Occupational Therapy Clinician with 30 years exercise expertise. Airing to over 49 million on Public Television, Suzanne Andrews, a licensed Occupational Therapy Clinician, (they specialize in function) creates evidenced based fitness programs for specific health conditions. Originally created in 2008 with it’s first run on WDSC TV, Functional Fitness with Suzanne Andrews broadcasts on 113 Public Television stations.